Page 34 - AdNews Magazine Jan-Feb 2021
P. 34

Digitas associate creative director Thomas McMullan
In 2020, perennial industry buzzword “diversity” has taken on a new meaning: geographic diversity. Essentially, widespread working from home has proven that, for example, a Sydney office doesn’t need employees who live in Sydney. Where this gets exciting is mentally flipping this from a liability to a benefit — the more geographically diverse your team is, the broader the experience to draw from.
Considering only 150,000 of Australia’s 800,000 Indigenous population live in metro NSW/ Victoria areas, agencies that have welcomed geographical diversity are better placed to find more Indigenous voices to join their teams.
“It is thrilling to see that, finally, Indigenous content creators are finally being recognised for their amazing talents,” says Lumby.
“We know non-Indigenous people are privileged to share a country with them where they have been producing wonderful creative works for 60,000 years. This fund matters because, despite the extraordinary creative talent of our First Nations people, our creative industries still fail far too often to respect, recognise and employ them.”
Winterbourn says the fund was established to address the under- representation of Indigenous content creators in the Australian media landscape. She wants to see more brands actively platform Indigenous creators without being tokenistic.
“I am incredibly excited to be launching the Born Blak Fund to support Indigenous creatives and provide a platform that will offer support in an ongoing capacity,” says Winterbourn.
“It is obvious to me now, as I’m sure it is to many Australians, just how little I, and we as a nation, really understand about Indigenous culture in Australia. The Fund aims to give wings to the storytellers who represent their culture, craft or art, shine light on the issues, celebrate their wins and have a loud voice in Australia.”
Winterbourn also noticed that the interest from brands to improve their diversity picked up last year during the Black Lives Matter move- ment. After starting her own journey of understanding Indigenous issues, she also saw a huge influx of interest from brands that wanted to engage Indigenous creators but didn’t know where to start.
“A fund like this is incredibly urgent, and needs to be started sooner rather than later,” she says.
“We are seeing massive interest from brands, agencies and marketers who really want to empower, uplift, showcase and give a platform to Indigenous content creators, but they don’t know where to start.
“I have had so many conversations during the past 12 months, which is what has motivated me to join forces with Catharine Lumby to bring the Born Blak Fund to life. It’s
absolutely critical and while
the fund won’t solve
everything, it is a step in the
right direction. There is a lot
more work to be done, but I’m
excited to be able to do more
because I am very aware that
I absolutely need to.
“I am lucky to have the sup- port from so many brands, mar- keters and agencies — there are some incredible people and organisations involved who are keen to do more, too, and have already taken that step.”
       Yatu Widders Hunt

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