The National Indigenous Music Awards 2022 paid tribute to music legends Dr G. Yunupingu and Archie Roach over the weekend, at the first live NIMAs ceremony since 2019.

Held on Larrakia Country at Darwin’s iconic Ampitheatre and hosted by comic and writer Steven Oliver, the awards honoured a slew of First Nations artists with Yolngu rapper Baker Boy taking home Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his debut ‘Gela’.

King Stingray, the Yirrkala surf-rock band from north-east Arnhem Land, won Song of the Year for their hit ‘Milkumana’, while New Talent of the Year was awarded to Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung indie artist Jem Cassar-Daley, the daughter of country music legend Troy Cassar-Daley.

Malyangapa and Barkindji artist BARKAA was awarded Film Clip of the Year for her song ‘King Brown’ and Indigenous Outreach Projects secured Community Clip of the Year.

Internationally acclaimed artist Gurrumul was posthumously inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame in a moving ceremony led by his brother and Saltwater Band co-founder Manuel Dhurrkay. The late Yolngu singer-songwriter joins previous inductees including Warumpi Band, Roger Knox, his previous band Yothu Yindi, and Uncle Archie Roach.

While presenting the Archie Roach Foundation Award to Murawari rapper and drummer Dobby, singers Emma Donovan and Dr Shellie Morris honoured the late Gunditjmara-Bundjalung songman Uncle Archie Roach, who passed a week earlier after a long battle with illness at age 66.

“If there’s anything I’ve learnt from them two beautiful people [Roach and his late wife Ruby Hunter] it’s that you can say what you need to say in a song, sometimes you don’t need to talk,” said Donovan.

Emma Donovan, who had recently toured alongside Uncle Archie in his final tour, led a touching tribute to the beloved musician and activist performing his 2012 song ‘We Won’t Cry’ alongside Shellie Morris, Fred Leone, Leah Flanagan, Birdz, Yirrmal and William Barton.