Budjerah & Wildfire Manwurrk Lead NIMA Finalist Nominations

12 July 2023 | 9:00 am | Mary Varvaris

“We look forward to celebrating the incredible talents of our First Nations music community once again.”

Budjerah & Wildfire Manwurrk

Budjerah & Wildfire Manwurrk (Source: Supplied, Renae Saxby)

We’re just a month away from this year’s National Indigenous Music Award (NIMA) ceremony on Saturday, 12 August, at the Darwin Amphitheatre – the television broadcast will air on the following night on NITV and SBS On Demand.

Today, 22 incredible First Nations artists have been revealed as this year’s nominees for the NIMAs, with rising star Budjerah up for prestigious recognition, including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year.

Equally impressive is the Rostron family, fusing rock and punk music with traditional language as Wildfire Manwurrk. The band are nominated for New Talent of the Year, Film Clip of the Year and Community Clip of the Year. You can check out the complete list of nominations below, with the likes of Jessica Mauboy, Thelma Plum, Bumpy, King Stingray and many more also up for awards.

“Music has always been an important part of our people’s Cultures, and we’re thrilled to host the NIMAs on NITV again for another, broadcasting black excellence to screens across Australia,” Adam Manovic, the Head of Entertainment for Events and Sport at NITV and proud Gooreng Gooreng man, said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating the incredible talents of our First Nations music community once again.”

Wildfire Manwurrk added, “We have walked a long hard road to get here over many years and feel so happy to be recognised for our music at this national level. To be recognised as one of Australia’s important Indigenous voices means everything to us.

“Our music tells our story in our language, one of the oldest languages in this world. That language, it will help you connect to where you are standing. It will help us come together, where we learn from each other.”

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The 2023 NIMAs will be hosted by Butchulla man Fred Leone – also premiering his new single Yirimi Gundir in a world-first performance – and returning NIMA host, Yunkuntjatjarra, Warrigmay, South Sea and German-descended actress, singer and writer, Elaine Crombie.

The awards will be broadcast on NITV and SBS On Demand on Sunday, 13 August, at 7.30 pm. The re-broadcast will air on SBS Viceland on Friday, 18 August, at 11.05 pm and on SBS on Saturday, 19 August, at 9 am. If you’d like to attend the event, you can access tickets here.


Artist of the Year


Jessica Mauboy


Kobie Dee

The Kid Laroi

New Talent of the Year


Royston Noell

Wildfire Manwurrk

Marlon X Rulla


Film Clip of the Year

Wildfire Manwurrk - Lonely Bangardi

Budjerah - Therapy

A.B. Original - King Billy Cokebottle

Thelma Plum - The Brown Snake

King Stingray - Let’s Go

Song of the Year

Bumpy - Hide and Seek

Budjerah - Therapy

Miiesha - Skin Deep

King Stingray - Let’s Go

Yirrmal ft. Dami Im - Promised Land

Album of the Year

Thelma Plum - Meanjin (EP)

Ngulmiya - Self-titled

Mo’Ju - Oro Plata Mata

Miiesha - Smoke & Mirrors

Beddy Rays - Self-titled

Community Clip of the Year

Wildfire Manwurrk - Mararradj

Utju Community - Tjamuku Tjukurpa Kanyila

Lil Youngins - The Problem

Indigenous Outreach Project w/ Gunyangara, Yirrkala & Dhalinbuy, NT ft. Yirrmal - Indigenous

Outreach Projects, Gunyangara, Yirrkala & Dhalinbuy ft. Yirrmal

Garrthalala Community - Garrthalala Manikay

Dunghutti Community in Kempsey NSW - The Black Truth - There’s Still Hope