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First Impressions

Professional development program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians


An initiative from Port Phillip Council's Live Music Action Plan, where five successful applicants will work with local music industry mentors over a four-month program to enhance their professional profile and progress their music career.

Through the First Impressions program, industry mentors will support participants to produce professional recordings of their work as well as an online promotional portfolio complete with professional photography and video. Participants will also receive guidance on industry best practice related to processes such as achieving publicity and booking gigs. The First Impressions program will culminate with a live performance in a participating event at a Port Phillip venue.

Victoria-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians aged 18 and over are encouraged to apply. Applications open from Monday 25 October to Monday 6 December 2021.

Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee Concert - Gareeal. Featuring Ensemble Dutala, Bumpy, Alice Skye, Monica Jasmine Karo and Allara. Photo: Tiffany Garvie, 2021


Application process

Program delivery partners

Sound and Music Production

Candice Lorrae

Candice Lorrae (of The Merindas) is an established First Nations singer/songwriter and music producer with Jawoyn and Torres Strait Islander roots. This Darwin born artist has 20 years experience in the Music Industry working as a performer, music teacher,producer and events coordinator.

Sound and Music Production

Simon Moro

With 20 years of experience as a mix engineer and producer, Simon's process focuses on three principles: empathy, mindset, and precision—with the goal of empowering artists to achieve their vision.

Simon has mixed many songs that have ranked top 10 on the Triple J Unearthed charts in recent years, and worked with labels such as Sony and Mushroom, artists such as Anthony Callea and Allday, and mixed and produced ARIA nominated albums, live albums, and television shows. 

Professional Photography & Mentoring

Tiffany Garvie

Tiffany Garvie is a Melbourne-based photographer who enjoys shooting events, character portraits and landscapes, as well as telling stories through images.

Some of Tiffany's previous clients include:​ Melbourne Theatre Company, Koorie Heritage Trust, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, The Torch.

Advice, support and guidance


Formed in 1994, Songlines provides opportunities for Victorian-based Indigenous performers to develop skills, showcase their artistic abilities and engage with the arts sector.

Songlines holds some of Victoria’s largest Indigenous music events to promote, support and present contemporary Indigenous music, providing a platform for artists to be a voice of the Indigenous community, which in turn will contribute to the overall voice of Australia.

Songwriting and music mentoring

Homelands Collective

HOMELANDS is a collective of young and established First Nations artists and allies from different nations and cultures who come together to connect through story, song and music.

Homelands Collective Co-Producers Maurial Spearim & Katie Symes, with support from Homelands mentors, will assist with the creation of publicity materials.

Plus more to be announced that will relate to pathways for musicians in the creative industries, including games and film development.

Government partner

The First Impressions program is jointly funded by Port Phillip Council and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.