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10 - 12 July 2020



Thursday 11th July 2019


Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal,
Corner Wharf and Lake Streets,
Cairns QLD 4870

The CIAF Art Awards support the professional development of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The Awards encourage artists to increase their profile and creative capacity in the pursuit of innovation and excellence. 

The CIAF Art Award process is unique in that there is no application process to enter the Awards, all eligible works on display within the Art Fair space are judged. These include works presented by Queensland Indigenous Art Centres (IACA members), Local and Commercial Galleries, Independent Artists and Guest Artists.

This year CIAF's selected an expert panel of judges for the 6 prizes. 

Liz Ann Macgregor OBE - Director of Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Nici Cumpston - Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of South Australia

Teho Ropeyarn - Curator, Cairns Art Gallery  

In 2019, CIAF is proud to have the support of the following Art Award Sponsors. 

The Premier’s Award for EXCELLENCE: $15,OOO prize awarded to the artist for most outstanding work.

Cairns Regional Council ART CENTRE Award: $1O,OOO prize awarded to most outstanding response to the CIAF annual theme for the Art Fair, by a Queensland Indigenous Art Centre.

Cairns Airport INNOVATION Award: $1O,OOO prize awarded to the artist that presents an innovative experience through medium, narrative or practice.

Ports North 3D & SCULPTURE Award: $5,OOO prize awarded to the artist whose sculptural work engages and provokes the viewer directly as they walk around it, look over it, through or into it.   

Westpac EMERGING ARTIST Award: $5,OOO Prize awarded to an emerging artist.  Sponsored by

Gillian Mailman Group of Companies PEOPLE’S CHOICE Award in honour of Waal Waal Ngallametta: $5,OOO prize awarded to the artist whose work receives the most votes by the general public attending the CIAF Art Fair. The winner of this award can be from any category.


Each year the Art Awards winners are announced at CIAF’s Opening Night and the People's Choice Award winner is announced at the CIAF Closing Ceremony





Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Ltd is a not-for-profit company with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) Status. All donations to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) are greatly appreciated and will contribute to CIAF operational costs. Your support assists CIAF in continuing to attract and nurture national and international recognition for the appreciation of the vital cultural contribution of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Donations are processed securely through PayPal. A PayPal account is not required to make a donation.