About the Deadlys
The Deadlys – the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Arts and Community Awards – is arguably the most significant event on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander calendar.
Now in its 20th year, it is definitely the highest profile event that engages mainstream and non-Indigenous audiences, both in the live event and through media coverage.
The purpose of the Deadlys is to recognise the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to their community and to Australian society. The Deadlys showcases the outstanding achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and provides identifiable national and local role models to inspire all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and particularly our young people.
The Deadlys began as an informal celebration and awards night for Indigenous musicians and broadcasters held in 1995, to mark the first 12 months of broadcasting for Indigenous music radio program, Deadly Sounds. In 1996, the event was held at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, and also doubled as a concert by the Warumpi Band.
The Deadlys then moved around to several different venues before finding a permanent home at the Sydney Opera House in 2002.
In 2003, SBS began to broadcast the event, which by now had grown to incorporate awards for sport, health, education and achievement in community development.
In 2005, the Deadlys was broadcast live on the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS), once again increasing its national audience substantially. And in 2008, the Deadlys was also broadcast live on National Indigenous Television by Foxtel and digital free to air.