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Showcasing the very best contemporary art from around the country, from emerging and established artists.

The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Telstra NATSIAA) exhibition is the longest running and most prestigious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.


Experience the richness and diversity of current contemporary Indigenous artistic practice and the pre-eminence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, nationwide, within the visual arts.

2024 Telstra NATSIAA entries now open

Australia's longest running and most prestigious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

Artists share in a total of $190,000 with the impressive prize money for the major Telstra Art Award sitting at $100,000 and each of the categories awarding $15,000.

2023 Telstra Art Award Winner

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Photo: Brian Cassey 

Keith Wikmunea

Wik-Alkan Wik-Mungkan


Ku’, Theewith & Kalampang: The White Cockatoo, Galah and the wandering Dog 2023

Photo: Mark Sherwood

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is delighted to announce the 2023 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award winner.


Keith Wikmunea, a Thu’ Apalech man and artist from Aurukun in Queensland, is the winner of the prestigious 2023 Telstra Art Award valued at $100,000 for his sculptural piece titled Ku’, Theewith & Kalampang: The White Cockatoo, Galah and the wandering Dog 2023.


The scale and presence of Ku’, Theewith & Kalampang: The White Cockatoo, Galah and the wandering Dog reveals a master carver at work. The ceremonial dots on the tree are identifiable with Western Cape York, with the totem birds above always nearby.


The piece is a joyful celebration and observation of life and represents a strong connection to Country and his totem.

"Ku’, Theewith & Kalampang: The White Cockatoo, Galah and the wandering Dog is a sculpture that represents who I am as a Thu’ Apalech man from the Cape York Peninsula.


The colours on this tree are specific to my clan, the Thu’ Apalech people. In Wik-Mungkan, my first spoken language, we call this tree yuk thanchal. This tree is also known as milkywood [sic] in English and is the same tree that my ancestors have been using since the beginning of time to create their artefacts. My Puulwuy [father’s totem] and my Kathwuy [mother’s totem] are represented here too.” - Keith Wikmunea

2023 Telstra NATSIAA

Category Winners

Category Winners

Key dates

Photos: Charlie Bliss

Telstra Peoples Choice Award

2023 People’s Choice Award Winner - Emma Singer for Ngayuku Ngura (My Home) 2023
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Emma Singer Portrait .jpg

2023 Telstra NATSIAA Finalists​

Anindilyakwa Artist Collective Anne Nginyangka Thompson Arnold Joseph Tipiloura Balwaldja Wanapa Munuŋgurr Barbara Mbitjana Moore Betty Bundamurra Betty Campbell Billy Tjampitjinpa Kenda Brenda L Croft Carbiene McDonald Tjangala Corban Clause Williams Dhalmula Burarrwaŋa Dhamuw Koedal Dhopiya Yunupiŋu Doris Arlyetilhe Thomas Dulcie Sharpe Eileen Bray Joomena Elisa Jane Carmichael Emma Singer Frank Young Gaypalani Waṉambi George Cooley Glen Namundja Graham Badari Gunybi Ganambarr Harry Guyumbirrirr Malibirr Iluwanti Ken Jahkarli Felicitas Romanis Janet Koongotema Janice Murray Pungautiji Jeanette James Jimmy John Thaiday Jingalu Kumanjayi Napangardi Wheeler Julie Nangala Robertson Kaye Brown Keith Wikmunea Mandy Quadrio Mary Dhapalany Matthew Djipurrtjun Teapot Michael Jalaru Torres Motorbike Paddy Ngale Mrs Heffernan Muluymuluy Wirrpanda Naminapu Maymuru-White Naomi Kantjuriny Napuwarri Marawili Nyinta Donald Owen Yalandja Patrick Mung Mung Rachael Lionel Raelene Kerinauia Lampuwatu Samson Bonson Shaun Angeles Penangke Shirley Macnamara Stanley Ebatarinja Tanya Van Horen Umatji Tanya Tjapalyi Warraba Weatherall Wendy Hubert Wurrandan Marawili Yalmakany Marawili Yaritji Tingila Young

2023 Telstra NATSIAA Virtual Gallery


2023 Judges

 Photo: Mark Sherwood 

Dr Peter Yanada McKenzie

Dr. Peter Yanada McKenzie, a highly regarded Senior figure from the La Perouse Aboriginal community in Sydney, is not only a distinguished Indigenous artist but also a trailblazing documentary photographer. In the 1980s, he was part of a pioneering group of Indigenous photographers who provided an insider's perspective on Aboriginal life, capturing poignant and intimately evocative images of local personalities, landscapes, events, and activities. His work forms a compelling connection between the audience and his subjects, eliciting powerful emotions.

Beyond his artistic contributions, Peter boasts a diverse background as a curator, musician, university lecturer, researcher, Indigenous ambassador to foreign nations, and advisory committee member for state and federal Indigenous organizations. His artistic and cultural expertise led him to become the artist representative for the judging process at MAGNT, underlining his stature as a senior Indigenous artist. Notably, Peter and Wandjuk Marika were the inaugural judges of the First NATSIAA in 1984, a historical context that adds to his esteemed legacy.

Janina Harding

Janina Harding, based in Melbourne, is the Senior Manager at Creative Victoria's First Peoples Art and Design Fair. Renowned for curating successful Indigenous Arts Festivals, she notably served as Artistic Director at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (2015-2022), empowering artists and communities to embrace their heritage on their own terms. Janina's commitment is evident through her involvement in First Nations Boards, including two terms on the ATSI Arts Board of the Australia Council. She contributes to Creative Australia's First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel and was a member of the ATSIC Advisory Board. Janina Harding's lasting impact stems from her dedication to promoting cultural celebration while respecting artists' autonomy, cementing her role as an influential advocate for First Nations art and cultural empowerment.

Kelli Cole

Kelli Cole is a distinguished Warumunga and Luritja woman hailing from Central Australia. She currently serves as the Curator of Special Projects at the prestigious National Gallery of Australia. Kelli's remarkable journey with the gallery commenced in 2007, where she began her role as a Curator working on various special projects, including all four National Indigenous Art Triennials. Over the past three years, Kelli has collaborated closely with Hetti Perkins on two significant NGA exhibitions, notably the 2022 National Indigenous Art Triennial titled "Ceremony." Furthermore, she has dedicated the last two years to co-curating a ground-breaking retrospective exhibition spotlighting the life and artistic legacy of Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Photos: Mark Sherwood

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Museum and Art Gallery
of the Northern Territory

GPO Box 4646,
Darwin NT 0801

+61 8 8999 8264
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