Skip to main content

NQPHN celebrates local young Indigenous artists

Published 25 September 2020

Young and upcoming artists awarded for their talents in the third annual NQPHN Indigenous Youth Art Competition

NQPHN Area Manager Vivian Mook with the 2020 first place winner of NQPHN's Indigenous Youth Art Competition Varni Nona and NQPHN Executive Chairperson Nick Loukas.

Young Indigenous artists from across North Queensland have been recognised for their outstanding efforts in Northern Queensland Primary Health Network’s (NQPHN’s) second annual Indigenous Youth Art Competition.

The competition—based on the theme of mental health—saw some inspirational artwork submitted by young and upcoming local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists between the ages of 13–21 years.

There were a range of incredible submissions, resulting in gifted young artists from Cairns, Herberton, and Cooktown being awarded as the winners.

The first-place winner received an Apple iPad Pro 10.5” 64GB Wi-Fi and Apple Pencil, valued at $1,000. Second, third, and fourth place winners received gift vouchers for art supplies, valued at $500 and $250 respectively.

Among the many entrants, the well-deserving 2019 winners were:

  • First place: Moniesha Wallace
  • Second place: Tanisha Vincent
  • Third place: Kashana Wallace
  • Fourth place: Ronald Creek

NQPHN Board Director Suzanne Andrews said the NQPHN Board was delighted to see this initiative in its second year.

“NQPHN is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within our region,” Ms Andrews said.

“The competition is part of NQPHN’s commitment to support Indigenous youth, and a meaningful pathway towards inclusion of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The judging panel thoroughly enjoyed perusing the artwork pieces, as well as reading the stories the artists had written.”

Moniesha Wallace from Cairns took out first place in this year’s competition for her beautifully illustrated artwork piece, titled Boundaries.

Moniesha, 19, said that her painting told a story of the connections we have with other people.

“It represents our boundaries, other people, and our thoughts,” Moniesha said.

“The thoughts are all coloured differently to portray happy, neutral, and negative thoughts.”

Tanisha, 18, titled her artwork Calling forward, looking back, and said it was a mixed media self-portrait based on the 2019 NAIDOC theme ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’

“My artwork shows me, an Indigenous woman, calling out to everyone to hear my voice,” Tanisha said.

“Surrounding me are vibrations of my ancestor’s echo, the ripples representing the past, present, and future.

“It expresses a social issue which is still remembered to this day by all Indigenous people.”

View the winning 2019 and 2018 artwork pieces at

Last updated: 09 October 2020