Octapod works to support a diverse and thriving arts and cultural sector in the Lower Hunter region. We focus on providing leadership to the region’s arts and cultural sector and creative communities through capacity building and cultural development initiatives.


We deliver services such as auspicing and mentoring to help artists secure grants and manage projects effectively.

We provide resources such as information, advice, and support through our Culture Hunter website, enquiry service and various Enewsletters.

We create connections – leading in creating networks, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

We offer a Membership Program that offers advice to artists plus other benefits.

Through our role as This is Not Art (TiNA) Producer we provide infrastructure support to one of Australia’s leading emerging arts festivals.

We have worked successfully with local councils, arts organisations, community members and artists to deliver professional and sector development programs that are tailored to the needs of local creative sectors across the Lower Hunter.

Examples of our work includes:

  • Producing TiNA for 20+ years in Newcastle
  • Providing organisational mentoring to the Artist Run Initiative Newcastle (ARIN) (Visual Arts), Inside Out (Visual Arts, Maitland) and Write Up! (Writing, Newcastle)
  • Presenting The Storm Creative Exchange – a partnership between Octapod and Open Cage Ensemble, an inclusive theatre group, that delivered a community arts residency at Nobbys Beach in Newcastle
  • Community Cultural Development and Grant Writing Workshops in Wyong
  • Smart Arts Community Consultation and Professional Development Workshops in Port Stephens
  • Access and Inclusion in the Arts Community Forum in Port Stephens and Maitland
  • ‘Inside Out’ Creative Community Consultation, Inclusive Professional Development and Networking in Maitland


What people say about working with us:

“The partnership between Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) and Octapod started out as a pilot project, but our alliance has become embedded in each of our artistic programs across multiple platforms with broad ranging outcomes, none more important than increasing the capacity of our Gallery to be more inclusive, relevant and giving. As a result we each stand more resilient, proud and connected to our communities.” 

Brigette Uren, Cultural Director, Maitland Regional Art Gallery

“Critical Animals [part of TiNA] is doing an incredible job of engaging emerging professionals in the arts, media, and research communities in particular, it provides an encouraging, yet academically and artistically rigorous, environment for students at all levels to develop confidence, ideas, and collaborations that inject enthusiasm into academic communities. Keep up the good work!” Critical Animals artist 2016

I came to Octapod at the nadir of my depression. I had landed a disability from a career, and felt unable to pick up any thread of my previous existence. It felt like Octapod listened and participated…they were making programs with us and by us…I love this ‘doing it together’…that led to a lot for me. It has been real growth, not just something to keep us out of the house in the day.” Kerri Shying, Artist, Writer, Recipient of the Writing NSW Early Career Writer Grant 2017

CONTACT US to discuss how Octapod can best support your creative and professional skills development or be of service to you, your organisation or community.

Photo: 2017 Write Up Artist Run Initiative meeting. Photo: Justine Cogan