National Indigenous Arts Awards

Nominations for the 2019 National Indigenous Arts Awards are now closed

The 2019 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.

The 2018 recipients join an impressive alumni of First Nations artists and leaders, who have been recognised for excellence in their work.

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

MrsWaal-Waal 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)

Young and Emerging Dreaming Award

The Dreaming Award was established in 2012 to support an inspirational young artist aged 18-26 years to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships. The mentor/partner will be another established professional artist or arts institution nominated by the artist.

The Dreaming Award is self-nominated and you can apply by submitting an Expression of Interest. It does not count as one of the three grant applications that can be submitted throughout the year to the Australia Council Grant Programs.

Amount: $20,000

Assessment criteria

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy Panel assess the application based on the following assessment criteria:

· the strength of the project concept

· the artistic merit of the concept

· the cultural integrity of the project

· professional development benefits for the individual and the art form involved

· experience of the artists and/or arts workers involved, with skills appropriate to the project.

What to expect in the application

You will need the following for your application:

·  a brief summary of the project (100 characters or less)

·  detailed description (8000 characters or less) explaining:

·  what you plan to do

·  how you plan to do it 

·  its aims and expected outcomes

·  why this project is important as a young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artist.

Remember to consider the above assessment criteria in your response.

Support material:

·  CV 

·  letters of support 

·  letters of confirmation 

·  artistic support material.

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 male and a senior female 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, as criteria, the artists’ outstanding lifetime achievement and contribution to:

· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts

· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

· Artistic leadership

· Arts practice

Each award recipient will receive $50000.

How to apply/ What to expect in the application

To apply, first log in to your account by clicking the “Submit a Nomination” button or by clicking the following link:

1. Select: Award Nomination

2. Start a new Award

3. Select:Red Ochre

4. Confirm your details: These are your personal details – not the person you are nominating.

5. If everything is correct, select Go to next page”.

6. Read the award guidelines.
Once you have read them, select the box ‘I have read and understand the guidelines for the award.’ Then, Go to next page.

7. Who are you nominating? Enter the details of the person you are nominating, and provide the best contact details.

8. About your nomination (8000 characters max)

  • Provide your reasons for nominating this person. 
  • Describe why you are nominating this person for the Red Ochre Lifetime Achievement Award. 
  • Please include how their personal achievements in their arts practice and their artistic leadership has contributed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

You should also consider the selection criteria by which your nomination will be assessed: 

·  Lifetime contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts

·  Lifetime contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

·  Artistic Leadership

 Other supporters

  • Please provide the name of the person who has agreed to 'second' your nomination. 
  • You may also supply the names of other people who support this nomination.

 Support material

  • Required: CV for the nominee (max of 2 x A4 pages) this can include artistic support material.
  • Optional: a maximum of two letters of support for the nomination

For any questions in relation to the Young and Emerging Dreaming Award, please contact Airlie Welch on (02) 9215 9167 or

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