Carly Davenport Acker was awarded the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Churchill Fellowship to travel to Canada, UK and USA to explore the use of Participatory Media toolkits by global Indigenous communities in bridging cultural, political and digital divides, conserve cultural diversity and build community leadership.
The Churchill Fellowship has enabled Carly to pursue the goal in identifying a participatory media (PM) and participatory learning in action (PLA) network of multidisciplinary practitioners and organisations. These entrepreneurs and enterprises operate with principles and values parallel to her own. She can now move forward in establishing bridges and connectivity between her work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples, projects and organisations and global indigenous nations. She has had the privilege to work and live with 35 diverse Aboriginal groups and their communities nationwide and facilitate cultural communication initiatives (exhibitions, educational and professional development programs, short films, and publications) with major state and national arts and cultural institutions.
Carly’s work traverses the not-for-profit sector, corporate donors and government and educational institutions. The creative industries (arts, media and storytelling) can successfully spearhead social change and enable local communities to partner with external agencies in developing two-way learning opportunities. Carly learnt this first hand whilst working for several years on Ngurra Kuju Walyja - One Country, One People - The Canning Stock Route Project3 (FORM and ten Aboriginal arts and cultural enterprises) and Yiwarra Kuju Exhibition project (FORM and the National Museum of Australia) as co-founder, project manager and co-curator. These insights encouraged the foundational basis for her Churchill research.
Today, as an independent curator and cultural producer, Carly manages a multidisciplinary and multifaceted consultancy that connects collaborative, intercultural and innovative minds to projects with heart: working to empower, enrich and inspire individuals and communities. InterMedia works at the intersection of arts, social justice and community development sectors through the fusion of culture, design, music and new media.
Carly’s goals are to bridge remote, regional and urban creative industries and livelihoods, encourage transformation and act as a catalyst for socio-cultural and environmental change. Carly also collaborates with Tim Acker of Tracker Development for specific research, development and evaluation projects across Australia. Through the Fellowship opportunity Carly has expanded her national network and identified new pathways of exchange, processes and working methodologies and partnerships.