Enter now for the 35th Telstra NATSIAA

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Andrea Simpson

Join a list of acclaimed artists in 2018 by entering the most prestigious Indigenous art prize in Australia.
Enter now for the 35th Telstra NATSIAA

Image: Anwar Young, Unrupa Rhonda Dick and Frank Young, winners, Testra Art Award, 34th Telstra NATSIAA. Photo by Fiona Morrison.

The Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), delivered by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in partnership with Telstra, are now open for entries for the 2018 awards.

The awards were developed in 1984 to honour the important contribution made by Indigenous artists from regional and urban areas throughout Australia, creating art in both traditional and contemporary media.


Each year the Telstra NATSIAA’s showcase a diverse range of Indigenous artists with varying contemporary artistic practices. As the most prestigious Indigenous art award in Australia, Telstra NATSIAA is ever-evolving in order to work with Australia’s ever-changing contemporary artistic environment.

MAGNT Director, Marcus Schutenko said, 'Telstra NATSIAA is the key event in the most important weekend in the country for Indigenous art, unearthing new artistic developments in contemporary Indigenous art whilst showcasing major works by some of Australia’s most revered artists.'

The 2018 NATSIAA categories open to entrants

The total amount of the prize pool is a substantial $80,000. The categories open for artists to enter are:

  • Telstra Art Award - $50,000
  • Telstra General Painting Award - $5,000
  • Telstra Bark Painting Award - $5,000
  • Telstra Works on Paper Award - $5,000
  • Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award (also sponsored by Telstra) - $5,000
  • Telstra Multimedia Award - $5,000
  • Emerging Artists Award - $5,000

Telstra NATSIAA is listening to Indigenous artists’ feedback with the creation of two new categories in 2017: the Telstra Multimedia Award and the Telstra Emerging Artists Award.

The Telstra Multimedia Award captures the emerging field of cross disciplinary creative practice and allows artists to enter innovative works that use text, audio, images, animations, video and interactive content.

The winners of the 2017 Multimedia Award, South Australian artists Anwar Young, Frank Young and Unrupa Rhonda Dick, also took home the overall prize, a clear indication of the creative possibilities inherent in these mediums.

Young, Young and Dick’s multimedia collaborative work, Kulata Tjuta - Wati kulunypa tjukurpa (Many spears - Young fella story) was lauded by a judging panel consisting of curator Emily McDaniel, Director of Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art Chris Saines and artist Regina Wilson. The judges described the winning artwork as ‘a measured and considered response to an inherently complex and contested subject. The incarceration of young Aboriginal men affects families and entire communities.’

Nicole Monks, a Wajarri Yamatji woman, was the winner of the 2016 Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award. She told ArtsHub, ‘Mob are using very different mediums and formats and it is very bold of these awards to supply a national platform.’


 To enter the 2018 NATSIAA simply click here. All entries for 2018 are submitted through an online application form that can be saved at any time. Ensure you have all the necessary information needed; see the checklist below.

  • Artist and/or agent contact details
  • Photograph of the artist
  • Artist’s biography
  • Artist’s CV
  • Artwork details: title, medium, dimensions, award category and price
  • Image/s of the actual artwork
  • An extended statement/story (50–300 words) on the artwork
  • A summarised statement/story (30–50 words) on the artwork
  • Hanging/display instructions

Winners will be notified by Friday 2 August 2018 and announcements made at the opening ceremony for the exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in Darwin on 10 August 2018.

MAGNT Curator Luke Scholes said, ‘Telstra NATSIAA is the place to announce yourself as an artist; this is the exhibition that can expose your work to the highest number of artists, curators, collectors and industry figures.'

Visit MAGNT to enter today.

About the author

Andrea Simpson is ArtsHub's Feature Writer and Reviews Editor. Andrea is a Filipino-Australian writer with a love for diverse Australian stories. She is curious about all forms of art, though she has an especially keen interest in the publishing sector.

Andrea has had short stories published in various anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel.  

You can follow Andrea on Instagram @andi_jayyy