Creative Voices in time of Coronavirus: Muticultural Arts Victoria

Dunyia Behter logo

Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) has received a grant of $1 million to conduct new programs, one of which will be in Shepparton.

The two new programs, Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve, made possible with $1 million in funds from the Victorian Government’s recent Priority Response to Multicultural Communities During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Program, focus on building digital content skills, generating new community specific forms of transmission, and developing creative enterprise models. 

These programs will create significant employment opportunities and position young people, women and creatives from culturally diverse backgrounds living in Melbourne, Bendigo and Shepparton.

Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve respond to current data on the impacts of COVID-19, of the need for visibility, connection and self-determination for women, youth and creatives from culturally diverse communities – to shape the narratives of their lived experiences and the policy responses to their diverse circumstances.  

Both Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve, provide novel solutions for known communication and content development barriers and challenges facing culturally diverse communities, enabling communities to better protect themselves from the impacts of COVID-19 and to lead creative solutions to future challenges arising from the pandemic. 

In Shepparton, the delivery partner for Duniya Behter will be Point of Difference Studio, a self-determined space and community development organisation for local people of colour. POD Studio Co- founder and Director Mellisa Silaga is excited to see this injection of funding from the Victorian Government and to work in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria. 


Dunyia Behter logo
Mellisa says, “This injection of funding couldn’t have come at a better time for Shepparton and we are so excited to be partnering with Multicultural Arts Victoria to deliver this work. 

With so much of our community in quarantine right now, we are struggling. We are all feeling COVID fatigue, we are tired of anxiety inducing messaging, of lockdowns and having to work reactively. 

Duniya Behter has created a spark of hope and an opportunity to shift our focus to a brighter and more empowered future, especially for our women and young people of colour who’ve been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, but who’ve also rallied together to keep our communities strong and safe. 

Through this investment we feel acknowledged and uplifted. The project is creating exciting opportunities for our women to transform their inherent creative and entrepreneurial skills into new self-sustaining enterprises, and it will grow a new digitally sophisticated workforce of young people who can keep our communities connected locally and globally. 

I can see that the impact of this work will live well beyond the project itself.”

With practices of self-determination and co-design at their heart, Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve, will provide much needed investment and support for culturally diverse women, youth and creatives, to explore ways in which they may extend their capabilities for new models of self-employment and effective communications, using digital platforms in culturally nuanced ways.  

Read more about Duniya Behter – and sign up – here

Read more about Ahead of the Curve – and sign up – here


Point of Difference Studio staff
Point of Difference Studio staff (l-r) Ree Peric, Abigail Simaika, Emmanuel Vagana, Jonathan Safari and Betul Tuna. Photo by Anita Larkin.



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