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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.

Mature Student Open Evenings

18-20 May from 4-6 pm.

Reserve your place for the webinar

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.

Applications

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

05 May 2021

Emerging artist selected for national showcase

Read more about Emerging artist selected for national showcase

28 Apr 2021

Creating cultural connections through art and medicine

Read more about Creating cultural connections through art and medicine

Key dates

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Monday 8 March — Saturday 19 June

Trimester 1

Our first teaching trimester starts on Monday 8 March 2021 . Trimester 1 examinations run from Thursday 10 to Saturday 19 June.

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Thursday 29 April — Thursday 29 April

Year 11 and 12 Parent and Student Information Webinar

Online

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Thursday 6 May — Saturday 8 May

Gold Coast Careers and Employment Festival

Tuesday 18 May — Tuesday 18 May

Mature Student Open Evening - Online

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Wednesday 19 May — Wednesday 19 May

Mature Student Open Evening - Nathan Campus

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Thursday 20 May — Thursday 20 May

Mature Student Open Evening - Gold Coast Campus

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Friday 21 May — Saturday 22 May

Brisbane Careers and Employment Expo

Saturday 17 July — Sunday 18 July

TSXPO

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Monday 19 July — Saturday 30 October

Trimester 2

Our second teaching trimester starts on Monday 19 July. Trimester 2 examinations run from Saturday 21 to Saturday 30 October.

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Tuesday 20 July — Tuesday 20 July

Sunshine Coast Careers and Employment Expo

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Friday 23 July — Sunday 25 July

Melbourne Careers and Employment Expo

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Sunday 8 August — Sunday 8 August

Open Day

Gold Coast, Nathan and South Bank campuses

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Thursday 26 August — Thursday 26 August

Year 9 and 10 Parent and Student Information Webinar

Online

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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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