Arnhem Land artists scoop awards and indigenous women take the spotlight at the 2010 Indigenous Music Awards

Australian northern territory, 29 Auguest 2010. Last night the 2010 Indigenous Music Awards were kicked off with a the announcement that the awards will now open nationally to all indigenous musicians.

The enthusiastic crowd were treated to performances by 2009 Hall of Fame inductees Tableland Drifters, Warren H Williams, Ali Mills and the Arnhem Land rock stars Saltwater Band. Joining Saltwater Band on stage to perform their new single MALK was Blue King Brown’s Natalie Pa’apa’a.  However, it was Gurrumul’s surprise return to the stage to perform with his band [Saltwater Band] and accept the award for Act of the Year that had the crowd roaring in appreciation.

Garrangali collected 4 prizes including Album and Song of the Year and hosts MusicNT honoured Ali Mills with a Special Recognition Award for her significant contribution to the indigenous music industry.

In particular it was a very special  [and traditionally unusual] night for young indigenous women as 11 year old Varsity Dhurrkay joined her father Manuel Dhurrkay to perform a song with Saltwater Band, whilst a group of young women from Mamadawerre known as Wildflower, were recognised for their work in winning Emerging Act of the year -a prize which carries a $10,000 touring package and a $5000 NT Govt scholarship.

Arnhem Land was well represented across the awards and performances throughout the night as -  The Chooky Dancers showcased a dance in a special memorial dedication to the late Mr Garawirrtja who founded and mentored the group from Elcho Island.

Winners of the 2010 Indigenous Music Awards are:

Act of the Year
Sponsored by Fred Hollows Foundation
Gurrumul Yunupingu

Emerging Act of the Year
Sponsored by Artback NT, Newmont Tanami Operations & HWE Mining with a $10,000 touring package
The Burarrwanga Memorial Scholarship Award with $5000 Annual Scholarship (a new 3 year NT Govt initiative linked to the Emerging Act of the Year)
Wildflower (bio attached)

School Band Award
Sponsored by DET this category & supported by ABC Local Radio. ABC Local Radio will travel to the winning band’s community to help them produce a video clip for their winning song.
Seven Star Band, Yirrkala CEC (bio attached)

Artwork/Design of the Year
Garrangali (bio attached)

DVD/FilmClip Award
Sponsored by ConocoPhillips Australasia
‘History’ by Gurrumul Yunupingu

Traditional Award
Sponsored by the Northern Land Council
‘Sea Rights Bungul’ - Mulka Project & Dhuwa Dhapi - Mulka Project (project info attached)

Song of the Year
Sponsored by APRA/AMCOS
‘Searights’ by Garrangali

Album of the Year
Sponsored by Energy Resources of Australia

Hall of Fame
Kumanjayi Murphy (bio attached)

Special Recognition Award (for significant contribution to the indigenous music scene)
Ali Mills