The Story So Far

Shockwave Festival was born out of a Human Ventures and Blackall Tambo Regional Council partnership, previously called Creative Pathways. This initiative began in 2008 to help address significant issues within the region relating to the social and economic effects of drought as well as demographic changes and loss of young people to urban centres for education and employment. The program was set up to address these issues by developing creative industries in the region and supporting the vitality and viability of those communities via enterprise development. At every step the Shockwave Festival and Program has been scoped, developed and delivered with community members from the Central West region at the forefront of the decision making process. New additions and changes to the program are in direct response to diligent feedback and evaluation processes.

Each year, Shockwave produces outcomes based on three tiers of participation: Inspiration, Production and Advanced Development. These tiers comprise of workshops, showcases and advanced skills or enterprise development.

In addition, these key milestones have been achieved over the years…



Establishment of the Shockwave workshops and showcases in Blackall after 3 years of relationship building and creative program delivery in the region. Employment and mentoring of local staff.


1st Shockwave Festival, created by and for young people in the region! Extension of program to Longreach. 2high festival skills exchange. Event production workshops and mentoring. Local staff – Festival Co-ordinator appointed. Transport initiatives started to bring people from all over the region together.


Creation of The Design Hub – employment and mentoring for 2 young people in Blackall to establish their graphic design business. Extension of program to Alpha. Increase in workshop program and participants.


Extension of program to Tambo. Promoting the program to the region. Increase in partners and collaborators. Regular program workshops in each participating town (Blackall, Longreach and Winton) established. Growth of the Shockwave Festival. Winner of “Best Event” at Outback Tourism Awards.


Young Artsworker Program initiated. Focussed mentoring of young artists also initiated. Increase in program delivery (number of workshops and showcases and number of participants) to Barcaldine and Winton.


Further increase in program delivery. Shockwave Ambassadors Program initiated. Young Shockwave Co-ordination Crew initiated. Locally developed products and micro business further developed. Regional Co-ordination initiated : Early Transition phase. Mental Health training for arts workers initiated. Shockwave collaborates with Winton Outback Exhibition.


Local Shockwave Producer and Co-ordinator appointed. Brisbane based mentor appointed. Festival and program delivery predominantly delivered by regional staff with Brisbane based Human Ventures staff supporting. Shockwave collaborated with Winton Outback Exhibition for 2nd time – showcasing the work of young people from through the Central West Region. Mid Transition phase: MOUs and tripartite agreements with Winton, Longreach and Blackall/Tambo processed.


More than 2,800 young people have participated in free arts workshops and our legacy continues to grow. If you’d like to contribute to the Shockwave program, information on how you can support us is here.