The Victorian Independent Producers Initiative's (VIPI) Unlocking Capacity grants and Producers Mentorship Program support Victorian-based independent producers, and through them, independent artists and companies in the performing arts in Victoria, nationally and internationally. TNA manages both programs, with the Unlocking Capacity grants administered by Creative Victoria.


RECIPIENTS ROUND 1 (2020-2023)

Erin Milne

Bureau of Works

Erin is an accomplished independent producer whose company, Bureau of Works, is committed to fostering distinctive voices and ambitious ideas.

Heidi Everett

Heidi is an artist and experienced producer who draws on her own lived experience to support and promote artists with experience of diverse mental health and disability and those from the Deaf community.

Quiet Riot

Led by producer Linda Catalano

Quiet Riot describes itself as an activist production house committed to change.


RECIPIENTS ROUND 2 (2021-2024)

Sonya Suares

Sonya is an independent producer, director and theatre-maker with more than two decades of experience working in film, television and theatre.

Malia Walsh

Malia produces under the banner of Circus Trick Tease (CTT) and is based in the Macedon Ranges.

Kath Papas Productions

Kath is a creative producer and arts consultant. With special passions for dance and for fostering diversity, she thrives on working collaboratively with artists and organisations to realise exciing projects which push boundaries and break new ground.

Freya Waterson

Freya is an Independent Producer who supports numerous contemporary independent performance makers to build and maintain sustainable practices.

Producers Mentorship

PROGRAM COHORT 1 (2019-2022)

Kin Francis

Kin is a producer and writer who moves across art forms to create new work for social change; their practice is informed by experimentation, immediacy and collaboration.

Nilgün Güven

Nilgün is a Turkish-Australian based artist/producer and culture agent whose experimental and enquiry-based practice is concerned with the intersectionality of human rights, inclusion & access, aesthetic innovation and creative production.

Efren Pamilacan

Efren is a dance maker and emerging independent producer of Filipino heritage living on the unceded land of the Kulin nation.

Freya Waterson

Freya is an Independent Producer who supports numerous contemporary independent performance makers to build and maintain sustainable practices.

Marcia Ferguson

Marcia’s broad experience as a producer features artistically producing programs for Back to Back Theatre and Big West Festival, cultural producer for the City of Kingston, creative producer for Born in a Taxi (ongoing) and freelance producer of multidisciplinary artworks.

Naomi Velaphi

Naomi’s independent producing practice is driven by cultivating unique artistic relationships across disciplines with an interest in experimental performance practice and a focus on building the capacity of artists of colour working independently.

Natasha Phillips

Natasha works across multiple forms of contemporary, experimental theatre and dance with a growing engagement with the Chinese speaking region which is driven by her desire to strengthen cultural literacy within artistic practices and creative exchanges.

Erin Milne

Erin is an accomplished independent producer whose company, Bureau of Works, is committed to fostering distinctive voices and ambitious ideas. Her practice is deeply driven by a passion for contemporary and experimental art that speaks to the here and now.

Producers Mentorship

PROGRAM COHORT 2 (2020-2021)

Kuichiang “Kush” Tut Kuiy

Kush is a second generation Australian of South-Sudanese heritage. She brings her lived experience of suburban life to her producing practice, as a lifetime resident of the South-East of Melbourne- one of Australia’s most diverse, and fastest growing regions.

Eliki (Alec) Reade

Eliki is a person of kailoma-Fijian heritage and a settler, who seeks to interrogate their positionality on this vast and complex continent. Eliki is an emerging producer, artist, and community arts facilitator, who is invested in representations of autonomy within the Oceanic community.

Takashi Takiguchi

Takashi Takiguchi is an independent Creative Producer and an artist of Japanese heritage based in Naarm (Melbourne). Following a career as a social worker, he founded ImPermanence Productions in 2014.

Eva Sifis

Eva’s practice explores how circumstances affect other artists with Acquired Brain Injury. Eva also has a training business, By Accident, which brings together peers with Acquired Brain Injury through facilitated discussions and sharing “how to build A New You after injury”.

Steve Mayhew

Steve is passionate about supporting artists, venues and festivals who have diverse and contemporary approaches to making, curating and programming in regional contexts. Steve is investigating this approach with artists in regional Victoria, regional Australia, now-during-and-post COVID19.

Ade Djajamihardja

Diversity and inclusion are at the core of Ade’s purpose, identity and activity. Ade strives for both integrity of product and integrity of process. As a survivor of a near fatal stroke, Ade’s goal is to progressively evolve the attitudes of the mainstream with Disabled and non-disabled performers working alongside each other.

Tegan Nash

Tegan’s producing practice traverses both dance and the visual arts across regional and metropolitan communities. Currently situated in regional Victoria, Tegan is striving to develop a practice that is responsive to the particular needs of artists working in these areas and which acts to both serve and challenge the interests of audiences living in these communities.

Lana Nguyen

Lana Nguyen is a producer, curator and community arts worker interested in site-specific, experimental, context-driven work. Interested in the space where community and contemporary practice align, she looks to create work that drives conversation, complex thought and connection. She works by listening, asking questions and through collaboration with others.

Victorian Independent Producers Initiative (VIPI) Producers

The Victorian Independent Producers Initiative (VIPI) supports independent producers, and through them, independent artists and companies in the performing arts, based in Victoria.

Producers Mentorship

PROGRAM COHORT 3 (2021-2022)


Applicants to Round 2 of Unlocking Capacity,  please note:

It takes approximately 12 weeks from the closing date until funding results are available. Round 2 closed on Thursday 17 September at 5pm AEST.

There will be one final round of the Unlocking Capacity grant in early 2021.


The Victorian Independent Producers Initiative (VIPI) supports independent producers, and through them, independent artists and companies in the performing arts, based in Victoria.

This initiative has been designed in consultation with the Victorian independent performing arts sector, specifically independent producers, with input from other key stakeholders across the Victorian creative industries.

VIPI is an initiative of the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, delivered in partnership with Theatre Network Australia.


Through supporting independent producers, this initiative aims to:

  • Improve career and development opportunities for independent producers to increase their numbers and capacities, and the sustainability of independent producing practices;
  • Increase the number of Victorian-based independent artists and companies who are working with independent producers;
  • Improve the sustainable practice of Victorian-based independent artists and companies, locally and globally;
  • Build the diversity of independent producers working in Victoria, both the diversity of representation (e.g. First Peoples, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people, People of Colour, Deaf and Disabled and people based regionally) and the diversity of practice / curation;
  • Increase the reputation of Victoria and Victorian producers – internationally and nationally; and
  • Increase the amount of work represented by Victorian producers through market development opportunities


VIPI is made up of three core components:

  • The Producers Mentorship Program

The Producers Mentorship Program suits people who already have some producing experience in the performing arts and want to be part of a group learning environment to explore new models of independent producing. Round 2 is a 12-month program from August 2020 – August 2021, for up to 8 individual independent producers. There will be bespoke relationships in pairs or small groups, along with monthly group sessions with all participants.

  • The Unlocking Capacity Grant

A multi-year grant of up to $35,000 per annum for a maximum of three years for independent producers of performing arts who have a minimum three years of experience and who  dedicate at least 50% of their time to their independent producing practice. Noting the significant impacts the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had, applicants can apply based on their work history pre-pandemic. Recipients will need to demonstrate how the grant will support their independent producing practice and provide professional support of Victorian-based independent artists and independent companies.

  • The Salon Series

The Salon Series will bring together groups of people already involved in VIPI and provide an access point to VIPI for those outside of the program. The Salon Series will include professional development sessions, networking and peer learning for the independent performing arts sector. The series will respond to the most urgent skill requirements and provide a forum for conversations that the sector needs to be engaging in.

The initiative aligns closely with Creative State – Victoria’s First Strategy for the Creative Industries, in further increasing State Government support and investment in the independent creative sector.


For under-represented applicants into the VIPI program who have lived experiences as First Peoples, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and/or People of Colour, Deaf and/or Disabled people and/or people based regionally:

Please contact the VIPI Program Producer, Rani Pramesti on

to discuss additional support that you can receive in preparing your application.


For more information, please find the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) below and/or contact the VIPI Program Producer, Rani Pramesti on

Aïsha Trambas

Aïsha is an Afro-Greek artist and arts worker who lives on Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung land. She enjoys making zines, writing poems, painting, sometimes performing, and trying to figure out what she's meant to be doing here. From 2018-2019 Aïsha was the Program Coordinator of the Emerging Writers’ Festival. Aïsha has performed at Yirramboi Festival, Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Arts House, Testing Grounds, Melbourne Fringe Festival and elsewhere. 

Charice Rust

Charice is Co-Artistic Director of contemporary circus company One Fell Swoop Circus through which she combines her passion for innovative expression and considered ideas to create powerful physical performances. She is passionate about growing the practice of circus producing in order to support the careers of circus artists and companies. 

Ching Ching Ho

Ching Ching is an independent director and producer, born and raised in Hong Kong, living and working on the unceded lands of Kulin Nation in Naarm (Melbourne). Her practice has a focus on intercultural dialogue and collaboration, cultural translation, multilingual writing and framework in theatre and contemporary performance. 

Jenny Gay

Jenny has over 2 decades of experience managing not-for-profit arts organisations and local government venues, events and arts teams. She launched her own company - Packed House Productions - in 2018, and is currently working with Trash Puppets, Fusion Theatre and a variety of cabaret and comedy performers.

Luke Morris

After decades of writing and preforming comedy in Australia and overseas, Luke is now the lead producer for the Bendigo Comedy Festival, Movember Comedy Fundraiser and Women of Wit series of stand-up comedy nights, and works to foster comedy and social wellbeing throughout regional Victoria.

Melody Shotade

Inclusive Creative Independent Producer of The Demographic Dance OFF Collective. Melody's focus is contemporary experimental performance art and dance. She consults with artists on embedding physical stories with “creative access” to inform new, interactive and inclusive performances. 

Monique Grbec

Monique (she/they) is a child of the Stolen Generations living on Bunurong Wurundjeri Country. A multidisciplinary artist with a film production background she is interested in identity, the generational effects of institutionalisation and the White Australia Policy. She is currently an Emerging Producer at Blak & Bright, and is working on The Wall Remix, a First Nations reinterpretation of Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock opera The Wall.

Ripley Kavara

Ripley (he/them) is a transdisciplinary practitioner with a deep grounding in music forms destined to be liberatory. Born in Papua New Guinea and living in so-called Melbourne, they embody an artistic practice that is generative, community based and attuned to a sense of place where they create and commune on Wurundjeri Country. They have 7 years of practice drawing on their expertise as a musician, producer, DJ, educator, event organiser, youth worker, mentor and project lead. They are currently developing a presentation of new works with their music collective 'FAMILI' at Arts House in 2022.