Publicis Groupe and Born Bred ‘recognise the need to do more’ with First Nations talent program

Publicis Groupe has partnered with talent and influencer marketing agency, Born Bred, to launch a new training and education program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content creators. The program will be called  ‘Born Blak’.

The long-term initiative will be led by Publicis Groupe PR’s agency Herd MSL and aims to reduce First Nations disadvantage by creating opportunities for content creators who have been underrepresented in Australian marketing.

Born Blak Advisory Panel members with Born Bred’s Clare Winterbourn and Herd MSL’s Skye Lambley

The program will educate and mentor emerging First Nations content creators, providing them with skills and connections to increase their access to commercial opportunities.

Creators will be led by the Born Blak Advisory Panel who will provide specialised guidance, review applications, support shortlisting processes and deliver ongoing consultancy on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The panel consists of TV presenter and NITV entertainment reporter, Matty Mills (Gamilaraay/Kamilaroi man); Deputy Chairwoman of Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Yvonne Weldon (Wiradijuri woman); Cody Schaeffer OAM, founder and director of Borderline Australia and Brisbane’s 2020 Young Citizen of the Year (Quandamooka man); Tom Forrest, ABC Kimberley Indigenous Trainee Features Reporter and content creator (Yorta Yorta man); content creator and Blak activist, Tilly Langford (Gumbaynggirr woman) and Samuel Stubbs, WAFL player, content creator and Aboriginal Engagement Officer at Perth Football Club (Wangkatha man).

The panel will select up to ten First Nations creators for its first year.

Panel member, Matty Mills, said: “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,” he added.

Born Bred’s Ash Jackson, head of First Nations creator development and Wuthathi woman, said: “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.”

Herd MSL CEO, Skye Lambley, said the industry needs to improve its inclusion of First Nations creators.

“Research shows that 79% of Australians can’t name any brands that have featured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their campaigns,” she said. “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.”

Born Blak is seeking applications from First Nations content creators who are determined to showcase Indigenous culture to a broad Australian audience.

If interested, creators can apply and find more information at


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