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Combine your passion for Country and culture

A degree in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art invests Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with the skills and techniques to become professional artists. In this unique degree, you'll learn from Indigenous lecturers and focus on traditional Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art media, styles and forms.

Through your studies in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art, you'll explore the diversity of modern Indigenous art practice, and gain deep insights into contemporary culture and political art.

Virtual Open House and Open Day

Join us on campus, online or both to explore our degrees and get all the information you need to start planning your future.

Find out more about open day.

Study contemporary Australian Indigenous art at Griffith

This degree is planned in accordance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander principles and philosophies. Teaching respects Aboriginal protocols concerning the ways in which techniques and images may be used.

Your study will be based on research into your own family history and traditions. You’ll have the chance to undertake field trips to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and study contemporary culture and politics.

Choose your own path

In your first year, you’ll gain a solid foundation in art practice, visual culture, contemporary Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and the culture and issues it represents. In your second and third years you’ll continue the integrated, family-oriented approach to the study of Australian Indigenous art along with complementary studio electives.

Learn from the best

Dr Carol McGregor leads a dedicated team of CAIA staff. Her work has been exhibited across the country and strongly reflects her identity as an Indigenous Australian.

We’re proud to deliver an outstanding education that supports our students in facing the future with confidence, competence and the knowledge and skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Exhibitions and artist talks

You’ll have unique opportunities to exhibit, screen and sell your work through our Galleries programs. You’ll also have access to an exciting calendar of guest lectures, masterclasses, artist talks, as well as on-campus exhibitions.


You can apply either through QTAC or directly to the QCA. Whether you apply through QTAC or directly to the QCA, you’ll be sent an application form, which you should complete and return to the QCA along with a folio of your artwork. You’ll be required to provide a reference from someone in your community to support your application and you’ll also be required to attend the QCA for an interview before the degree starts.

Dylan Sarra

Gooreng Gooreng artist and Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (CAIA) student, Dylan Sarra was a finalist in the prestigious 2020 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). The awards showcase the best Australian Indigenous art from emerging and established artists around the country.

Dylan said his studies at Griffith have had a profound impact on his development as an artist.

“I came to the QCA as a mature-age student and it has helped me find my voice. It’s not about what you are creating, but learning to understand why. CAIA is unique, and it’s given me a sense of community. There is such a strong network and everyone encourages each other.”

Bleach festival

Three-year partnership with Bleach* Festival to provide extensive practical experience to Griffith students from 2019

Career outcomes

With a Griffith CAIA degree, you'll enter the professional contemporary art environment with a folio of work that demonstrates your competence in Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge, skills and media, and in contemporary technologies.

Graduates have the necessary skills to perform effectively in professional contemporary art practice environments. You’ll be prepared to work as an art practitioner, gallerist or curator. You may choose to continue your studies through honours or a postgraduate degree to pursue a career in art education.

Griffith CAIA graduates continue to win international accolades for their creativity, motivation and professional approach to their career development.

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Life at Griffith

You can gain more than just a degree at Griffith. With plenty of opportunities to balance life and study, you can make memories and mates to last a lifetime.

Learn more about life at Griffith University

Students hugging

19 Jul 2021

Large contingent of Griffith athletes bound for Olympics

Read more about Large contingent of Griffith athletes bound for Olympics

16 Jul 2021

Exhibition honours Griffith’s first Aboriginal art graduate

Read more about Exhibition honours Griffith’s first Aboriginal art graduate

Key dates

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Monday 12 July — Friday 20 August

Open House

Explore Griffith from home

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Sunday 8 August — Sunday 8 August

Open Day

Gold Coast, Nathan and South Bank campuses

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Thursday 19 August — Thursday 19 August

Year 9 and 10 Parent and Student Information Webinar


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Monday 13 September — Monday 13 September

Mature Student Open Evening - Online

Wednesday 15 September — Wednesday 15 September

Mature Student Open Evening - Nathan Campus

Thursday 16 September — Thursday 16 September

Mature Student Open Evening - Gold Coast Campus

Friday 17 December — Thursday 23 December

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