Spotify has dished out four podcasting grants as part of its first Sound Up Bootcamp Australia, its intensive learning program for Australian-based First Nations podcasters.

The project, unveiled last October and modelled on well-received initiatives in the U.K. and U.S., saw ten participants take a deep dive into podcast creation, story development and understanding their audience through a four-day workshop at Spotify Australia’s Sydney HQ.

After those November sessions, the participants submitted their podcast treatments, and, on Monday, the streaming giant announced its four lucky winners: Queenslander Stephen Bungabee Watt, community radio presenter and Brisbane local Bogaine Skuthorpe-Spearim, fellow Brisbanite Nicole Hutton and Narromine’s Rowdie Walden.

Prizes include a $5,000 sum to help produce podcast they’d worked on throughout the November “boot camp”, plus an editing webinar with digital content experts Hindenburg and mentoring sessions with industry professionals, as a leg up to “kick-start their journey,” reads a Spotify statement.

Each recipient’s podcast stood out for speaking to a diverse range of core issues surrounding First Nations social justice, communities, culture, and youth, and were selected by an expert panel featuring by Digital Executive Producer of NITV Radio Danny Teece-Johnson, ABC Radio Presenter Rhianna Patrick and Program Manager, The Drift Zone presenter, Gavin Ivey, and Jane Huxley, Spotify’s newly-promoted managing director for EMEA (then MD of AUNZ) .

Jane Huxley from Spotify
Jane Huxley from Spotify

There’s an opportunity for a bootcamp reunion later this year, when all ten podcasters will be invited to catch up in Sydney ahead of the Audiocraft Podcast Festival, and the winners will get a platform at the festival to show their skills and walk through their experiences.

All ten Sound Up Bootcamp Australia participants will return to Sydney for a reunion ahead of the Audiocraft Podcast Festival, and the four grant recipients will have a chance to showcase their work and talk about their experiences at the festival itself.