National Indigenous Arts Awards

The 2019 National Indigenous Arts Awards took place at the Sydney Opera House on Monday 27 May. 


The National Indigenous Arts Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Presented on the evening will be:

- the prestigious Red Ochre Awards for outstanding lifetime achievement

- the Dreaming Award for recognition of an emerging artist

- the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship to support the creation of a major work by an artist.  

The 2019 awards ceremony will be held at the Sydney Opera House, and will be live streamed here on the Australia Council website. The night will also celebrate the achievements of First Nations artists who have received fellowships and awards from across the Australia Council.

The date of the National Indigenous Arts Awards ceremony marks the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum.

2019 Award recipients

- Red Ochre Award: Uncle Jack Charles 

- Red Ochre Award: Aunty Lola Greeno

- The Dreaming Award: Jenna Lee 

- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship recipient: Jacob Boehme

Australia Council Award (previously announced) 

Rhoda Roberts (Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development)

Rachael Maza (Theatre)

Vicki Van Hout (Dance)

Fellowship Recipients (previously announced)

Vernon Ah Kee (Visual Arts)

Ali Cobby Eckerman (Literature)


Meet some of our past recipients

Mr John Mawurndjul

A Kuninjku bark painter and sculptor, Mr John Mawurndjul is one of the leading Aboriginal Australian artists, receiving worldwide recognition for his work. He was born in 1952 near Mumeka, an important camping site for members of the Kurulk clan on the Mann River some 50 kms south of Maningrida....

Read more  about John Mawurndjul.


Gary Foley

As an actor, arts administrator, activist, cultural thinker and currently Associate Professor in History at Victoria University, Dr Foley has been integral to Australia's political, cultural and Indigenous landscape since he was a teenager living in Redfern, Sydney. 

Read more about Gary Foley

Kahl Wallis

Kahl’s project, working with family members in Cairns, is the recording of his first full-length solo album, infused with his traditional language, songs and stories, and make an accompanying documentary about this journey into his Indigenous heritage. 

Read more about Gary Foley.

Nominations now open


Red Ochre Award

The prestigious Red Ochre Award pays 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/or Torres Strait Islander arts, both nationally and internationally.

Nominate now

Dreaming Award

The Dreaming Award recognises an inspirational young artist aged 18-30 years and supports them to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships, either nationally or internationally. 

Apply now
Exit off canvas
Real Time Web Analytics