National Indigenous Arts Awards

The 2018 National Indigenous Arts Awards 

The 2018 National Indigenous Arts Awards celebrate the significant contribution of First Nations artists to the vibrancy of Australian arts, and celebrate the work and achievements of both established and emerging artists.

This year’s recipients join an impressive alumni of First Nations artists and leaders, who have been recognised for excellence in their work.

Congratulations to the 2018 National Indigenous Arts Awards recipients:

Thomas E.S. Kelly – The Dreaming Award (for emerging artists aged 18-26 years)

Mrs Mavis Ngallametta and Mr John Mawurndjul AM – The Red Ochre Award (for lifetime achievement)

Hetti Perkins– The 2018 Australia Council Fellowship (for established artists, supporting creative activity and professional development for up to two years)

The 2018 National Indigenous Arts Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday 27 May at 4.00pm and will be live streamed through our website and Facebook.

About the Awards

The Dreaming Award

The Dreaming Award was established in 2012 to recognise an inspirational young artist aged 18-26 years and support the opportunity for them to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships, either nationally or internationally. 

The successful candidate is mentored in their chosen discipline (music, dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, new media, and cultural vibrancy) by another established professional artist or by an arts institution nominated by the artist. In addition, the Australia Council will promote the achievements of the recipient to inspire other young artists.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy Panel will base their selection on the following considerations:

  • A project idea/concept
  • Artistic merit of the project
  • Cultural integrity of the project
  • Professional development benefits of the project for the individual and the art form involved
  • Experience of the artists and/or arts workers involved, with skills appropriate to the project.


The Red Ochre Award

The prestigious Red Ochre Award was established by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board in 1993 to pay tribute to a senior Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person for their outstanding lifetime achievement in the arts and their contribution to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, both nationally and internationally.

The Red Ochre Award now includes recognition of both an outstanding senior male artist and an outstanding senior female artist. Nominations for senior artists are accepted from arts and community organisations and individuals. Senior artists may not nominate themselves and nominations may only be made for a living artists. Awards will not be given posthumously.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy Panel will be selecting the male and female award recipients and will take into account the artists’ outstanding lifetime achievement and contribution to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
  • Artistic leadership
  • Arts practice


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