The importance of National Indigenous Music Awards.

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Jhindu Lawrie from Brisbane band The Medics, who are previous NIMA winners. Photo: Gabrielle Smith


It was a massive weekend in Darwin with the National Indigenous Music Awards held last week end.

Artists from around Australia came together to celebrate the achievements of indigenous musicians, and those in the music industry.

Winners of the night included Jessica Mauboy who took out National Artist of the Year and Brisbanite Thelma Plum who walked away with New Talent of the Year following the success of her EP. Australian music legend, Arnie Roach was inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame, also taking home the award for National Album of the Year.

The NIMAs not only celebrate the success of artists amongst their peers, but garner the much-deserved attention for Indigenous musicians on a national platform that showcases their diverse talents.

Jhindu Lawrie, a member of Brisbane band The Medics, along with fellow band mate Kahl Wallace performed a tribute for the renowned Indigenous band Yothu Yindi.

As previous NIMA winners, The Medics embody that which the NIMAs represent. Lawrie expressed how important the NIMAs are to Indigenous musicians and how the recognition by the Indigenous community is highly valued by the artists.

“I think it’s very important for me and the national Indigenous community,” said Lawrie.

“I’d say I like it more so than the ARIAs, it supports the Indigenous community and its important to have these things.

“I like the idea of being a role model for the next generation of Indigenous Kids, its good to show them that this is what you can achieve if you work hard.

“Being appreciated as an Indigenous person by Indigenous people is quite amazing, it’s a great feeling.”

Not only did Lawrie express how important the NIMAs are, he also spoke about his and Wallace’s inclusion in the Yothu Yindi tribute.

“Getting to be on stage and playing their songs, growing up it was Yothu Yindi and my Dad’s band Coloured Stone they were the base of Indigenous music back in the 80’s and 90’s, so it was a big thing to be included,” he said.

The success of Indigenous artists is not to be understated. The NIMAs present a platform that allows Australia to celebrate their accomplishments that embrace the Indigenous heritage and display the talent the artists collectively possess.

Coverage of the NIMA’s will be shown on NITV on 17th August.

The full list of NIMA winners are below.

National Artist of the Year – Jessica Mauboy

National Album of the Year – Into the Bloodstream – Archie Roach

National Song of the Year- ‘Waliwaliyangu li-Anthawirriyarra a-Kurija (Saltwater People Song) – Shellie Morris & The Borroloola Songwomen

National New Talent of the Year – Thelma Plum

NIMA Hall of Fame – Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan, Wirrinyga Band, Milingimbi, Archie Roach

NIMA Special Recognition Award – Gurrumul Yunupingu

National Cover Art of the Year – Into the Bloodstream – Archie Roach

National Film Clip of the Year – ‘Song to Sing’ – Archie Roach

G.R. Burarrawanga Memorial Award – Shellie Morris

NT Community Clip of the Year – Rockhole produced by IHHP for Wurli – Wurlinjang Health Service

NT School Band of the Year – Rulku

NT Traditional Music Award of the Year – Wandawuy – The Mulka Manikay Archives

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