Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Idol winner gets council grant for her next album

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Idol winner gets council grant for her next album


An Australian Idol winner was among the local artists to receive a funding boost

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Maleny local Natalie Gauci is among 11 Sunshine Coast region creative arts workers to share in more than $65,000 in Regional Arts Development Funding (RADF).

The 2007 Australian Idol winner received $5,000 for the development of her new album, Pictures of Mars.

Other successful applications were for music and theatre development, as well as a diverse range of screen and interdisciplinary projects.

Podcasting was a popular area with two projects netting more than $14,000 in funding.

Natalie Gauci moved to Maleny where she lives with her son.

Natalie who was also a contestant in The Voice in 2020 said the album was in the early development stages and would comprise nine songs for release over a four-month period alongside an online TV show and launch event in Caloundra on 28 February.

“I will be writing, producing, arranging and recording these new songs at my home studio in Maleny, where I hope to create music that brings joy and lifts people’s spirits,” Ms Gauci said.

Sunshine Coast Council Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said The Regional Arts Development Fund was a great way to support our thriving local arts industry.

Cr Baberowski said Council held three RADF grant rounds each year, with the latest round of applications attracting 22 diverse applications.

“The range of applicants and project ideas showcases the depth of arts practice and creative endeavours in our region and the many ways these activities can enrich our lives.

“The calibre of applications is really developing well and is genuinely exciting, so thank you to all the applicants and congratulations to those awarded funding. I look forward to seeing many of them come to fruition,” Cr Baberowski said.

A full list of recipients is available on council’s website at

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. 

There are five funding categories available and three rounds, closing March 1,  July 1 and November 1.

Individual Development – $750 within Australia and $1,500 international. Funding to attend or present at professional development seminars, conferences, activities or appropriate arts events

Mentorship – Up to $5,000 Funding is for local artists to engage in significant short-term development activities with a suitably qualified mentor or established practitioner

Concept Development – Up to $5,000 One-off funding to assist in the research and/or preliminary development of ideas for new projects

Project – Up to $10,000 One-off funding for new, fully developed or established projects.

Seed – up to $10,000 first year, up to $5,000 second year and up to $2,500 third year. For organisations only. Up to three years of funding for projects with a strong prospect of commercial success in the long term

For more information and to apply, visit council’s website or contact council’s creative arts team on 5420 8800 and ask to speak with the RADF Liaison Officer.