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The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) is a fellowship for Indigenous social equity in Australia, Aotearoa and the Pacific region. Based at the University of Melbourne, the AFSE program aims to foster Indigenous-led social change through a powerful network of Fellows, offering a fee-free, intensive foundation year with a postgraduate qualification at the University of Melbourne as well as a lifelong alumni membership in a global community across seven international Atlantic Fellows hubs.

In its second year of operation, AFSE approached 33 Creative to help develop their communication and brand strategy in a way that would appeal to both locally based and international community members and reflect the fellowship’s growth.

The brief was to create a unique and meaningful look-and-feel that fomented the brand while celebrating First Nations people, our cultures, and our capabilities. In doing so, 33 Creative worked closely with Gunnai, Gunditjmara, and Yorta Yorta fashion designer, Lyn-Al Young, who designed the beautiful artwork featured throughout, representing AFSE’s journey. Lyn-Al’s piece was originally created as a scarf, then photographed and used as the brand’s focal piece. The artwork and its incorporation into design assets has been warmly received by AFSE’s staff, broader community, and stakeholders, quickly becoming synonymous with the organisation’s recognisability.

Scarf created by Gunnai, Gunditjmara, and Yorta Yorta fashion designer, Lyn-Al Young

Along with the communication strategy and brand development, we also produced and helped to roll out several pieces of design collateral, including a welcome pack, postcard, annual calendar, prospectus, invitation, cohort book, handbook, and a bespoke e-newsletter design. We also produced the website’s homepage reel along with other required film content.

We also delivered their first public call for applicants to the program, working with First Nations media across Australia and New Zealand to reach community members through a series of editorial case studies that supported the digital advertising executions; this in turn drove people to the website and helped to elevate their overall presence ahead of building on the growing network of Fellows.

AFSE is several years in operation and continues to go from strength to strength. We are proud to have played such an important role in helping to develop and establish the brand and platforms for communicating what is truly an amazing initiative.

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) is a fellowship for Indigenous social equity in Australia, Aotearoa and the Pacific region. Based at the University of Melbourne, the AFSE program aims to foster Indigenous-led social change through a powerful network of Fellows, offering a fee-free, intensive foundation year with a postgraduate qualification at the University of Melbourne as well as a lifelong alumni membership in a global community across seven international Atlantic Fellows hubs.

In its second year of operation, AFSE approached 33 Creative to help develop their communication and brand strategy in a way that would appeal to both locally based and international community members and reflect the fellowship’s growth.

The brief was to create a unique and meaningful look-and-feel that fomented the brand while celebrating First Nations people, our cultures, and our capabilities. In doing so, 33 Creative worked closely with Gunnai, Gunditjmara, and Yorta Yorta fashion designer, Lyn-Al Young, who designed the beautiful artwork featured throughout, representing AFSE’s journey. Lyn-Al’s piece was originally created as a scarf, then photographed and used as the brand’s focal piece. The artwork and its incorporation into design assets has been warmly received by AFSE’s staff, broader community, and stakeholders, quickly becoming synonymous with the organisation’s recognisability.

The brief

In 2021, Facebook, now Meta, established a partnership with Trading Blak, with the goal of helping Trading Blak businesses to utilise Facebook’s tools to assist their business. Meta came to 33 Creative with the goals to further support Indigenous small businesses through offering training in skills and tools to establish or grow their online presence.

The campaign had two phases. The first was a virtual training summit in partnership with Indigenous Business Month and live streamed on the Facebook for Business Facebook page. The agenda of this event was to include a panel of First Nations entrepreneurs sharing tips, tools, and tricks to create a successful business online. The second phase was a campaign to encourage all Australians to buy from Blak-owned business on the ecommerce day of the year, Black Friday. This also involved transforming the Black Friday sales event into #BuyBlak Friday.

The campaign called for the engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander influencers to create content driving awareness of the campaign. We completed extensive research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Influencers, entrepreneurs, and public figures active on Instagram and Facebook and advocated for their participation in this campaign.

33 Creative facilitated the outreach of Indigenous influencers and managed the communication, briefing and development of content between the client and each influencer involved in both phase one and phase two. This involved researching and selecting suitable influencers with a platform that would best achieve the goals of the client. This resulted in a successful onboarding of 29 influencers including Bianca Hunt, Mitch Tambo, Casey Donovan and Rachael Sarra.

Each influencer provided creative content that engaged their audiences and raised awareness of the summit and the #BuyBlak Friday ecommerce event. We worked closely with Meta to provide creative guidance to each influencer ensuring their content was entertaining, engaging and/or informative.

33 Creative also produced the campaign’s broadcast suite, video content and social assets which supported all stages across the 8-week active campaign.

The artwork

Talented Menang Gnudju Noongar artist, Kiya Watt created the artwork ‘Journey’ featuring her trademark style. The Yakan’s (Turtles) represents opportunity and growth travelling separately and eventually coming together to create the future. The circles show strength and power in their pathways taken and the different colours highlight the connection between them when separated. All symbols tie together beautifully showing the journey and steps it takes to get anywhere in life, every pathway matters and is needed to learn valuable lessons.

Kiya talks through the story behind her artwork:

“Because it was created for Indigenous Business Month it encapsulates the strength in Indigenous Business and everything that we do. I wanted to highlight the leadership it takes to go on our own path. As they are both Blak they strengthen each other, they support each other, but on their own individual pathway.”

“It shows the journey and the leadership to take separate paths and the strength that it takes in taking these separate paths into leadership. It also shows the circles here that show the ongoing cycles and inspiration it brings in taking these leaps into our own pathways.”

The outcome

Since the campaign was launched it has reach 6.2 million Australians and made over 9 million impressions. This is above the benchmark of 2-3 impressions to convert 1-2 for brand recall. There was a 5% measure of brand recall. The highest performing ad was the video with 6.2% brand recall.