First Nations

2024 TRUTH TELLING research residency (First Nations program)

Calling First Nations dance makers!

Do you have a truth-telling project or idea which needs dedicated, supported research time, both in and out of the studio?

Through partnering with AIATSIS and connecting you with the Collections Department – First Nations at Powerhouse Museum, Critical Path’s First Nations Truth Telling Research Residency is designed to support your research and choreographic exploration of a truth telling idea.

The history, tradition and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their experiences of injustices following colonisation has been largely unknown to Australians. (Parliament of Australia)

As artists, we can use our work to Truth-Tell and change this.

What do YOU want to uncover the truth on?

  • Family History
  • Connecting to Culture
  • Re-telling historical events from First Nations
  • A moment in colonisation
  • How current issues affect you as a First Nations person.




Who are we looking for?

  • First Nations artists, with an artistic practice connected to dance.
  • Applicants who have a connection to NSW through Songlines, Culture, family, home or story; however all First Nations applications are encouraged and will be considered.

EOI closes: 11pm Saturday 3rd August 2024
Artist notified: Tuesday 20th August 2024

Residency dates:

  • Research room and archives: 21 – 29 September
  • Drill Hall: 30 September – 5 October

What do we offer?

  • Guided access to relevant archives with Powerhouse Museum’s First Nations collections access co-ordinator
  • Guided access to relevant archives with assistance from a dedicated staff member at AIATSIS (online, phone or in person)
  • Financial support to stay in Canberra to access specific areas of AIATSIS
  • One week access to Critical Path’s research room
  • One week access to the Drill Hall for choreographic exploration
  • $3,000 artist fee
  • Travel and accommodation where appropriate

Selection Process:

  • A panel of First Nations practitioners will select one participant.
  • Apply before 11pm Saturday 3 August. Artists will be notified by 20 August.
  • Soon after the 20 August, we will set up a meeting with the selected artist and the archives guide from AIATSIS, to begin the archive retrieval and Cultural permissions process. The artist will be required at this meeting, and we will work with you and AIATSIS to find the most suitable time.

More Information:

Not sure if your project/idea/concept is a Truth Telling one? Or need assistance in filling out the form? Please contact Jasmin Sheppard (First Nations Artist Curator) at Critical Path with any of your queries via email [email protected]

Please let us know if you would prefer to apply in a different format or if there is any barrier for you in the submission process. Additional support to assist with access requirements is possible, please get in touch with Jasmin via the email to find out more.


I recommend this residency to any artist that wants to find their truth – it’s raw it’s real and it was my families truth. Truths are important. It starts with your ancestors, and filters through you – their stories run through your blood and become your stories. Knowing or finding out who my ancestors are makes me feel proud and makes me want to step up and tell our stories. I know who I am. (2023 Truth Telling resident Henrietta Baird who researched archival documents of her family records and language archives)


What is Truth Telling?

Find some examples of truth-telling projects here:



Truth Telling residency is a part of Critical Path First Nations program titled HOLDING SPACE curated by Jasmin Sheppard. This program is supported by the NSW government through Create NSW.


Image credit: Jasmin Sheppard, ‘The Complication of Lyrebirds’. Photo by Luke Currie Richardson.

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Critical Path

The Drill, 1C New Beach Rd,
Darling Point (Rushcutters Bay), Sydney