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7 – 14 July 2024
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National NAIDOC Week Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2024 National NAIDOC Week Awards are now open!

The National NAIDOC Week Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions and excellence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across ten award categories, including art, culture, education and training, sport, environment and leadership. 

Selection Criteria

In deciding winners for each Award category, the judges will consider the following selection criteria:

  • past and current achievements;
  • demonstrated excellence in the nominated category;
  • the individual’s and/or group’s status as an inspirational role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community; and/or
  • the individual’s and/or group’s future goals and their likely impact.

Please note Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, businesses and organisations are able to be nominated for the Creative, Caring for Country and Culture, Education and Innovation Award Categories.

Eligibility

All people nominated for a National NAIDOC Week Award must be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, as defined by the following:

  • be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent;
  • identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; and/or
  • be accepted as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander by an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

Nominations will not be accepted if the nominated person has previously won that category in the past 10 years. However they are still eligible to nominate for other award categories.

How to Nominate

To nominate, please complete the nomination form below and address the above selection criteria. These forms can be submitted to naidocnominations@niaa.gov.au 

Nominations close on 8 March 2024.

Final selection may be subject to the provision of additional information.

Award Categories

National NAIDOC Person Award

The National NAIDOC Person Award recognises the demonstrated excellence of an  individual who has helped make a difference to individual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or more broadly, including nationally. This award recognises the individual’s past and current achievements, and their status as an inspirational role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community.

Previous winners include Dean Duncan, social justice champion and teacher, and June Oscar, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner.

National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award

The National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual for their lifetime commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The award recognises the individual’s achievements, and demonstrated leadership over many years as well as demonstrated community involvement, and commitment at the local, regional and/or national levels.

Patricia Anderson, Dianne Ryder, Stephen Page and Tauto Sansbury are just some of the inspiring winners of the NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award.

National NAIDOC Female Elder Award

The National NAIDOC Female Elder Award recognises respected and inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models and leaders. The award seeks to recognise an individual who has shown long term demonstrable commitment and contribution to empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as demonstrated involvement in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at the local, regional, and/or national levels.

See examples of Female Elder Award winners, Thelma Weston and Christobel Swan, to inspire your application.

National NAIDOC Male Elder Award

The National NAIDOC Male Elder Award recognises respected and inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models and leaders. The award seeks to recognise an individual who has shown long term demonstrable commitment and contribution to empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as demonstrated involvement in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at the local, regional, and/or national levels.

See examples of Male Elder Award winners, Greg Little and Ernest Hoolihan, to inspire your application.

National NAIDOC Sportsperson Award

The National NAIDOC Sportsperson Award recognises accomplished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes or sporting leaders who have promoted or developed sport in their community and served as inspirational role models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community.
Past winners Clarence ‘CJ’ McCarthy-Grogan, the second Aboriginal person to represent Australia in the history of wheelchair basketball, and Shantelle Thompson, 3 time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, mother and community leader, provide inspiration for your nomination.

National NAIDOC Youth Award

The National NAIDOC Youth Award recognises exceptional young people who are aged 16 25 years as at 7 July 2024 (the beginning of NAIDOC Week 2024). The award seeks to recognise young people who are inspirational role models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader Australian community, as well taking into consideration the individual’s future goals and likely impact.

Past winners can provide inspiration for your nomination. For example, 2021 winner Samara Fernandez-Brown, social justice activist campaigning for justice for the shooting and death of her cousin, Kumanjayi Walker, or 2019 winner Mi-kaisha Masella social entrepreneur, advocate and musician.

National NAIDOC Creative Talent Award

The National NAIDOC Creative Talent Award recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives, including writers, poets, illustrators and artists of traditional, contemporary and experimental visual arts, crafts and design. The award is also open to outstanding individuals/groups in the performing arts sector including music, theatre and dance. Actors and individuals working in film, television and documentaries, or in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media, including those working with online and emerging technologies can also be considered in this category.

The National NAIDOC Creative Talent Award seeks to recognise the individual’s success and/or achievements in their chosen sector or discipline, as well as individuals/groups who have built greater awareness and celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, lifestyles and cultures. Previous winners of this award include director, writer, producer and filmmaker Rachel Perkins (2023) and visual artist Lowell Hunter (2022).

Please note that if a group nomination is successful, only two representatives will be invited to attend the 2024 National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony.

National NAIDOC Caring for Country and Culture Award

The Caring for Country and Culture Award recognises the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities who care for, protect, and nurture Country and culture. Nominate those who are revitalising or teaching language, dance or traditions, conserving our lands and waters and protecting our environment for future generations, or who are sharing and preserving culture. This award also seeks to recognise those who have demonstrated excellence in relation to caring for Country or culture, conservation of Country or culture, as well as demonstrated benefits to the community.

If nominating a project, please provide details of the project and the people/community involved. Please note that if the nomination is successful, only two representatives will be invited to attend the 2024 National NAIDOC Week Awards.
Inspiration can be found from past winners of other NAIDOC awards, including the Borroloola Community, that have been trying to stop new gas projects they say encroach on their Country and threaten the environment and culture, and the Littlewell Working Group who have preserved land, stores and cultural knowledge through the creation of the Littlewell Reserve, now a heritage site.

National NAIDOC Education Award

The National NAIDOC Education Award recognises exceptional individuals and groups in the education sector (including early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational, and any other education groups) who have made a difference to the lives of students and communities. This award seeks to recognise individuals who have made a demonstrable contribution to empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

National NAIDOC Innovation Award

The Innovation Award is open to individuals, groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and organisations who have worked innovatively in and across our communities. This award seeks to recognise those who have developed new and innovative ideas, applied forward thinking and/or applied Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge in different ways. This award also seeks to recognise those who have demonstrated efforts to create and champion change for our people and our communities, as well as demonstrated commitment, adaptability and innovative thinking and attitudes that enrich our communities and beyond.

Please note that if a group, business or organisation nomination is successful, only two representatives will be invited to attend the 2024 National NAIDOC Week Awards.
 

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