Jesse Cox (Photo credit: Will Reichelt).
Filmmakers, performers, musicians, journalists, writers and other creatives who have stories to tell are being encouraged to apply for the inaugural $20,000 Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship.
The fellowship honours the memory of Cox, a Walkley Award-winning radio producer with a passion for storytelling, who died in December 2017, aged 31, from a rare soft tissue cancer.
He left behind his partner Que Minh Luu, now an executive producer at ABC TV, and their young son Alfie.
Amazon’s Audible.com.au, where Cox was head of original content, has donated $20,000 which will fund the first year of the fellowship, helping a mid-career Australian storyteller to create an innovative audio work.
The recipient will get mentoring and guidance from Audible’s marketing and content teams while the ABC will provide production training, creative development mentoring and editorial support plus access to specialised equipment and services.
Audio content developed through the fellowship will be eligible for distribution by Audible.com.au and on ABC platforms.
The initiative’s future is guaranteed for several years after more than $90,000 was donated in crowd-funding via the Australian Cultural Fund managed by Creative Partnerships Australia.
Que Minh tells IF: “The fellowship is open to anyone from any creative discipline who is interested in telling stories in audio. Podcasting in particular offers huge potential for storytellers.
“Jesse was all about giving opportunities to new and diverse voices. One day we were talking about hypotheticals and he said he would like to set up a scholarship for audio people.
“He’d be so proud to see this fellowship come to life, embarrassed by all the attention and full of ideas of how we could make it work better. The fellowship will establish his legacy long into the future.”
During his career he developed innovative programming for Sydney’s FBi Radio and ABC RN, where he shone a light on uniquely Australian stories.
The board and selection panel includes Que Minh, Clare Holland (Redbull), Kali Reid (Matchbox Pictures), Evan Kaldor (Kinderling), Sophia Zachariou (Bunya Productions), Jess Bineth (Audiocraft), Eliza Sarlos (ex FBi and Underbelly Arts), Scott Spark (ABC), Benjamin Law (The Family Law), Ping Lo (digital consultant) and Matthew Gain (Audible).
Law met Cox about six years ago and became close friends with him and Que Minh. “He was such a multi-tasker; his motto was ‘let’s get this shit done,’” Law says.
“We often talked about collaborating on projects. Part of my grief in losing Jesse is that we never got to make something.”
The first recipient is expected to be named in October. The call-out for applications is now open for 2019 at jcaf.org.au.