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16 Creative Indigenous Australians Who Are Killing It Right Now

Australia’s new wave.

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1. Nakkiah Lui

Twitter: @nakkiahlui

Lui is a writer and actor on ABC's Black Comedy, an Indigenous sketch series. Lui is also a published writer, with articles featuring on The Australian Women's Weekly Online, Junkee, and The Guardian. Read her powerful article for The Guardian on youth suicide here.

2. Miranda Tapsell

Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

Tapsell is a talented stage and screen actor, best known for her performance in the movie The Sapphires and TV drama Love Child. She also made a killer speech at the 2015 Logie Awards, urging directors to put "more beautiful people of colour on screen".

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4. Briggs

Facebook: senatorbriggs

(Adam) Briggs is a rapper, record label owner, and comedy writer. He's worked with artists such as Hilltop Hoods, Drapht, and Funkoars and in recent times has branched out into acting, with appearances on both Black Comedy and Cleverman.

5. Thelma Plum

instagram.com

With a hauntingly beautiful voice, singer-songwriter Thelma Plum is quickly making a name for herself within the music industry. She's released two EPs and has been touring around Australia.

6. Lyn-Al Young

Instagram: @Lyn_al / Via instagram.com

Fashion designer Lyn-Al Young is only 21 years old, but is already making a name for herself after being showcased during Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Indigenous Project. Her designs are inspired by her cultural heritage, and the family stories and histories that shape her identity.

7. Hunter Page-Lochard

Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

Also starring in Cleverman, Page-Lochard has already had quite the acting career, with roles in Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires. Performing is in his blood, he’s the son of choreographer and Bangarra artistic director Stephen Page.

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8. Kahl Wallis

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Fronting the band The Medics, as well as touring as a solo artist, Wallis is a powerful and compelling musician, with his lyrics showcasing a rich history and the story of his people.

9. Ella Havelka

The Australian Ballet / PR IMAGE

Ella became the Australian Ballet’s first Indigenous dancer back in 2013, after performing with Indigenous dance company Bangarra for four years. She also paints, and has works on display at the Wagga Wagga art gallery.

10. Jonathan Jones

Twitter: @carolridinghigh

Working across a range of mediums from drawing, to sculptures, and printmaking, Jonathan Jones draws on his Kamilaroi/Wiradjuri culture for inspiration, as well as current socio-political concerns. This year Jones has been commissioned to rebuild the frame of Sydney’s infamous Garden Palace which mysteriously burned to the ground in 1882.

11. Jessica Mauboy

Instagram: jessicamauboy1 / Via instagram.com

Since coming second on Australian Idol back in 2006, Jess has had a successful singing and acting career. She’s also an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Project which provides books and learning materials to remote areas, and is an ambassador and fundraiser for the Yipirinya School in Alice Springs, which is bi-cultural and teaches four Indigenous languages.

12. Meyne Wyatt

Instagram: @meyneg / Via instagram.com

For a 26-year-old, Meyne has appeared in an impressive number of TV shows, movies, and stage productions, including The Sapphires and Redfern Now, which earned him a Logie nomination. He was also the first-ever Indigenous actor to appear on Neighbours.

13. Samantha Harris

Instagram: @sam_harris / Via instagram.com

After winning a Dolly modelling competition when she was 11 years old, Samantha has walked for many high-end Australian fashion labels, and appeared on the cover of Vogue Australia in 2010. She was also an ambassador for David Jones, along with Miranda Kerr and Megan Gale.

14. Jada Alberts

ABC / Via Twitter: @jadaj

Darwin born Jada Alberts stormed the Australian theatre scene in 2014 with her multi-award nominated play Brothers Wreck. She’s also had success as an actor appearing in Red Hill, Wentworth and Redfern Now. This year, Jada was named Writers Fellow by the Bell Shakespeare company.

15. Shareena Clanton

Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

Though she’s starred in a handful of TV roles, Shareena is probably best known for her role on Aussie prison show Wentworth for which she received critical acclaim and a Logie nomination.

16. Casey Donovan

Instagram: @caseydonovan88 / Via instagram.com

Another Australian Idol alumni, Casey Donovan has been singing and acting since winning the show at the age of 16. She is also an Advocate for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, and has lately been heavily involved in stage and musical acting.

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