In 2023, six of the nine National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) went to Northern Territory artists; in 2022, it was five of eight. It’s a reflection of both talent and the broadening recognition of the music of First Nations artists from remote communities. This year, all the NT winners are from Arnhem Land.
Yothu Yindi, who were inducted into the NIMAs Hall of Fame and delivered the iconic ‘Treaty’ to a thrilled crowd, first had international success 22 years ago. King Stingray, who won the 2023 Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year for ‘Let’s Go’, have had a rapid rise to attention in just a few years (and also won the 2022 Song of the Year, for ‘Milkumana’). Both bands come from around Yirrkala, north-east Arnhem Land, where the Gulf of Carpentaria meets the Arafura Sea, and where Indonesian South Papua is as close as Queensland’s Gulf shore.