Deadly Awards

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Deadly Awards
Deadly Awards 2013
Awarded for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement
Country Australia
Presented by Vibe Australia
First awarded 1995
Last awarded 2013
Official website
Television/Radio coverage
Network SBS Television

The Deadly Awards, commonly known simply as The Deadlys, were an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community.[1] The first Deadlys were held in 1995, at the Boomalli Artist Co-op in the Redfern suburb of Sydney.[2] The Deadly Awards originated as the Deadly Sounds music and culture radio show at the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-op in Redfern in 1993. They stemmed from an idea of the late Gavin Jones (1966-2014).[3] Later venues included The Metro Theatre, the Hard Rock Café, Home in Darling Harbour and Fox Studios; since 2001 the event has been held at the Sydney Opera House, hosted by Vibe Australia and broadcast by SBS Television.[citation needed] There were later additional venues in other states.[citation needed]

The awards expanded beyond their original music focus,[2] to include sport, entertainment, the arts, health, education and training in the Indigenous Australian community. Winners are nominated and voted on by the public. The word "Deadly" is a modern colloquialism used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to indicate "cool, rockin', fantastic".


In June 2014, the Deadly Awards' funding was cut under coalition budget measures designed to reallocate funding to indigenous education programs with 2014 Deadly funding phased back to $1 million and no funding provided for future years. Following this news, Gavin Jones died; however, it is not clear whether his death could be attributed in any way to the budget cuts.[4]

On 14 July 2014, Vibe Australia announced that the 2014 Deadlys were cancelled and that all Vibe projects concluded on 30 June 2014.[5] After a story was run on Triple J's Hack program on 15 July 2014, a groundswell of community support for saving the Deadly Awards began.[6] A petition on attracted over 26,000 signatures[7] and a Kickstarter campaign reached over $6000.[5]

See also


  1. Alastair Pennycook. Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows. Routledge. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-1-134-18876-5. Retrieved 9 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pryor, Lisa (11 October 2002). "Hardly lethal, but sure to cause blackouts". Sydney Morning Herald.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gavin Jones obituary: Respected Indigenous identity and Deadly Awards founder dies aged 47 at ABC
  4. Feneley, Rick. "Deadly Awards founder Gavin Jones dies after funding cut". Sydney Morning Herald. SMH. Retrieved 28 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Fund a new Deadly awards!". Vibe Australia. Vibe Australia. Retrieved 28 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Tilley, Tom. "ABC Triple J Hack program, Interview with Tom Tilley". Triple J. ABC. Retrieved 28 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Reinstate the Deadly Awards in memory of Founder Gavin Jones." at

External links