Publicis Groupe and Born Bred launch Born Blak to tackle underrepresentation of First Nation voices in media
Publicis Groupe (spearheaded by Publicis Groupe PR and influencer agency Herd MSL) and talent and influencer marketing agency Born Bred have teamed up to launch Born Blak (www.bornblak.com.au).
Born Blak is a long-term program that aims to reduce First Nations disadvantage and create opportunities for First Nations content creators who have been underrepresented in Australian marketing and communications for far too long.
The initiative will foster, educate and mentor emerging First Nations content creators, providing them with the skills and connections to increase their access to commercial opportunities.
The development of Born Blak has and will continue to be guided by the Born Blak Advisory Panel, which comprises of:
• Matty Mills, proud Gamilaraay/Kamilaroi man – TV presenter, actor, podcaster, and entertainment reporter for NiTV
• Yvonne Weldon, proud Wiradijuri woman – Australian local government politician, Deputy Chairwoman of Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
• Cody Schaeffer OAM, proud Quandamooka man – Australia’s youngest OAM recipient for 2023, Founder and Director of Borderline Australia, QLD Nominee Young Australian of the Year 2022, Brisbane’s 2020 Young Citizen of the Year, ex- radio presenter and mental health advocate
• Tom Forrest, proud Yorta Yorta man – ABC Kimberley Indigenous Trainee Features Reporter, film maker, content creator @outbacktom
• Tilly Langford, proud Gumbaynggirr woman – Student Ambassador & Gadigal Centre Assistant at The University of Sydney. ACTU TikTok Creator @YoungWorkers. Content Creator & Blak Activist
• Samuel Stubbs, proud Wangkatha man – WAFL player, Aboriginal Engagement Officer Perth Football Club, TikTok content creator @s.stubbs23
The Advisory Panel will provide specialised guidance throughout the ongoing development of Born Blak, will review program applications, support the shortlist process, and deliver ongoing consultancy on behalf of the First Nations community.
Launched today, Born Blak is seeking applications from emerging First Nations social media influencers and content creators who drive a robust First Nations perspective in their content, and have a determination to showcase Indigenous culture to a broad Australian audience. Applicants must be of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander descent, aged 18+, have a growing presence on social media and a vested interest in storytelling. More information on the program, including how to apply, can be found at bornblak.com.au.
Says Matty Mills, Born Blak Advisory Panel Member, and a reporter for NITV: “I’m thrilled to be part of Born Blak and continue my work of amplifying the voices and stories of First Nations mob across our country. Unfortunately, there continues to be a lack of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation across Australian Media, including in the online and social space. I believe Born Blak will help cultivate our unique stories and elevate the voices of an untapped pool of very talented First Nation storytellers. This is an opportunity to share the longest continuous culture with the rest of the world and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done to design a program that will help a new generation of mob do just that.”
Says Ash Jackson, proud Wuthathi woman and Head of First Nations Creator Development at Born Bred Talent: “Our overarching objective is to amplify Indigenous voices in mainstream media and facilitate greater access to Indigenous perspectives for consumers. For First Nations peoples, community ties have always been a vital source of resilience. We want to help honour this legacy, and Born Blak will be an important program to help prioritise storytelling and community-building, and increase First Nations creators’ awareness of the industry landscape.”
Says Skye Lambley, CEO of Herd MSL: “Research shows that 79% of Australians can’t name any brands that have featured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their campaigns. That’s a shocking reality, and as an industry we must recognise the need to do more to tackle this issue head on. Born Blak is an important initiative to address this chronic imbalance and an opportunity to help drive tangible commercial partnerships and monetisation opportunities for First Nations creators with Australia’s leading brands.”