Renowned curator, researcher and writer Hetti Perkins, an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman and UNSW alumna has been recognised with the 2018 Fellowship as part of the Australia Council’s highly prestigious annual National Indigenous Art Awards.

Timed to be announced each year during Reconciliation Week, the National Indigenous Art Awards celebrate the significant contribution of First Nations artists to the vibrancy of Australian arts and are among most esteemed cultural awards presented to Australian creatives.

Presented at the Sydney Opera House the awards are made across a series of categories including both established and emerging artists. This year’s recipients join an impressive series of First Nations artists and leaders, who have been recognised for excellence in their work.

The 2018 National Indigenous Arts Awards recipients are:

Thomas E.S. KellyThe Dreaming Award (for emerging artists aged 18-26 years)

Mrs Mavis Ngallametta and Mr John Mawurndjul AMThe Red Ochre Award (for lifetime achievement)

Hetti Perkins – The 2018 Australia Council Fellowship (for established artists, supporting creative activity and professional development for up to two years)

The Dreaming Award was established in 2012 to recognise an inspirational young artist aged 18-26 years and support the opportunity for them to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships, either nationally or internationally. 

The prestigious Red Ochre Award was established by the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board in 1993 to pay tribute to a senior Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person for their outstanding lifetime achievement in the arts and their contribution to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, both nationally and internationally.

The Red Ochre Award now includes recognition of both an outstanding senior male artist and an outstanding senior female artist. Nominations for senior artists are accepted from arts and community organisations and individuals.

Hetti Perkins is co-curator with Charlotte Day of the current exhibition in UNSW Galleries, Christian Thompson: Ritual Intimacy. In 2017 she was celebrated by UNSW with the Alumni Award for Arts & Culture. Hetti graduated from UNSW with a Bachelor of Arts.

UNSW Art & Design offers its congratulations to each of the nominated and recognised artists.

For 2018 National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.

“Don’t Keep History A Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow” explores history hidden just beneath the surface, ready and waiting to be uncovered. This National Reconciliation Week learn more about the Australian story.