SAM Indigenous Ceramic Award

13 August - 4 December 2022

The ICA is a celebration of enduring connections, ongoing interpretations of the unique and diverse expressions of First Peoples' identities through clay.

Presented on Yorta Yorta Country, the 2022 ICA features nineteen finalists and is representative of twenty-seven language groups from remote, regional and urban centres. Showcasing new and exciting developments of emerging and established artists, their works weave tensions between the precision of hand-thrown or built forms, and organic or formal sculpture. The mark-making of new and ancient journeys are traced in sgraffito, forging the new paths of tomorrow.

Parallel to the award, Gomeroi/Gamilaraay artist Penny Evans responds to the ambitions of the ICA as the inaugural feature artist. Ascending the wall of the main staircase at SAM, this new body of work takes inspiration from the tree root-lined riverbanks of her Country, and its ancestral, matriarchal symbolism of the digging stick.

Announcing the 2022 ICA winners

Major Acquisitive Prize of $20,000 winner:  Anne Nginyangka Thompson for her 2022 work Strong Family Connection

South-East Australian Aboriginal Artist Prize of $5,000 winner: Sean Miller for his 2022 work Galibaay on Country. 

Cast your vote for the People's Choice Award

Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to nominate their preference for the 2022 ICA People's Choice Award. Simply pick up a voting brochure, fill out the voting slip and drop it in our ballot box or hand it to one of our friendly front of house staff.  

Voting closes Sunday 4 December. The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500.

2022 ICA finalists

SAM, along with 2022 ICA judges Kimberley Moulton, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran and Penny Evans, congratulate the 2022 Indigenous Ceramic Award finalists:

  • Alfred Lowe, Arrernte (NT) 
  • Alison Milyika Carroll, Pitjantjatjara (SA)  
  • Anne Thompson, Pitjantjatjara (SA)  
  • Bankstown Koori Elders Group (NSW) 
    • Lorna Morgan Waka-Waka, Darumbal (QLD), Lillian Johnson Waka-Waka, Gubbi Gubbi (QLD), Gloria Peronchik Waka-Waka, Gangulu (QLD), Beverley Gilmartin Wiradjuri (NSW), Victoria Woods Wiradjuri (NSW), Margaret Foat, Buandik (SA), Lola Simmons Wailwan (NSW), John Simmons
  • Beth Inkamala Mbitjana, Western Aranda (NT)
  • Billy Bain, Darug (NSW) 
  • Carlene Thompson, Pitjantjatjara (SA)  
  • Debbie Taylor – Worley, Gamilaraay/Gomeroi (NSW)  
  • Elisa Jane Carmichael, Ngugi (QLD) 
  • Elizabeth Dunn, Pitjantjatjara (SA) 
  • Hayley Coulthard Panangka, Western Aranda (NT)  
  • Jock Puautjimi, Tiwi (NT) 
  • Megan Croydon, Kuku Yalanji (QLD) 
  • Philip Denham, Girramay (QLD) 
  • Philomena Yeatman, Gunggandji (QLD) 
  • Rupert Jack, Pitjantjatjara (SA) 
  • Sean Miller, Gamilaroi (NSW) 
  • Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM, Pitjantjatjara (SA)  
  • Vivian Pingkayi Thompson, Pitjantjatjara (SA) 




Established under the patronage of acclaimed artist Dr Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher James AO (Thainakuith), the Shepparton Art Museum Indigenous Ceramic Award (ICA) is the most prestigious national award for Indigenous ceramics, showcasing new and exciting developments in the field.

The acquisitive prize attracts ceramic works from Indigenous artists across Australia and builds on SAM’s significant holdings of Indigenous ceramics.

Presented on Yorta Yorta Country, this Award provides a national platform to share personal, historical and deep cultural learnings from artists and Country. It celebrates and supports the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists and acknowledges the special industry of ceramic art.

Previous prize winners have included Jack Anselmi and Aunty Cynthia Hardie, Vera Cooper, Janet Fieldhouse, Irene Mbitjana Entata, Danie Mellor, Rona Rubuntja, Yhonnie Scarce and Carol Anilyuru Williams.