Skip to main content

Cootharinga's Indigenous Art Competition

NAIDOC WEEK 2020 "Always Was, Always Will Be"

NAIDOC week is usually celebrated every July. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this year's celebrations were postponed, starting on the 8th November through to the 15th November. NAIDOC week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2020 is "Always Was, Always Will Be". This theme is in recognition of First Nations people that occupied and care for Australia for over 65,000 years. 

In celebration of NAIDOC Week and the many Indigenous communities within our service regions, we invite Cootharinga customers, their carers, our staff, and members of the community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage to enter our first Indigenous Art Competition. 

Competition Details

Artwork:  Your artwork is to be inspired by the 2020 NAIDOC week theme, "Always Was, Always Will Be". The artwork is to be created using painting, sculpture or drawing artistic mediums.
Entries close:  Thursday 5 November 2020 5 PM AEST
Artwork submission:  Please submit at least 2 clear close-up photos of the artwork along with a portrait and landscape photo of the artist with their artwork through the below submission form. In your submission please tell us about the artwork and how it represents the 2020 NAIDOC week theme, "Always Was, Always Will Be". If you are having issues with submitting online, please contact 4759 2032 or email
Winner announcement: Winners will be notified directly by Friday 13th November. Winners artworks will be announced publicly through the Cootharinga North Queensland website and social media platforms throughout NAIDOC week.

Categories and Prizes: 

Creative Ability
This category is for artists who are new to their craft and are at a beginner level. 

1st Place: $100 VISA gift card and an art pack

2nd Place: $50 VISA gift card and an art pack

3rd Place: $25 VISA gift card and an art pack

Up and Coming Artist
This category is for artists who are skilled in their craft and are at an intermediate level or above. 

1st Place: $500 VISA gift card

2nd Place: $300 VISA gift card

3rd Place: $200 VISA gift card

  • Open to First Nations Australian artists.
  • Open to all ages.
  • The artwork is to be created using painting, sculpture or drawing artistic mediums.
  • A description of the artwork along with at least 2 images of the artwork and an image of the artist holding their artwork is to be provided with the submission.

Judging Panel

The Cootharinga Cultural Committee plus a guest community member will be judging the art submissions.

Judging Criteria

The following criteria will be provided to the judging panel when judging art submissions. Each competition category will be judged on the same criteria.  Keep the below in mind when creating your artwork.

  • Clear representation of the NAIDOC Week 2020 theme "Always Will, Always Will Be"
  • Level of creative expression and innovation
  • Respect to relevant cultural protocols
  • demonstration of creative skills
  • Quality of artwork
Intellectual Property

All artwork submitted into the Cootharinga Indigenous Art Competition will remain the property of the artist who submitted the entry. 


To discuss your entry, please contact:
07 4759 2032

Cootharinga's Indigenous Art Competition Entry Form

NAIDOC Week Poster

NAIDOC Week Media Release

NAIDOC Week 2020 poster

Tyrown Waigana, a Perth based artist and designer, has been named as this year’s winner of the prestigious National NAIDOC Poster Competition.

His winning entry - Shape of Land - was judged by the National NAIDOC Committee to have best illustrated the 2020 NAIDOC theme: Always Was Always Will Be.

Waigana, a proud Noongar and Saibai Islander, has previously been named as one of WA’s best new and emerging Indigenous artists.

According to the 23-year-old, his winning entry depicts the Rainbow Serpent coming out of the Dreamtime to create this country and how we are strongly connected to it.

“The Rainbow Serpent is represented by the snake and it forms the shape of Australia, which symbolises how it created our lands. The colour from the Rainbow Serpent is reflected on to the figure to display our connection to the Rainbow Serpent, thus our connection to country. The overlapping colours on the outside is the Dreamtime.”

“The figure inside the shape of Australia is a representation of Indigenous Australians showing that this country - since the dawn of time - always was, and always will be Aboriginal land,” Mr Waigana added.

Committee Co-Chairs Pat Anderson and John Paul Janke congratulated Mr Waigana on his winning entry and thanked all of the talented artists who submitted their artwork in this year’s competition.

“This year’s competition attracted a staggering 270 entries nationally who responded to the 2020 NAIDOC theme.”

““It was a challenging task for the Committee to choose a single winner from such a huge range of remarkable entries and we thank everyone who submitted an entry”

Mr Waigana - who has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in graphic design, advertising and illustration and photography - runs his own brand and business Crawlin Crocodile.

“My passion for art and design comes from an early age and my goal is to make a living of being an artist and take on exciting new creative projects.”

“I love to learn new techniques and platforms I can create on,” he said.

As the winner, Ms Waigana will have his artwork displayed on the 2020 National NAIDOC Poster and receives a $10,000 cash prize. With over 100,000 posters printed, the National NAIDOC posters are distributed across the country from schools, kindergartens and universities to Government Departments, organisations and shopping centres.

Last year there were some 48,000 digital downloads of the 2019 NAIDOC Week poster.

The iconic NAIDOC poster has been celebrating and promoting NAIDOC Week since the late 1960s and rose to national prominence in the 1970s with the establishment of the Indigenous rights movement.

NAIDOC Week Poster Stencil

If you are a non-indigenous Australian and want to participate in the NAIDOC activities, please download the below stencil of this years NAIDOC week poster and send your completed artwork to us at along with your full name and the city you reside in. 


(1800 266 842)

Operating Hours

8am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday

Connect with us

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn