top of page

Exhibition & Award


The purpose of the King & Wood Mallesons Contemporary First Nations Art Award is to acknowledge the outstanding contribution made to Australian culture by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in remote, regional and urban areas working in two or three dimensional media including painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, weaving, jewellery, acrylic glass, metal, works on bark or board, mixed media, digital media and sculpture.

The King & Wood Mallesons Contemporary First Nations Art Award is a biennial competition, which King & Wood Mallesons intends to hold over at least six years. The inaugural competition was held in 2018 as the King & Wood Mallesons Award – Contemporary First Nations Art Prize. The King & Wood Mallesons Contemporary First Nations Art Award has been established by KWM to promote and encourage the highest standards of First Nations art practice in Australia.

About KWM

King & Wood Mallesons is Asia’s first top tier international law firm – designed to connect Asia to the world, and the world to Asia. 

With all the facets of a world-class law firm and a unique Asia perspective, we act as a bridge between East and West to support regional clients as they internationalise and western clients as they do business in the region.

We combine our global reach with deep local roots to help our clients navigate and cut through the cultural, regulatory and technical complexities of getting deals done in new markets.

Spanning 28 international offices located in the world's major financial centres and growth capitals, we offer clients an integrated team of more than 3000 lawyers with cross-border expertise and local know-how across a broad range of practices and sectors. Our clients range from global financial and corporate powerhouses through to start-ups and all levels of government.

While we have a proud legacy of excellence that spans more than 180 years, we have never lost our entrepreneurial spirit and drive for innovation.  We challenge our clients and our people to think differently about what a law firm can be today, tomorrow and beyond. We care for our clients, staff and the communities in which we work.

KWM Community Impact deploys pro bono legal services, social mobility initiatives, skilled and community volunteering projects and philanthropy through a highly strategic, coordinated, holistic and multi-layered approach to reduce inequality & poverty among young people (especially First Nations young people). Through this approach, our award-winning social impact program seeks to inspire and empower all our people to work together to address some of the major justice challenges of our time, while creating a more just society. The key pillars of our strategic vision are to improve the legal system, to support equal justice and opportunities, and to strengthen civil society. Our grassroots work is at the core of our program. We now want to use the knowledge gained through that work to explore major justice challenges and see what further contributions we, as an industry leader, can make to structural causes of inequality and poverty.

One of our key initiatives is our Reconciliation & Empowerment Project which is underpinned by our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (Stretch RAP). This large-scale project reflects our firm’s deep commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, community controlled organisations and communities. Our Stretch RAP has 4 key areas of focus: (1) Strong Enterprises & Economic Development; (2) Supporting Indigenous Social Mobility via KWM Pathways; (3) Leading Systemic Reform & Advocacy via KWM Impact Assembly; and (4) Bolstering Support for Community-Led Change & Place-Based Initiatives. We are deeply proud of the extensive relationships KWM has developed with a wide-range of First Australians and First Nations businesses, not-for-profits, legal centres and academic institutions over recent years. We are honoured to work with and alongside so many Indigenous leaders.

​About the Awards

We have temporarily modified the format of the Award in 2020, in response to the far-reaching effects of COVID-19. There will be six awards announced as part of this year’s Exhibition.  

The King & Wood Mallesons Contemporary First Nations Art Award, the VIC Local Artist Award, the People’s Choice Award and three additional Highly Commended Awards.

Key Dates

7 September 2020 - Between 25 and 30 finalists notified, sent updated terms and conditions.

October 2020 – Finalist artwork with artists profiles uploaded to official website

2 November 2020 – Judging of artwork, online

3 November 2020 – Prize winners announced

3 November 2020 – 17 November 2020 – Voting of People’s Choice Award

25 November 2020 – Winner of People’s Choice Award announced

May – June 2021 – Depot collection deadlines for Finalist and winning artwork

6 July 2021 – 29 July 2021 – Finalist and winning Artwork on display at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne (if finalist artwork has been sold, option for finalist to send alternative piece).

12 July 2021 – Awards night and client event (by invitation only). Winners to travel to Melbourne for this event.

30 July 2021 – Finalist artwork returns to regional depots (unless sold).  

Exhibition & Award: Text

King & Mallesons currently intends to hold a physical Art Exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs in the Melbourne CBD. However, due to COVID-19, King & Wood Mallesons may need to update these key dates or determine it is more appropriate to conduct the Art Exhibition digitally. King & Wood Mallesons will notify finalists as soon as possible of any change to the key dates above or the structure of the Art Exhibition.

Exhibition & Award: Bio
Website images_FNAA2.jpg
Exhibition & Award: Image
bottom of page