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.

Eve has over 20 years’ experience in the design, publishing and advertising industries. She is a creative steward for Indigenous audiences balancing the complex demands of our extensive client portfolio. She is an expert in handling the creative, strategic and stakeholder requirements that exist with complex integrated campaigns required by corporate organisations and government agencies, while never losing sight of community needs, connection and engagement. Two recent integrated multichannel campaign successes include the Your Health is in Your Hands 715 Health Check Campaign and Keep our Mob Safe Online eSafety Campaign that show complex projects can be delivered with precision and integrity, while focusing on community needs and superior engagement.

Eve works in partnership with our team of commission based artists that respond to client briefs to create bespoke artwork that is able to convey organisational or project base objectives and messaging.

She is a production and project management expert with knowledge and experience that delivers results for our team, clients and media agencies to ensure memorable creative influence.

In addition to working with existing brand guidelines, Eve is able to consult on brand strategy, creation and implementation. Bringing to life 33 Creatives integrative and collaborative creative approach.




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Laura La Rosa

Communications Officer

Laura La Rosa is a proud Darug and Calabrian woman, writer, illustrator and graphic designer. Her work spans all facets of visual and written communication, across both the arts, publishing and corporate sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Design (Graphic Design) where she was awarded two Dean’s awards for academic excellence. She writes feature content, memoir, film and literary critique, as well as essays that discuss cultural studies, feminism and popular culture. Her written work has appeared in Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, SBS, Sydney Review of Books, and The Big Issue.

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.

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?”.

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.