Flash mob

A selection of images from the Deadly Awards captured by Sydney-based photographer, Jamie James.

The Deadly* Awards were held in Sydney every year from 1994 until 2013. They were spectacular ceremonial events that showcased Aboriginal peoples’ success in the arts and entertainment, music, sports and community. The Deadlys, as they became known, were aimed at promoting a more positive, contemporary representation of Indigenous Australians and their achievements. From small beginnings, launched at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in 1994, the Deadly Awards grew to become a ‘hot ticket’ — a glamorous annual red-carpet event. From 2001 the awards were staged at the Sydney Opera House and televised nationally through NITV and SBS.

The last Deadly Awards were held in 2013. Unfortunately, problems with funding and Gavin Jones’ untimely death in July 2014 prevented the Deadlys from continuing. Photographer Jamie James regularly attended the ceremonies, capturing the glitz and excitement of the event. James’ photos document the fabulous, both on and off stage from the Deadly Awards of 1998 to 2013, and was acquired by the Library in 2017.

These are a random selection of Deadly Awards photos. You can navigate to more of Jamie James' images from our catalogue.

Casey Donovan with 14th-year Deadly Awards programs, Sydney Opera House
9 October 2008
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868566
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Nathan Ramsay, Frank Yamma, Troy Cassar Daley, The Deadlys, Hard Rock Cafe, Sydney
19 October 1998
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868255
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Artists backstage at the Deadlys, City Live, Fox Studios
2 October 2001
Digital ID: 
IE9868281
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Matt Bowen, Casey Donovan, Leah Purcell with their Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2005
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868382
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Adam Hill (artist Blak Douglas), backstage at the Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868451
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Mark Olive, chef, and Mary G (Mark Bin Bakar), Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868436
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Dr Anita Heiss, author, with Deadly Award, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868483
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Leah Purcell, winner of the Actor of the Year Award, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
9 October 2008
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868556
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Joel Wenitong, Naomi Wenitong, DJ Jaytee (Last Kinection), Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868603
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Marlene Cummins, musician and broadcaster, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868661
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Singer Jessica Mauboy, winner of four Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868664
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Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Ella family, Lifetime Achievement Award for Sport, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2011
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868721
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Toni Bell and Lily Shearer, Deadly Awards after party, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868506
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Emma Donovan, Kaleena Briggs, Nardi Simpson (Stiff Gins), City Live, Fox Studios
23 October 2000
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868248
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Rugby league player Greg Inglis with young dancers, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
9 October 2008
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868596
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Director Rachel Perkins with the Deadly Award for Film of the Year, Bran Nue Dae, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2010
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868711
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Uncle Jack Charles relaxing backstage at the Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
10 September 2013
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868731
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Ursula Yovich, singer and actor, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868473
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Archie Roach, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2010
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868676
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Michael Tuahine (SBS) interview with Leah Purcell, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868626
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Anthony "The Man" Mundine with his Deadly Award, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868478
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Media producer Gavin Jones was the driving force behind the Deadly Awards. He was a proud Aboriginal man, originally from Goulburn, NSW, who had worked in journalism before starting the Deadly Sounds radio program and editing Deadly Vibe and InVibe magazines. A number of  Jamie James' photos show Gavin with various personalities at the Deadlies.

Matt Bowen and Gavin Jones, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2005
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868361
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Vicki & Gavin Jones
27 September 2005
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868368
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Gavin Jones and Cathie Craigie
27 September 2007
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868516
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Gavin Jones and Professor Marie Bashir, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868621
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Gavin Jones and Patrick Johnson, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868646
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Michael O'Loughlin and Gavin Jones, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
15 October 2009
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868656
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Gary Ella and Gavin Jones, Deadly Awards, Sydney Opera House
27 September 2010
Jamie James
Digital ID: 
IE9868681
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* The word Deadly is used colloquially to mean excellent or cool.

 

Ronald Briggs
Curator, Research and Discovery

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