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Guidelines for Entry

2022 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award

Key dates

Need assistance?

Contact the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory for assistance regarding submission of your entry form.

Fiona Bennie, Exhibition Coordinator

Telephone: (08) 8936 4208

Email: fiona.bennie@magnt.net.au


The 2022 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (2022 Telstra NATSIAA) encourages submissions from established, mid-career and emerging Indigenous artists from across the country. The Awards were founded by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in 1984, and remain the nation's first and longest running awards dedicated to Indigenous art and artists. Telstra Australia have been the principal partner of the Awards since 1992. Open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, Telstra NATSIAA is a non-acquisitive award that is free to enter and encourages artists to submit an artwork of their choice in one of the award categories. It awards a total of $80,000 in prize money each year.

The overall Telstra Award of $50,000 cash is awarded to the artwork considered by the judges to be the most outstanding artwork in the exhibition.

The following Award Categories each offer the recipient $5,000 (excl GST):

Telstra Bark Painting Award

Telstra General Painting Award

Telstra Work on Paper Award (photography, print making and drawing)

Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award (sponsored by Telstra)

Telstra Multimedia Award (for multidisciplinary and digital artworks)

In addition to the above Award Categories are the Telstra Emerging Artist Award and the Telstra People’s Choice Award.

The Telstra Emerging Artist Award is given to the best judged artwork by an artist working in any medium who is within their first five years of art practice and who are yet to have their artwork included in an exhibition by a recognised commercial or public gallery. The recipient of this Award receives $5,000 and is in addition to the five Award Categories which means an artist awarded the Telstra Emerging Artist Award could also be the recipient of any of the other five Awards.

Telstra People's Choice Award is selected by a voting system that is open to the public for the duration of the exhibition whether they be visitors who view the exhibition at MAGNT or online. The recipient of this Award is publicly announced in the final weeks and will receive a framed certificate in recognition of their achievement.

Judging of the exhibition will take place from 18-20 July 2022 and the award recipients will be notified under embargo by Friday, 22, July 2022 via the supplied Primary Email address submitted in the online entry form.

The Award recipients will be made public for the first time as part of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, 5 August 2022. Award recipients will receive their Awards as part of the Opening Ceremony and will be invited to respond with a few words. Award recipients will also be asked to pre-record a brief video segment for promotional purposes prior to the Opening Ceremony.

To learn more about previous years, visit www.magnt.net.au/natsiaa

Selection of finalists

Each year, a selection process is undertaken to choose the finalists. Entry into the Telstra NATSIAA is highly competitive with approximately 300 entries received each year and between 60 - 70 artworks chosen for the exhibition. All submissions are carefully considered by the Selection Panel, which consists of independent art professionals and key members of Indigenous communities with extensive expertise in Indigenous art and culture. The panel makes the selection from the information submitted in the online entry form. It is essential to note that that the information provided in the form is accurate and portrays the submitted artwork to its best advantage. The images must be of high resolution, JPG OR TIFF of 300 dpi and moving image must a downloadable file submitted with a shared URL (web link).

All artworks are to be submitted digitally using the online entry form. Each artist is permitted to submit one artwork created by themselves and is permitted to submit a further artwork created as part of a collaboration. Details of each of the collaborating artists will be asked for on the online entry form. It is important to note that artworks that are delivered to MAGNT before an artist has been selected as a finalist will be returned at the cost of the entrant.

The image or images of the artwork submitted must be of the final artwork and no further alterations are allowed to be made to any aspect of the artwork post entry. The display of the artwork in the exhibition will replicate the layout presented in the submitted photographs. Indicative images or sketches of proposed artworks will not be considered.

Once the Selection Panel have selected the finalists to be included in the exhibition, all entrants will be notified of the status of their entry and whether it has or has not been selected for the Telstra NATSIAA exhibition. The decision of the Selection Panel is final and no further discussion or correspondence about the decision will be entered into. Once the application has been submitted for consideration by the Selection Panel that no further additions or changes can be made to the artwork.

An Artist’s Agreement will be forwarded to all finalists. The Agreement will contain information about the exhibition, the exhibition process, key dates and deadlines including when the artworks are due to be delivered at MAGNT and a list of the opening events.

Notification to all entrants of Selection Panel decision: by Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Please contact MAGNT if you have not been notified of the status of your entry by this date.

Guidelines for artworks

If selected, the artwork that is delivered to MAGNT must exactly match the artwork shown in the photographs submitted with the application without any further changes or additions. The artworks must arrive framed, strapped or stretched with the necessary hanging or installation systems attached, ready to hang or install. If artworks are transported rolled and then framed by Darwin based framers, please instruct the framer to include the necessary attachments or hanging systems. The artwork may be excluded from the exhibition if it does not meet these requirements and will be returned to the entrant at their expense.

Any special instructions needed to hang or install the artwork needs to be included in the online entry form. Please indicate the preferred way in which the artwork is to be hung by writing “TOP” on the back of the artwork. Where an artwork is made up of a number of pieces please include the details of each piece in the online entry form.

The maximum overall measurement of an artwork is (H) 300 x (W) 300 x (D) 300 cm. The overall measurement of the artwork is inclusive of all its pieces in its intended display configuration.

Bark paintings

Barks must be strapped and arrive with fixing or hanging systems ready to hang.

Multimedia artworks

For multimedia artworks that include moving image or video, entries should be a downloadable file submitted via Dropbox or Google Drive with a shared URL (weblink).

Please check to ensure that you enable the settings for file downloading and the ‘share via link’ setting is also enabled.

Where relevant, a subtitled version of the entry must be provided by the Artist.

Special installation instructions need to be detailed on the online entry form.

Artworks on canvas and linen

All canvases must be stretched and ready to hang prior to delivery to MAGNT. Please ensure all materials are completely dry prior to transporting.

Earth pigments

Care should be taken that fixatives and binders used are sufficient to prevent the pigment from flaking, smudging and lifting from the surface.

Framed artworks

Framed artworks are to be submitted using perspex or acrylic rather than glass to prevent damage to the artwork should breakage occur. Appropriate fixing systems to enable installation need to be attached to the frame.

Three dimensional artworks

Seasoned timber rather than 'green' timber should be used to avoid mould growth during transit and excessive shrinkage or cracking.

Artworks made of organic materials including wood should be packaged in a layer of absorbent material before adding protective plastic or bubble pack to allow it to breathe without sweating. Examples of appropriate breathable materials include Evolution® or cotton sheets and towels. It is also recommended to avoid the excessive use of packaging tape. Please refer to the Northern Territory Government entry requirements regarding the importation of organic materials.


Design the artwork that includes a hanging system that is suitable for the size and weight of the artwork. Consider the safety and length of time the work will be hung in the exhibition.


Judging is the final process that takes place in the gallery in the three weeks leading up to the Opening Ceremony. The judging panel comprises three independent judges including key Indigenous community members with knowledge and experience of Indigenous contemporary visual arts. The judges are appointed on an annual basis. The judges consider the artworks entered into each category and read through the information and extended artist’s statements supporting their artwork and art practice.

The Award recipients will be notified on or shortly after the final day of judging. MAGNT will take immediate steps to make suitable transportation and accommodation arrangements for the Award recipients to travel to Darwin and attend the Artist Preview, Award and Opening Ceremony and associated opening weekend events including Artist Talks. The judges' decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

In the event of further COVID-19 disruptions these procedures are subject to change.

Delivery and collection of artworks

The finalists will be required to organise the delivery and collection of their artwork to MAGNT at their cost, including insurance and packing and freighting arrangements to a standard that insures its safety.

The choice of freighting company is at the discretion of the finalist and should be fully investigated prior to booking the transport to ensure it is appropriate for the particular artwork. Please remember that Darwin has a sub-tropical climate. Temperatures and humidity can be extreme and damaging to artworks if they are left exposed to outside elements for any length of time.

The condition of artworks and their packaging is documented on arrival at MAGNT. Any damage will be communicated with the finalist as soon as possible after the work arrives at MAGNT. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be excluded from the exhibition. The artworks should be packaged or crated in a way, and with materials that can be reused for the return of the artwork. Should an artwork require any special packaging or additional crating for its return at the end of the exhibition, MAGNT will soft-pack the artwork in the original packaging to ensure its safety and have it available for collection by a local crate maker nominated by the finalist. This will be done at the finalist direction and expense.


The artwork that is delivered for exhibition must be the exact artwork depicted in the photographs submitted with the application and chosen by the Selection Panel without any additional changes or modifications. Should it differ from the artwork in the images submitted in the online entry form it will be deemed ineligible for inclusion in the exhibition and will be returned at the cost of the finalist.

In the final months of the exhibition MAGNT will communicate with the finalist via the email address supplied in the online entry form requesting details for the dispatch of the artwork. MAGNT will forward a Dispatch Form that needs to be completed within a strict deadline with the following information:

  • Provide the name, address and contact details to where the artwork is to be dispatched.

  • Provide the name of the freighting company, courier or nominated person to collect the artwork from MAGNT.

  • Does the artwork need to be un-stretched?

  • Does artwork require special or additional packaging or crating beyond how it was delivered to MAGNT?

  • Provide transit confirmation in the form of a Consignment Note number.

MAGNT reserves the right to dispose any artwork that is left unclaimed for six months after the exhibition closes.


Artworks will be covered by MAGNT from the date they arrive in the building until the date they are dispatched.

The insurance of entries whilst in transit is the responsibility of the artist or their nominated representative.

In the case of the artwork being sold, insurance becomes the responsibility of the new owner from the time the artwork leaves MAGNT.

Acquisition of Artwork

Telstra NATSIAA is a non-acquisitive Award. However, MAGNT must be granted the first right to acquire the artwork at the price listed in the submission. MAGNT will advise the artist if they are to acquire the artwork in the week preceding the exhibition opening to the public. It is important to consider the full cost of the artwork inclusive of framing, stretching, strapping and the freight costs to and from MAGNT. MAGNT will request a tax invoice and payment will be made within 30 days upon receipt of a Tax Invoice.


All artworks entered into the Awards must be available for acquisition, and not pre-sold prior to the Opening Ceremony on Friday, 5 August 2022. If the artwork is not acquired by MAGNT it will be available for public purchase. Negotiation of artwork sales is between the artist or their agreed agent and the potential buyer. To facilitate this communication, the artist’s or their agreed agent’s website will be listed in the exhibition publication and on the virtual gallery website.

Please carefully consider the sale price as it will not be possible to alter the price after close of entries on Friday, 18 March 2022.

Conditions of Entry
To qualify for selection into the Awards, entries must be received from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artists.

  • Artworks must have been completed within the last twelve months prior to the close of entry date midnight CST Friday, 18 March 2022. Artworks, including any editions must not have been displayed, published or previously entered into an exhibition, award, competition or festival prior to the opening of Telstra NATSIAA.

  • The artwork submitted must be the original artwork of the Artist.

  • In the case of collaborative artworks, the details of each of the collaborators need to be included on the online entry form including their name, place of residence and date of birth and artist’s language groups.

  • Each artist is permitted to submit one artwork created as an individual and is permitted to submit a further artwork created as part of a collaboration.

  • Artworks with non-Indigenous collaborators can be entered as long as the principal artistic vision and creative output are the work of Indigenous artists. Telstra NATSIAA acknowledges and accepts the production of artworks can involve non-Indigenous participation in the formation the artwork. The final artwork will only be attributed to collaborators who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

  • Artworks must be the property of the Artist. Proof of ownership may be requested.

  • Artworks must be available for the entire duration of the exhibition.

  • Selected artists will be required to sign an Artist Agreement between the Artist and MAGNT. A copy of the draft Agreement is available from MAGNT upon request.

  • Artworks can comprise any number of pieces as long as the overall dimension of the artwork is within the (H) 300 x (W) 300 x (D) 300 cm limitation.

  • Artworks are to arrive at MAGNT in good, clean, displayable and undamaged condition. Artworks received in a poor or damaged condition that differs from the images of the artwork included on the online entry form may be excluded from the exhibition and will be returned to the finalist at their expense.

  • Selection Panel members and Awards Judges, are not eligible to enter nor are MAGNT employees, and their immediate relatives.

  • The artist must agree to the Warranty/Declaration on the online entry form.

  • Award recipients are expected to attend the Media Preview, Opening Ceremony and associated events on the opening week-end of the exhibition. In the event that an award recipient is unable to attend, they may send a representative.

  • Artists found to be misrepresenting themselves or their artwork in any way will be disqualified from the Awards.

  • Artists found to be involved in any conduct or activity which, in the opinion of MAGNT, harms or may harm the reputation or name of MAGNT or its sponsors or which offends public sensibility may be disqualified from entering the Awards.

  • MAGNT reserves the right to revoke the Awards and associated prize money from an Award Recipient subsequently found to be in breach of these conditions.

  • MAGNT reserves the right to negotiate with the artist about display options for their artwork.

Entries for selection must include:
  1. Completed online entry form

  2. Agree to Warranty/Declaration in the online entry form

  3. For artworks, at least one and up to three high resolution jpg images of the finished artwork at 300dpi resolution and clearly labeled with the artist’s name

  4. For multimedia artworks that include moving image or video, entries should be a downloadable file submitted with a shared URL (weblink) using Dropbox or Google Drive. Where relevant, a subtitled version of the entry must be provided by the Artist

  5. High resolution digital portrait at 300dpi of the artist to be used for promotional purposes

  6. A one-page artist's CV provided electronically in Microsoft® Word format

  7. Short artist’s statement up to 30 words which will be used for online and social media listings

  8. Brief artist’s statement of up to 75 words that will be used on the exhibition labels accompanying the artwork in the exhibition and in the exhibition publication

  9. Extended artist’s statement of up to 450 words providing judges and curators with further reference information supporting the artist’s approach to their art practice

  10. Instructions for any special requirements needed for the installation or hanging of the entered artwork

  11. Clear indication of the orientation the artwork is to be hung or other display requirements

Entries open until
18 March 2022

Get started on your entry now and save your progress for later.


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Proudly sponsored by Northern Territory

Supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.