BLAK Lounge is a designated First Nations-only space that will be open daily at the Gathering. During the duration of the lounge there will be a series of curated and informal industry conversations and cultural activities with guest industry co-hosts to guide and hold the space alongside the First Nations Lead Producer, Mayella Koroi.

The Lounge will be free of charge and a valuable networking resource inclusive of all identifying International Indigenous and First Peoples who are seeking a culturally safe platform for professional development, mentoring and community support. It is an opportunity for participants to build and sustain networking relationships pre and post APAM gatherings.



Open to First Nations producers and self producing artists, this program brings together a network to share knowledge, expertise and build connections nationally and internationally.

The program will cover topics including multi-artform markets, key hubs for artistic exchange, and First Nations to First Nations networks. Participants will also have the opportunity to hone their market development plans in preparation for the APAM Gathering.

Designed specifically for all levels of skill and expertise and scheduled at times suitable for delegates within Australian, New Zealand and Canadian time zones, the program will be delivered digitally live via Zoom and on our APAM gathering platform Swapcard.


The First Nations Industry Program is open to First Nations and Indigenous-identifying producers and self-producing artists. Successful participants will be selected from Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Turtle Island/Canada will receive a complimentary registration to attend the APAM Gathering at RISING Festival and can choose to register in person or digitally.

EOIs open – Fri 14 April
EOIs close – Mon 1 May
Notifications – Fri 5 May

Please contact Mayella Koroi with any queries, on



Navigating a marketplace takes experience, especially as we all learn how best to engage internationally in the digital realm, and adjust to the rapid changes in our sector over the last year. In 2023, APAM is continuing its long-running First Timers program for first time attendees to provide guidance, support and tools to enhance your experience of the APAM Gathering at Darwin Festival.

Through this program First Timers experience deeper engagement in the Gathering and an expanded network, as well as confidence and strategic approaches towards national and international engagement.

The program will include guest speakers on effective digital and in person engagement, market intelligence, and long-term thinking in the current environment, as well as practical workshopping in small groups. First Timers will be part of the Digital Gathering program, so you can be part of it wherever you are located. There will also be an additional session in Melbourne for those attending in person


First Timers is open to Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and international participants who have an active artistic practice as an Artist/Maker, Producer or Presenter in your own country and have not attended APAM before. A delegate pass must be purchased online by 17 May 2023 in addition to the completion of the EOI form.

EOIs open – Fri 14 April
EOIs close – Wed 17 May
Notifications – Wed 24 May

If you have any queries about First Timers, please email

The First Nations Industry Program and First Timers are supported by Creative New Zealand, the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney, and Canadian Heritage.