About Us

The primary regional arts and cultural development service organisation to the Lower Hunter Regions of NSW.

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

Always was, always will be.

2017 'The Real World' panel presented at Critical Animals as part of This is Not Art. Photo: Justine Cogan
2017 ‘The Real World’ panel presented at Critical Animals as part of This is Not Art. Photo: Justine Cogan

Octapod works on a diverse range of creative initiatives and projects, supporting the unique cultural fabric of the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens and Cessnock regions that comprise the Lower Hunter. Our overall aim is to support growth in the Lower Hunter’s cultural sector, and to achieve this we work with individuals, small and large groups, emerging and established groups, government, education and business.

We help make little things big – and big things better. We do this by providing a range of supporting services to help cultural producers achieve their own goals. Support is provided through administrative infrastructure, such as auspicing a grant so you can access grant money, or providing insurance services so you can continue to work with confidence. We provide support in the form of developing networks through the Octapod Membership program. We also provide support in accessing free promotion of your services, by promoting your creative work through our social media channels and enewsletters, all free of charge.

All sounds pretty good doesn’t it! One way or another, Octapod has supported arts and culture for more than 20 years, with the support of local, state and federal government, as well as donors and Octapod Members.

The core values that underpin the projects we support and our partnerships are: innovation, inclusion, collaboration and sustainability. No matter what stage your creative project is currently sitting, we can help. Get in touch with us today.


For more than twenty years, Octapod has been the launching pad for hundreds of creative projects.

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

Octapod is governed by a board which guides the organisation’s strategic direction and financial management. 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 in our Lower Hunter region. 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.

Did you know – donations to Octapod are tax deductible and every dollar you donate supports the services we deliver. If you’re considering making a donation to Octapod, the please follow the link to our Donation page.

Octapod Membership

The Octapod Membership program provides connection to the Lower Hunter’s vibrant and diverse arts community, and is an important professional networking opportunity for artists, creatives and makers. Membership with Octapod starts from as little as $15 per year, and remember, 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.

Become an Octapod Member today and join the Lower Hunter’s most diverse artistic membership program, while also contributing to the cultural infrastructure of the Lower Hunter.


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.