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Tiwi Islands Football Grand Final & Annual Art Sale

Sure, art and Aussie Rules footy might not seem like two things that go together, but just like poached eggs on Vegemite toast (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!) the Tiwi Islands Football Grand Final & Annual Art Sale is a winning combo.

Since 1930, Aussie Rules football has been a big part of Tiwi Island’s history. Local teams battle it out during the Wet season for a chance to play the most-anticipated match of the year – the Grand Final.

The annual event on Bathurst Island, located 80km north of Darwin, attracts visitors from all over the country. In addition to insane football talents, Tiwi Islanders are celebrated for their artistic abilities, and are well known for beautifully decorated Pukumani burial poles – a significant cultural object, still made for ceremonies today.

The Annual Tiwi Islands Football Grand Final & Annual Art Sale is where visitors and locals can capture two of the most celebrated features of Tiwi culture. Soak up the atmosphere at the Grand Final before taking your pick of authentic art pieces by local artists from Tiwi art centres Jilamara, Munupi Arts, Ngaruwanajirri, Bima Wear and Tiwi Design.

Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association Public Officer Raylene Miller says the day showcases the spirit of the Tiwi community.

"A lot of our boys and girls play in the AFL and AFLW leagues. We also have a team in the NTFL – the Tiwi Bombers – many players are in multiple leagues," she says.

"At the Grand Final, visitors can see artwork from the four art centres and three communities of the Tiwi Islands. We come together to share our culture, painting and traditions and look forward to welcoming new people to our lands."

If this sounds amazing, it’s because it is. But you’d better get in quick if you want to make the trip across the water. Check the Sealink Tiwi Island ferry or local airlines to charter a flight.

Watch the Grand Final, buy some art, and lap up the Tiwi culture. This is bucket list stuff.

WHEN Sun 15 Mar | 9am-6pm
AT Bathurst Island


Photo Top: Elise Derwin
Photo Bottom: Will Heathcote


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