NT Indigenous Music Awards

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NT Indigenous Music Awards are part of the Darwin Festival and are run by MusicNT in association with the Northern Territory Government’s Indigenous Arts Development Unit.


The NT Indigenous Music Awards recognise excellence, dedication, innovation and outstanding contribution to the NT music industry. The Awards are presented at a special showcase event in August as part of Darwin Festival, and feature the best indigenous music talent in the NT.

The Awards are industry based and focus with nominations coming from industry, pre-selection by a local industry committee and final judging of Award winners by an independent panel of NT and interstate music industry professionals


The Inaugural Indigenous Music Awards were held on 28 August 2004 at the Darwin Festival Club. The winners were:


The second annual NT Indigenous Music Awards were held at the Marrara Outdoor Stadium on 27 August 2005. The Awards attracted the likes of Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil), now Shadow Secretary for Reconciliation and the Arts, who was a guest presenter with NT Chief Minister Clare Martin and with his old mate George Rrurrambu of Warumpi Band. The Awards ceremony and concert, which was headlined by the Letterstick Band and Lajamanu Teenage Band, was broadcast live by local station TEABBA (Top End Bush Broadcasting Assoc.) and picked up by Indigenous radio stations across the country.

The winners were:

  • Best Music Release: Yilila – "Manila, Manila"
  • Song of the Year: Yilila - "Mijiyanga"
  • Best CD/DVD Artwork & Design: David Lancashire - Jurtbirrk, Love Songs from Western Arnhem Land
  • Male Musician of the Year: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Galiwin’ku (formerly Yothu Yindi, Saltwater Band)
  • Female Musician of the Year: Shellie Morris
  • Band of the Year: Nabarlek
  • New & Emerging Act: Mandy Garling
  • Minister’s Award for School Band of the Year: Maningrida Brass Ensemble
  • Traditional Music Award: Jurtbirrk, Love Songs from Western Arnhem Land
  • Most Popular Song Award: "Dreamtime Baby" – Warren H. Williams
  • Outstanding contribution to the music industry: CAAMA Music & Letterstick
  • Hall of Fame Inductees: Kathy & David Mills, The Mystics, Dick Mununggu, Gus Williams, Auriel Andrew, Mr. Yamma Snr and Herbie Laughton.


The third annual NT Indigenous Music Awards were held on 25 August 2006. The audience was treated to live performances by a line-up of NT acts including Yilila, Saltwater Band, NoKTuRNL, Warren H Williams, June Mills and Tom E Lewis.

The winners were:

  • Best Music Release: Tom E. Lewis – "Sunshine After Rain"
  • Song of the Year: Warren H. Williams – "Learn My Song"
  • Best Artwork & Design: Dunnart - Warren H. Williams - "Be Like Home"
  • Best DVD Release: NabarlekNabarlek on Tour
  • Male Musician of the Year: Grant Nundhirribala
  • Female Musician of the Year: June Mills
  • Act of the Year: Yilila
  • New & Emerging Act: Task
  • Traditional Music Award: White Cockatoo – Maningrida
  • School Band of the Year: Djambang Band – Milingimbi
  • Judges Encouragement Award: Henley White (Warren H. William's 9 year old drummer)
  • Hall of Fame Inductees: Warumpi Band and Soft Sands
  • Outstanding Contribution: Sammy Butcher and Keith Lapalung


The fourth annual NT Indigenous Wards were held on 25 August 2007 at the Gardens Amphitheatre, Botanic Gardens, Darwin. On the night there were live performances featuring Kenbi Dancers, Ngarakuruwala, Jessica Mauboy and Nabarlek.

The winners were:

  • Act of the Year: Jessica Mauboy
  • Album of the Year: Manmoyi Radio - Nabarlek
  • Song of the Year: "Little Journey to Manmoyi" - Terrah Guymala
  • Emerging Act of the Year: Leah Flanagan
  • School Band of the Year (1): The Crazy Boyz, Maningrida Community Education Centre
  • School Band of the Year (2): The Frontstreet Girls, Maningrida Community Education Centre
  • DVD/Film Clip of the Year: "Brown Bird" - Nabarlek
  • Artwork & Design of the Year: Manmoyi Radio - Nabarlek
  • Traditional Music Award: Kenbi Dancers
  • Traditional Music Award (2): Wurrurrumi Kun-Borrk, songs from Western Arnhem Land by Kevin Djimarr
  • People Choice 'Song for Country': "Bushfire" - Nabarlek
  • Special Contribution Award (1): Paul "Djolpa" McKenzie
  • Special Contribution Award (2): Steven Tranter
  • Hall of Fame - Top End Artist: Betty Fisher
  • Hall of Fame – Central Artist: Barry Benning


The winners were:

  • Act of the Year: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  • Album of the Year: Gurrumul - Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunipingu
  • Emerging Act of the Year and Touring Award: B2M
  • School Band of the Year: Rocky Creek Band
  • Gospel Album of the Year: Harold Dalywaters and the Elliot Gospel Band
  • Song of the Year: Wiyathul - Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  • DVD/Filmclip of the Year: Saltwater Band Live
  • Artwork and design of the Year: Gurrumul - album, designed by Carlo Santone
  • Traditional Music Award of the Year: 1) Muyngarnbi - Songs from Walking with Spirits. 2) Ngarukuruwala - We Sing Songs.
  • People's Choice Award, Most popular song of the year: Wild Wild Water - WildWater
  • Hall of Fame: 1) Peter Miller and Blek Bala Mujik. 2) Mark Raymond and the Kulumindini Band.
  • Special Contribution Award: 1) Galarrwuy Yunupingu. 2) Mr Nundhirribala.

Indigenous Radio Award – Most Popular Song[edit]

Supported by Radio Larrakia, CAAMA and TEABBA.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]