Aboriginal timeline: Arts

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  1. 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.

  2. Stamp commemorating Yothu Yindi's song 'Treaty'.
    Stamp commemorating Yothu Yindi's song 'Treaty'.

    As part of its Rock Australia issue, Australia Post issues a stamp commemorating the 10th anniversary of Yothu Yindi’s song ‘Treaty’.


  1. Australia Post celebrates a centenary since the birth of Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira on 28 July, 1902. He was the first Aboriginal artist to exhibit his work professionally and paint in a Western style.

    A set of four stamps showing landscapes of desert and hills in Central Australia.
    Albert Namatjira's signature style features desert landscapes of Central Australia.


  1. Australia Post issues a set of stamps that celebrates the Papunya Tula school of art. The set shows four of the many artists: Ningura Napurrula (Pintupi, born c. 1938; $1.10), Naata Nungurrayi (Pintupi, born c. 1932; $1.65), Graham Tjupurrula (Pintupi, born 1975; $2.20) and Dini Campbell Tjampitjinpa (Pintupi, c.1945-2000; $3.30). All paintings are untitled.

    Four paintings show abstract images using strokes, circles and u-shapes.
    The stamps show four paintings of artists of the Papunya Tula art movement.


  1. 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.


  1. Jessica Mauboy comes second in the finale of the 4th season of Australian Idol, starting her singing career.


  1. National Indigenous Television (NITV), Australia’s first national 24-hour Aboriginal television service, starts.

  2. Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarra’s painting Warlugulong breaks all sales records for Aboriginal paintings when it is sold at an auction for $2.4 million.


  1. ‘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.


  1. Australia Post releases five stamps featuring paintings by five Aboriginal artists: Nura Ripert (Mamu), Jan Billycan (All the Jila), Judy Napangardi Watson (Mina Mina), and for the international stamps Elaine Russell (Untitled [Mission Series]) and Tjuruparu Watson (Natjula).

    Five stamps showing Aboriginal paintings
    The works of five Aboriginal artists represent Aboriginal culture on national and international stamps.
  2. Kev Carmody is inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards.


  1. 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.

  2. Singer and actress Ruby Hunter dies of a heart attack aged 54.

  3. Michael Leslie wins the $50,000 Red Ochre Award for lifetime achievement in Indigenous dance.

  4. Samantha Harris on the Vogue Australia cover, June 2010

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  1. A young Aboriginal boy with body paint performs dance moves.
    To avoid stereotypes, Australia Post could have opted for a more contemporary representation of Aboriginal culture for this stamp.

    As part of its Living Australian issue Australia Post issues a stamp with the image of a young Aboriginal boy. The photo is titled Little Man's Business and was taken by Suzanne Wilson of New South Wales.

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Aboriginal timeline: Arts, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/arts?page=3&%27>, retrieved 14 June 2024

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