Introducing Nathan and Tully! First Nations Mental Health Instructors

February 7, 2022

MakeShift is delighted to have awarded 2 x First Nations Mental Health First Aid Instructor Scholarships to Nathan Leslie and Tully de Vries

These two powerhouse people are artists, educators, facilitators, and are passionate about building the capacity of community in mental health. They both join the MakeShift team to undergo training to become Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Instructors for the creative industry and beyond.

Mental Health First Aid is nationally accredited training that skills up members of the public to know how to notice, respond to, and support others if they are struggling with mental health issues. Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid brings essential cultural norms and perspectives to this community education, and it is an incredible asset for the creative sector to skill up trainers and educators with this knowledge, expertise alongside their experience in working as a creative in Australia.

MakeShift has delivered Mental Health First Aid training to thousands of people across Australia, and we are so excited to work with Nathan and Tully to grow the education of people in communities and creative organisations from a First Nations perspective. MakeShift will be funding both Nathan and Tully's fees to undergo Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training, another second Instructor accreditation, plus provide paid contract work over 12 months to deliver courses online and face to face.

Keep your eyes peeled for later in 2022 when Nathan and Tully are accredited to deliver this training in person, online and in your community.


Tully De Vries is a Gamilaroi and Dharug single mum and multi-disciplinary artist, with a strong focus on contemporary First Nations arts and cultural expression through dance, fine art and poetry. During her time as an artist Tully has exhibited in group and solo shows, and her work is held in both private and public collections.

Tully’s work explores the cross section between Gamilaroi spirituality and her interest in the big questions of life, death and her metaphysical connection to the universe. She has worked closely with the education systems in Queensland and NSW to create bespoke programs and activities for young people that explore arts, crafts and First Nations cultural identities.

She has developed projects and networks with community arts organisations, dance groups, festivals and has a wealth of experience running artistic workshops for people with disability. Tully has also produced and managed programs alongside Rhoda Roberts on the Dreaming Festival and Boomerang at Blues Fest in addition to her more bespoke community arts programs. Tully’s current photographic series is an in depth catalogue of roadkill across the Upper Hunter Valley that explores the deep visceral nature of death and decay in the Colony.

Tully is also the co-host of the new Awesome Black podcast Trash Tiddas alongside Brooke Scobie and Amy Farrell.


Nathan Leslie, (cultural name::Yurrandaali) is a descendant of the Gamilaroi, Mandandanji, Awabakal/Wonnarua and Wiradjuri peoples of NSW and QLD.

Nathan is a trained dancer and cultural arts worker. He is passionate about creating change and empowering people through creative arts and cultural practice. His work has been focused on for the past 10years working with young peoples, community groups and organisations by sharing knowledge and skills with people/organisations/communities to empower themselves with skills and processes to face and overcome the challenges they may face in their lives or communities and/or work environments.

He currently feels a need to have more awareness and training around the field of mental and social health and well being and sees this as a great opportunity to grow and learn more skills on a personal level which will hopefully in turn lead to better outcomes for not only his own mob but other mob and communities across Australia and abroad.