Legislative Council: Wednesday, April 10, 2024


Cerulean Creative Studios

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (15:09): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Can the minister please update the council on his recent visit to the Cerulean studio?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:09): I thank the honourable member for his question. It's a question about an IT creative studio, Cerulean studios. I know the honourable member is very well regarded for his digital skills and is very interested in this area. Members may smile, but I think it was one of the areas of study of the Hon. Reggie Martin at university—matters relating to IT—so if anyone has questions about that for their office, Reggie is generally pretty good at being a helpdesk. So just go to Reggie. Tell him I sent you, and you will be fine.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Adelaide-based Cerulean Creative Studios, which is a First Nations Australian digital development studio and exists to assist businesses navigating their digital visualisations from concept to reality. Founded in 2020 by two Aboriginal men, Arthur Ah Chee and Brenz Saunders, Cerulean excels in the creation of augmented reality, virtual reality and video game projects across a diverse range of industries.

Cerulean differentiates itself through Arthur and Brenz bringing a unique perspective to their work, championing cultural diversity and storytelling in digital media. Arthur has experience in the gaming development industry, which includes project credits to well-known games like the Call of Duty franchise. He is also the co-founder of the Adelaide game development Discord, which assists the community of over 1,000 developers in South Australia to stay connected and facilitate networking and share events. Brenz Saunders is an up-and-coming Aboriginal leader in South Australia and has extensive experience in the technology space. Many would know Brenz as the current chair of Tauondi Aboriginal Community College.

Cerulean is currently operated out of a shared space and is part of the Adelaide Coordinate Labs (ACOLAB). This arrangement enables collaboration and partnership with other South Australian independent game development studios. This has led to a partnership to provide a range of project governance, execution, training and capability growth to a wide range of clients.

Cerulean's potential has already been recognised in the industry and is shown by their recent success in winning a grant from Screen Australia's Emerging Gamemakers Fund. This funding will enable Cerulean to move into the next stages of game development with their game Crimson Cutlass. Built in-house, Crimson Cutlass is a two-player cooperative multiplayer game and is set in a post-apocalyptic ocean thousands of years into the future. If it sounds difficult to explain, it is even more difficult to play, as I found out having a very poor go, trying to relive my long distant childhood by playing Crimson Cutlass.

I would like to thank Cerulean Creative Studios on the opportunity to visit their workspace and get an insight into the current project. I congratulate them on all they have achieved to date, and I look forward to seeing them progress to become the premier First Nations gaming and visualisation studio not just in Australia but across the globe.