About Us

Octapod is a not-for-profit organisation offering business services, funding and opportunities to
experimental and emerging artists to create and showcase their art.

We acknowledge the places where we work as the unceded lands of Awabakal, Worimi, Wonnarua and Darkinyung peoples.

Always was, always will be.

Person adjusting dials on a switchboard on a table outside a shop.
This is Not Art February 2021 performance

Our vision is to help every creative take off or take a risk.

Our mission is to provide professional services, support and investment for experimental and emerging artists and arts workers across disciplines in the Hunter region so they can make art and learn the business as they grow.

We do our work for experimental, emerging and independent artists and arts workers including art academics, students, researchers, critics, writers and thinkers in the Hunter – Newcastle, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Cessnock.

We’re redesigning ourselves this year and next to better serve the needs of the artistic community in our area.

Read how in our 2021-2022 Octapod Strategic Plan.


Octapod was founded in Newcastle Australia, as an informal collective in 1996 by a group of artists and students who liked the idea of a public access media space – where people could create and browse interesting and unusual, non-mainstream media (Healy, 2005).

It was conceived as an incubator and a form of infrastructure to enable independent creative projects to get off the ground. Initially known as The POD, Octapod was formally incorporated as an organisation in 1997. Founders included Damien Frost, Sean Healy, Aaron Bristow and Marcus Westbury.

For more than twenty years, Octapod has been the launching pad for dozens of emerging artists, curators, arts administrators and hundreds of innovative community led creative projects have found their feet.

Our Board

The Board is made up of dedicated individuals with expertise in strategic, financial, marketing and business management, a commitment to Octapod’s values and a passion for our community cultural development work in the region.


Benefaction is a crucial revenue stream to support the low-cost and free services that Octapod provides. Our donors – aside from just being generally amazing, altruistic, awesome human beings – see the value we provide to the Lower Hunter creative community, and like us, recognise that a little bit of help goes a long way.

Donations to Octapod are tax deductible and every dollar you donate supports the services we deliver.

Octapod Membership

Membership with Octapod starts from as little as $15 per year and the income from our membership program helps enable us to provide our services for the community.

Our Supporter level membership ($30 per year) and any membership type thereafter, opens up access our administrative infrastructure services of auspicing and insurance, and memberships are open to individuals and organisations.


We love working with volunteers to achieve mutually beneficial goals, finding a program of work that will give you experience in the creative sector, and we can continue to keep contributions high and costs low to the creative community we service.