Minister for Arts and Museums Gerry McCarthy today welcomed the announcement by Telstra CEO David Thodey of a new 3-year sponsorship of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

“It is a pleasure to have Mr Thoday with me today in our fantastic Museum and Art Gallery of the NT to cement these awards as one of the premier Art Awards in the nation, Mr McCarthy said.

In 1984 the MAGNT launched the award, the first of its kind in Australia. Telstra have been the naming sponsor since 1992.

Telstra’s long partnership with the MAGNT has allowed the gallery to secure many important works and develop a stunning core collection of indigenous art, which contributes greatly to the gallery’s permanent collection, Mr McCarthy said.

The Telstra Collection is comprised of 96 works acquired through their 18 year association with the awards, almost half of which have been prize winners.

We are proud to continue our long association with Telstra and look to further increase the profile of the awards, Mr McCarthy said.

Entries for the 2010 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island Art Awards close Friday 2 April.

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Contact: Patrick Hastwell 0427 017 803