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The Yeperenye Federation Festival outside Alice Springs becomes the largest corroboree ever staged in Australia, involving more than 25,000 people of 40 Indigenous nations. The programme is a celebration revolving around the theme of the Yeperenye (Caterpillar) Dreaming story and federation as seen from an Aboriginal perspective.
Casey Donovan, at just 16 years of age, becomes the youngest and first female winner of Australian Idol. She releases Listen to Your Heart a few days later.
Jessica Mauboy comes second in the finale of the 4th season of Australian Idol, starting her singing career.
National Indigenous Television (NITV), Australia’s first national 24-hour Aboriginal television service, starts.
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarra’s painting Warlugulong breaks all sales records for Aboriginal paintings when it is sold at an auction for $2.4 million.
‘Wunubi Spring’, a painting by Freddie Timms, an artist from the Warmun community in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, becomes the world’s first chemically protected Indigenous artwork. Intended to prevent fraudulent sale, a mixture of chemicals is added to the artist’s paint and cannot be entirely removed from a painting.
About 12,000 people attend the inaugural Saltwater Freshwater Festival in Coffs Harbour, reclaiming Australia Day as a positive inclusive day for the Gumbaynggirr community.
Singer and actress Ruby Hunter dies of a heart attack aged 54.
Michael Leslie wins the $50,000 Red Ochre Award for lifetime achievement in Indigenous dance.
19-year-old Aboriginal model Samantha Harris makes it to the cover of Vogue Australia’s June issue. Harris got her first break into modelling after entering a competition in the Australian teenage magazine Girlfriend in 2003, aged just 13.
The Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act is introduced, entitling all artists to a 5% royalty whenever their work is re-sold. Thousands of Aboriginal artists can benefit from the scheme. ⇒ Aboriginal art profits
The National Gallery of Australia opens 11 new Indigenous galleries and art spaces that will house the majority of the gallery’s huge collection of Indigenous art, reportedly the largest collection of its kind in the world. ⇒ Aboriginal arts
The opera Pecan Summer premieres telling the story of the Cummeragunja Aboriginal walk-off of 1939. It is the first opera to be partly sung in Yorta Yorta language.
Poet and author Dr Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Sykes dies aged 67. In the 1980s she became the first Aboriginal Australian to attend Harvard University, gaining a PhD in education, and in 1994 was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal. Sykes also was the executive secretary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Dr Aunty Ruby Langford Ginibi dies. She was one of Australia’s foremost Aboriginal authors and wrote numerous books, short stories and poetry. Her trademark term was ‘edu-ma-cating’ non-Aboriginal people about Aboriginal peoples’ circumstances and struggle. ⇒ Aboriginal books
Veteran Aboriginal country musician Jimmy Little, dies after a long illness, aged 75, at his home in Dubbo in western NSW.
The Australian Ballet announces that with Ella Havelka, a descendant of the Wiradjuri people, for the first time in its 50-year history, an Aboriginal dancer joins the ranks of the national ballet company.
In an historic day for Australia, SBS begins broadcasting nationally a dedicated Aboriginal TV service available free-to-air for the first time. The new channel incorporates NITV (National Indigenous Television) on SBS4 (digital channel 34) and starts at 12pm on 12/12/2012.
Singer Jessica Mauboy wins the prestigious ARIA Award for best female artist.
Yothu Yindi lead singer Yunupingu dies of kidney disease at his home in Yirrkala in Eastern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, aged 56.