Strong finalists in all 2011 Deadly Award categories reflect a big year of achievement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.
The 2011 Deadlys were launched today at the Sydney Opera House in a ceremony that featured Aboriginal dance company Descendance and performances by Casey Donovan – and a blast from a didgeridoo rather than a drum roll as the finalists were announced.
Plenty of Australia’s talent turned up to support the 17th Deadly Awards led by launch host acclaimed broadcaster Rhoda Roberts and SBS’s Karla Grant.
The finalists’ list represented the year that was for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. In the film category, Mad Bastards, produced by Broome’s Pigram brothers was, perhaps, not a surprise nominee, considering the film’s success across Australia.
Bec Cole’s Here I Am, a moving portrait of a mother/daughter relationship, is a finalist across two award categories. Similarly, the success in Cannes of Ivan Sens’ Toomelah is reflected in the film’s place as a finalist.
Junior Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty is a finalist in Female Sportsperson of the Year, and Patrick Mills, now playing in the NBA, joins the Male Sportsperson of the Year finalists.
Most Promising New Talent in Music finalist Benny Walker joins a strong line-up in this category, along with Iwantja Band, Corey Webster, Karnage & Darknis and Knowledge Bones.
Up-and-coming sporting talent across soccer, boxing, wrestling, netball and even Muay Thai holds the promise of future stars.
Health, Education, Employment and Broadcasting reveal the work that goes on behind the scenes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities across Australia, with three Indigenous-driven health programs coming out of the NT.
There were no surprises in the Outstanding Contribution to Literature category with finalists of the calibre of 2011 Miles Franklin Award winner Kim Scott, alongside Sally Morgan, Anita Heiss, young graphic novelist Brenton E McKenna and well-known writer Gayle Kennedy.
Executive producer and founder of the Deadlys, Gavin Jones spoke at the launch of the importance of the Deadly Awards to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, particularly young people.
“It always amazes me that people, no matter where they are from, know about the Deadlys,” Mr Jones said.
“I’ve often wondered why the mention of the Deadly Awards always brings a knowing smile to people’s faces, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.
“I think it’s because of the nature of the event: above all it’s real, by the people, for the people; it recognises the incredible creative force and talent of our people and it shows that we are in control of our destiny and that despite the past, we continue to achieve great things – great things now and we will continue to achieve into the future.
“The Deadlys also aims to provide positive role models from all walks of life to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around Australia.”
The Deadlys will be held at the Sydney Opera House on 27 September 2011. Voting is now open to all for the 2011 Deadlys at www.vibe.com.au
The Australian Electoral Commission’s Indigenous Electoral Participation Program officers will be distributing a reply-paid how to vote card for the Deadlys this year, in areas where officers are located across Australia, together with distribution of the reply-paid voting card in Deadly Vibe magazine and the Koori Mail.
Embargoed until noon, 15 July 2011
DEADLY AWARD NOMINEES 2011
Most Promising New Talent in Music*
Album of the Year
Single of the Year
Band of the Year
Male Artist of the Year
Female Artist of the Year
Most Promising New Talent in Sport*
Outstanding Achievement in AFL
Female Sportsperson of the Year
Male Sportsperson of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in NRL
Female Actor of the Year
Male Actor of the Year
Dancer of the Year*
Visual Artist of the Year*
Outstanding Achievement in Literature*
Film of the Year
TV Show of the Year
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health*
Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education*
Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment*
Broadcaster of the Year*
* These awards are judged 50% by popular vote and 50% by the Deadly Executive Academy.
DEADLYS HALL OF FAME
The Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sport
The Jimmy Little Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music