National Indigenous Music Awards Returns After Two-Year Hiatus


Saturday Night the Darwin Amphitheatre hosted an emotional return to country for the National Indigenous Music Awards, after a two-year hiatus.

Under the Larrakia stars, the country’s finest artists were celebrated in a ceremony hosted by writer, actor and comedian, Steven Oliver. It included amazing performances including a highlight from King Stingray, as well as a touching tribute to the late Uncle Archie Roach and an unforgettable performance by Manuel Dhurrkay and Shellie Morris inducting Gurrumul into the NIMA Hall of Fame.

The night was about celebration through the hardships and losses over the last few years. Darwin Larrakia people come out in thousands to support this event with many fans flying in to celebrate and acknowledge legends in the entertainment industry.

Indigenous Radio broadcast live to air with the TEABBA network providing the feed to stations around the country… CAAMA, Radio 3KND (KoolNDeadly), Larrakia Tv and First Nations Radio supporting Indigenous music to grass roots communities.

Steven Oliver, a descendant of the Kukuyalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi peoples, was an immaculate host. He kept the crowd enthralled with his quick-wit and charm as the awards flowed to the best of the best on First Nations music.

To celebrate the life of the beloved Uncle Archie Roach, the entire NIMAs cast combined to lead a rendition of Archie’s iconic track "We Won’t Cry", in front of a teary crowd. The performance will go down as one of the most poignant in NIMA history as they honoured the legacy of a powerhouse musician, storyteller and philanthropist whose imprint has already spanned generations, and will continue to do so.

The night’s big winner was Yolngu man Baker Boy, who took home trophies for the coveted Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his debut record, Gela. The night’s big winner was Yolngu man Baker Boy, who took home trophies for the coveted Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his debut record, Gela.

Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung indie artist Jem Cassar-Daley’s fast rise to success won her New Talent of the Year after the 2021 release of her debut EP, I Don’t Know Who to Call.

Yolngu surf-rock band King Stingray have received the coveted Song of the Year award for their single, ‘Milkumana,’ which signals the kind of success projected for their debut album, released on Friday.

Producing the finest First Nations clips of the year were Barkaa, the Malyangapa and Barkindji woman who was awarded Film Clip of the Year for her banging tune, ‘King Brown,’ and Indigenous Outreach Projects who earned Community Clip of the Year.

The Archie Roach Foundation Award went to Brewarrina on Ngemba rapper, drummer and speaker Dobby. The NIMAs also celebrated the life and important work of Gurrumul, inducting him into the Hall of Fame as a part of the ceremony. He was tributed with a performance by his brother and Saltwater Band co-founder, Manuel Dhurrkay.

King Stingray treated us to a taste of their new record in an electrifying set. Birdz and Fred Leone teamed up to form a killer Hip-Hop duo, while Emma Donovan and the Putbacks put on a soulful show.

Yirrmal graced the stage with his singing, sharing Yolngu language, and the Red Flag Dancers performed traditional dance.

Noongar artist Bumpy put on a stunning set as the much-deserved winner of this year’s NIMAs triple j Unearthed contest.

NIMAs Creative Director Ben Graetz was proud to be involved in yet another stunning ceremony, saying he’s, "So honoured to be a part of such an incredible night tonight. To be at the Amphitheater with community, celebrating together in person will be something I will remember for a very long time. Also to remember, honour and pay tribute to Dr G and Uncle Archie was a true highlight."

The evening was brought to your airwaves by NITV, Viceland, triple j and Double J in the first in-person ceremony that the NIMAs have been able to safely hold since 2019.