Author: Jake Keane

2019 NAIDOC Ball and Awards

In 2019 we proudly handled event production for Indigenous Australia’s premier gala event, the National NAIDOC Ball and Awards Ceremony.


The National NAIDOC Ball and Awards Ceremony is an annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement by individuals and communities. Each year, the National event is held by a host city, with a theme set by the National NAIDOC Committee, supported (then) by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 33 Creative is proud to have delivered the event from concept through to production, with a dedication to enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers throughout the event.

A pinnacle event on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander calendar, the approach we took to conceptually bringing the 2019 National NAIDOC Awards to life was one of pride and sophistication. From early design concepts we wanted to create an event that was warm, inviting and positive, showcasing the strength and success of our people, both for those in the room and those watching the live broadcast.

We drew inspiration from the artwork ‘Dhina’ by the wonderfully talented Lucy Simpson of Gaawaa Miyay, created to honour story and what has been, and celebrate what is yet to come. This artwork was reflected in stage theming, through to room dressing, the program and graphic animations on the backlit stage screens.

Our stage production included entertainment from Casey Donovan, Dan Sultan, Christine Anu, the Merindas and many more, supported by hosts Sean Choolburra and Elaine Crombie.

We worked closely with our client, their partners and event sponsors to deliver a live broadcast three course gala dinner event and show, enjoyed more than 1000 people.

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Chelsea Thompson

Event and Project Manager

Chelsea Thompson is an event planner, stage manager and trained photographer. With over a decade of experience in the events industry, Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography) and an Advance Diploma in Events Entertainment & Design. Her experience extends from event project management and artist management to event styling. She has worked on events, ranging from large scale corporate functions to intimate, private celebrations and product launches.

Registrations open for the Atlantic Fellows Social Equity Program

Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) is calling for applicants to register interest for their 2021 program.

Applicants can check eligibility and register their interest now at, ahead of formal applications opening on 26 June.

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity program is a year-long intensive program hosted by the University of Melbourne that is open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian and New Zealand applicants.

The AFSE program develops powerful understandings of inequity and social change, grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being. Successful applicants enter the program as Fellows and go on to join a growing community of AFSE Senior Fellows and global Atlantic Fellows. They also have the opportunity to complete a graduate qualification in Social Change Leadership through the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

Elizabeth McKinley, Executive Director of AFSE and Professor of Indigenous Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, said the AFSE program is needed now more than ever.

“With many people protesting around the world calling for social change, the AFSE program will foster Fellows’ capacity to accelerate the change needed for Indigenous communities to build a society in which we all wish to live,” said Professor McKinley.

“We are working for Indigenous-led social change to build on the incredible strength, resilience, knowledge and understandings Indigenous people bring to the world.”
Shaun Ewen, Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) at the University of Melbourne said the opportunity to join the AFSE program is timely.

“The single most important thing a University can offer is, through knowledge, discovery and partnerships, to make our communities and societies better places for all of us”, said Professor Ewen.

“There is now a profound opportunity for social change. The global Atlantic Fellows community, of which AFSE is an Indigenous led and focussed member, is working hard to find sustainable, inclusive and equitable pathways to a ‘new normal’ post-COVID.”

Shane Webster, an AFSE Senior Fellow and General Manager of Regions at Jawun has experienced the benefits of the ASFE program.

“As a Senior Fellow, my experience is translating into major changes in my projects,” said Mr Webster.

“The opportunity to meet and collaborate with Fellows has also had a transformative impact on how I approach systemic change. I’ve always seen lifelong fellowship as an obligation to support current and future fellows above and beyond other interests.”

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity is one of seven global and interconnected Atlantic Fellows programmes to which the foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, has committed more than $US660 million worldwide.

Established by American/Irish businessman Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group, Atlantic Philanthropies has given away US$8 billion over the course of Mr Feeney’s lifetime, largely anonymously.

More information about AFSE program can be found at

Left to right: Alison Bentick, Penny Jones, Karrina Nolan, Janine Mohamed and Huti Watson from the 2019 cohort. Photo: James Henry

Evolve expands into not for profit sector with national Red Cross contract

Evolve FM, Australia’s First majority Indigenous owned Integrated facilities management company, has won a major national competitive open tender process with not for profit enterprise, Red Cross.

The five year contract, will see Evolve expand its footprint into new regions nationally, taking on facilities management for the national Red Cross property portfolio.

The win is a boost to the company’s appointment in 2017 as one of three Australian Government property services providers, supporting 23 Commonwealth entities with property and facilities maintenance services nationally.

Newly appointed CEO, Wakka Wakka and Bundjalung man Shane Hamilton, said the new contract is an important step in the company’s expansion.

“Red Cross has a significant national property portfolio, and the contract is an enormous opportunity for Evolve to expand our national reach into new areas, while supporting one of Australia’s largest not for profits to reduce their property operating costs through high quality services,” said Mr Hamilton.

“We are excited to partner with Red Cross. Our companies share similar values in supporting equality and opportunity for all Australians, and in ensuring high quality property and facilities management.”

Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Judy Slatyer said Evolve will manage facility services at more than 350 Red Cross offices and retail stores around Australia. This facilities management will ensure all properties are safe, functional, efficient and compliant with building legislation

“It’s a great agreement from a commercial point of view as it represents a significant improvement in how our facilities will be managed. We’re also pleased to support the agreement as part of the organisation’s commitment to reconciliation. Under our Reconciliation Action Plan, we have committed to develop five new commercial partnerships with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander businesses as part of a multi-pronged approach to improving the well-being of First Nations peoples. Investing in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service sector and supporting Indigenous-owned businesses is a practical way of ensuring improved opportunities for First Nations peoples,” Ms Slatyer said.

The contract is expected to result in flow on benefits for the Indigenous business sector more broadly.

“This contract is not just a win for us but for First Nations businesses in our supply chain and will generate economic benefits right across the Indigenous economy,” Mr Hamilton said.

The company’s growth has already provided significant economic benefits for other First Nations businesses.

“Since commencing the Whole of Australian Government Property Services contract in 2017, we have become a major player in the facilities management sector, growing our vendor base with more First Nations suppliers,” Mr Hamilton said.

“In the last three years, we have spent more than $12.6 million with First Nations businesses.”

Mr Hamilton said the company’s growth was a signal of the importance it placed on delivering high quality services for its clients.

“First and foremost, we work with vendors that can deliver the high quality services to our clients,” Mr Hamilton said.

“We are not only a majority owned First Nations business – fundamentally we are helping our clients to reduce their overall property operating expenses by delivering high quality services.”

To learn more about Evolve, visit their website.

NAIDOC in the City

Since 2013, we have proudly worked with the City of Sydney to deliver its official NAIDOC Week event celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, cultures and achievements.

NAIDOC in the City is held in Hyde Park in the heart of Sydney’s bustling CBD and has grown to become one of the most unique gatherings and celebrations to occur in the city each year.

It holds a special place in our hearts given that we have produced this event alongside the City of Sydney since 2015. Prior to that, much of our team were responsible for producing the earlier NAIDOC in the City  events while working with the Deadly Vibe Group, including the inaugural event in 2013.

We are thrilled with the fact that after almost a decade of involvement and working to grow this event, NAIDOC in the City now regularly draws crowds of up to 10 000 people.

Festival activities include Aboriginal culture workshops, an arts and crafts and Indigenous goods marketplace, sports clinics including Indigenous games, traditional Aboriginal dance performances and workshops, food cooked in a traditional earth oven on site, live cooking demonstrations, and live music performances from Australia’s most talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.

Our work on NAIDOC in the City begins with developing the creative concept related to that years national NAIDOC theme. This involves ongoing discussions with the City of Sydney on how to best incorporate aspects related to that years theme into the festival program.

From there we can began to engage designers and artists to create that year’s event branding.

We have direct involvement with all copy writing for all materials, including flyers, posters, banners, and installations used at the event.

A huge part of the project is securing participants for the events knowledge and culture program, and managing the stalls marketplace, where a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses come to sell and showcase their products.

Essential to running a successful event each year is booking talent for the live music stage and arranging transport and accomadation.

Along the way, we develop and nurture strong relationships with a vast array of stakeholders, from community, to government to corporate organisations.

We provide marketing assistance to the City of Sydney, develop site signage, develop and produce promotional materials and event programs, manage sponsorship and budgets, and manage on site dignitaries, including Elders.

And of course, there’s all the fun on the day coordinating a bustling event with many moving parts and simultaneous activations, and making sure everything is running smoothly.

We pay our deep respects to the Gadigal peoples, the traditional owners of the lands upon which we have been privilege to stage this event, and also send out a warm acknowledgement to the City of Sydney for their support of First Nations cultural celebration and sharing.

Stop it at the Start is a long term behaviour change campaign, a national initiative of the Council of Australian Governments to stop violence against women where it begins.

33 Creative was engaged across all three campaign phases to deliver the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander component of the ‘Stop it at Start’ campaign to reduce domestic and family violence and sexual assault.

Based on in-depth research that found adults often dismiss or ignore disrespectful attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls without realising it, the campaign aims to bring together families and communities to positively influence young people’s attitudes towards respectful relationships and gender equality.

We took a strengths-based approach to empower influencers of young people to role model positive relationships and take an active role in talking about respect and calling out disrespectful behaviours when they occur.

The creative approach utilised a series of community-based campaign supporters who shared their unique experiences as part of the campaign, to motivate others.

We produced a range of advertising executions supported by relevant and culturally appropriate materials and resources, including supporter stories, visual storybooks, posters, social media graphics, fact sheets and pamphlets, conversation guides, an excuse interpreter and a respect checklist.

We worked with community controlled and other organisations nationally to distribute the resources on the ground, generating grassroots engagement and action.

We are proud of the campaign and would especially like to thank our campaign supporters who shared their stories to drive positive change.

Evaluation of the third phase of the campaign indicated recognition was strong among Indigenous respondents with 76% reporting they saw at least one element. This result was higher than campaign recognition with mainstream audiences. Indigenous influencers were also more likely to take action as a result of the campaign, most commonly reporting trying to be more respectful of others and considering their responses to a young person behaving disrespectfully.

Help spread this important message. Share the campaign materials.

‘Your Health is in Your Hands’ is a national project to raise awareness and boost the rates of MBS 715 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health checks among the patient and health practitioner communities. The project is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the benefit of health checks to lead to behaviour change, and overall, better health outcomes for our community.

We created a positive, empowering campaign approach that engages patients about the personal health benefits, while ensuring health practitioners are informed about the importance of culturally safe care. This was informed by research and concept testing with key target audiences.

‘Your Health is in Your Hands’ materials are highly visual and engaging, utilising Luke Penrith’s artwork, ‘Let’s Walk and Talk Out Bush’ telling the cultural importance of good health and wellbeing.

Our work on the campaign included the production of patient and health professional brochures, a community poster, a patient journey graphic for health workers, an animation informing people about the health check,  a two part podcast featuring Dr Ngaire Brown and video case study stories and social media assets.

Real stories were featured in video case studies highlighting the success and dedication of Aboriginal health services in delivering the 715 health check, reducing barriers to getting or undertaking a health check, by sharing real experiences.  

For implementation, we developed a stakeholder distribution strategy with targeted engagement and follow up with remote, regional and urban health providers and communities. Focused engagement on social media and through digital editorial is also used to continue momentum throughout the strategy implementation, including generating user contribution and content to engage target groups. 

We thank the communities and stakeholders that collaborated with us to refine these materials; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health practitioners, including Royal College of General Practitioners and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Help spread the word about the importance of a 715 health check.

Share the resources in your community.


Apology 10

In 2018, we worked with the Healing Foundation to event produce Apology 10, a concert held on the Lawns of Parliament House in Canberra to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation established in 2009 to address the ongoing trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities caused by past actions like the Stolen Generations.

Around 3,000 people attended to the event which featured live performances from some of Australia’s biggest Indigenous and non-Indigenous performers, including Shellie Morris, Electric Fields, Busby Marou, Archie Roach and the Preatures.

Thousands more followed the concert live via National Indigenous Television’s Facebook page. The event was was co-hosted by music commentator and broadcaster Myf Warhurst and Indigenous comedian Steven Oliver.

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33 Creative managed all aspects of event production including:

  • Developing and implementing a publicity and marketing strategy, which included the development and dissemination of materials, social media strategy, and advertising
  • Created the show, including talent, look and feel, venue dressing
  • Worked on staging and technical production with sub-contractors
  • Managed all production aspects, including site plan and management, risk management, safety, bump-in and bump-out
  • Booked and managed all stall-holders, caterers,
  • Managed the Facebook live broadcast with NITV with a tight turnaround, including technical, practical and legal requirements
  • Managed the budget, sub-contractors, talent negotiations and all payments
  • Conceptualising and producing a number of on-site activations to encourage engagement.

We delivered a successful event in terms of attendance and engagement, and produced all creative elements, including the line-up, talent management, design and execution of the set, audio visual elements to support the concerts

We also managed all marketing, media and PR associated with  the events to ensure maximum attendance and real engagement, which included negotiating a live broadcast with NITV

R U OK Stronger Together Campaign Manager Appointed

R U OK? are delighted to announce the appointment of Steven Satour as Campaign Manager to expand and deepen the Stronger Together campaign.

Mr Satour is a Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Pertame man from Central Australia. He is a driven Indigenous entrepreneur and founder of Iwara Travel, with more than a decade of varied experience in marketing, event and project management across tourism, education, the arts, employment, small business and not for profit sectors.

Katherine Newton, CEO, R U OK? has warmly welcomed Steven to the team knowing his accomplished track record in working with Indigenous groups to achieve results is a great addition to complement the R U OK? team.

“We are thrilled that an individual of Steven’s calibre who has garnered such respect from within his community is going to be working with us, to further share the Stronger Together message amongst First Australians,” said Ms Newton.

Mr Satour recently worked with the City of Sydney and is a National NAIDOC Committee member. “Steven believes that by celebrating and embracing Indigenous cultures we bring all Australians together and we look forward to working alongside him.”

Mr Satour featured in the Stronger Together campaign in early 2019 and says that was the moment he knew R U OK? was the organisation he wanted to join and where he could make a difference.

“I am really excited about working with R U OK? and further sharing the message amongst our communities, that a conversation really can change a life,” said Mr Satour.

“Stronger Together resonates with me so well, especially due to my culture. The message is so simple and powerful. It is steeped in our cultural practice of being a community and ensuring that no one is left behind.

“It’s really about asking the question and being prepared to listen. It’s not always about fixing the problem right then and there. Being able to articulate your feelings and just have someone listen is a really powerful way to show your support,” says Mr Satour.

The Stronger Together kit is a free resource containing videos, posters, a conversation guide and more to remind everyone in every community to ask someone in their mob who might be struggling, “Are you OK?”.

Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) celebrated the achievements of 50 Trainees yesterday during a Graduation Ceremony on Gadigal Country, in Surry Hills, Sydney.

Over the past 23 years, the AES has provided more than 21,000 employment opportunities and 2,500 Traineeships to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in urban, regional, rural and remote locations. The Traineeship program provides coaching and mentoring, an industry recognised qualification, alongside hands-on paid work experience with a host employer across a range of employment sectors and industries.

“The AES Traineeship Program is about empowering young Indigenous people through solid mentoring, strengthening cultural identities, creating big dreams, and providing real employment pathways. Congratulations to these young Indigenous leaders as they start their next chapter in life – strong, proud, skilled and experienced” says AES CEO Kristy Masella.

The Award ceremony also announced GP Synergy Trainee Rhiannan Reid as the winner of this year’s Chairpersons Achievement Award. The candidate is determined by their demonstrated resilience, strength and courage, demonstrated abilities beyond their years, and has gone above and beyond to complete their Traineeship.

“The AES traineeship allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and involved myself with things I thought I could never do. I have learned communication skills and how to express them in a work and non-work environment. I became independent very quickly, made new friends and work colleagues. I also gained confidence in sharing my skills with others in the workplace”, says Rhianna Reid.

The AES Traineeship program is one of the organisation’s most successful initiatives creating significant contributions to employer workplaces and their customer experiences. More than 50% of AES graduated trainees go on to achieve full-time employment with their host employer, while many others go on to undertake university study or further training, or full-time employment with a new employer.

Former 2016 Chairperson Achievement Award winner and 2019 Graduation Ceremony MC Tyrone Pynor reflects on the opportunities his Traineeship has provided for him;

“The first two years with National Australia Bank set me up for success. It was a sense of community. For people to see a 17-year -old Indigenous boy behind the teller felt really good.

The Traineeship gave me so many experiences and connections in the industry. After my graduation, I was fortunate to be offered an opportunity with SBS, and since then it’s been the most-wild ride. I can confidently say that the opportunities that AES gave me made me the person I am today.”

AES currently works with many corporate partners such as GP Synergy, Westpac Group, Wandiyali, Scentre Group, Apprenticeship Support Australia, and Awabakal in delivering Traineeships and Apprenticeships.

Georgina van de Water, Chief Operations Officer from GP Synergy says;

“We see the inclusion of traineeships in an organisation as not only an opportunity for the trainees, but for other team members to benefit through sharing their experiences and skills. The organisation also develops through the diversity our people bring. We see their success as our success.”

AES CEO Kristy Masella adds, “Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use the Traineeships as a stepping-stone to enter diverse career opportunities. These graduates are completing the program with confidence and have high expectations of what they can achieve in their careers. We are so proud of them and the hard work, resilience, and courage they have shown.”

The AES has over 50 new traineeship opportunities available for 2020.


Kristy Masella is available for interviews
High resolution photos are available here.


Marguerite Barbara, Media and Communications Manager at 33 Creative Pty Ltd
p: 02 9516 3466 |m: 0417 692 832 |e:


AES is the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment service. The AES programs empower Indigenous people through brokering employment opportunities and supporting candidates to have successful careers through mentoring, coaching, training and specialist support.

The AES now operates 13 offices nationally.