Navigating an RADF grant

Birds of South East Queensland


As an emerging artist fresh out of art school, I was stoked to receive an Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant in 2021 thanks to Arts Queensland and the City of Gold Coast.


My journey began whilst completing an artist residency at the Hand Bent Banana Arts and Health Centre(HBB) in 2020. As luck would have it I was kindly offered mentorship in grant writing by Dr Karleen Gwinner the founder of the Centre. I was using the art studio at HBB, whilst studying a community art unit in my final year of a Visual Art Degree through the University of Canberra.


Coincidently I had just met Jeff Cheyenne the community arts director for Hands on Art (HOA) where Karleen had worked as a workshop facilitator in the 90s. In retrospect, this was a auspicious moment that has given my creative career a sense direction in such uncertain times.


In writing the grant I discussed opportunities with both organisations. Through the establishment of a partnership with HOA and HBB I was able to establish a pilot citizen science-art workshop programme for children which was adapted from the Birds of Brisbane workshops run by HOA. The goal was to expand the workshops with a focus on Birds South East Queensland and deliver quality art activities that contribute to creative conversations about conservation in South East Queensland.


Undertaking the project during the pandemic certainly threw a lot of learning opportunities into the mix. Covid restrictions meant that the project was delayed and other setbacks meant the delivery of the project had to be redesigned. Working closely with Jeff and Karleen the project was delivered to students at Ingleside State School. Ingleside is a small school nestled in the Hinterland environment along the Tallebudgera Creek.


A collaborative mural was created with the students to enhance a disused space ready to become an outdoor learning room for the school. It was an exciting project for me as I had never painted a mural before- nor facilitated 24 children to help paint it. I had great support and a fab team helping me :)


Sharing science knowledge and applying an arts approach to nature conservation was a big hit with the school. The students were immensely proud of the finished mural as am I.


- Tiarna Stevenson






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