Girra: Fraser Coast National Art Prize

Girra: Fraser Coast National Art Prize is an initiative of the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery and Fraser Coast Regional Council that seeks to explore our reciprocal, inextricable relationship with the environment through contemporary art.

Girra: Fraser Coast National Art Prize invites entries from artists working in any visual art medium from across Australia, offering a $25,000 major acquisitive prize. Entrants are invited to submit works that demonstrate a conceptual engagement with the intersection of people, place and the environment. Entrants are encouraged to consider an expanded approach to this theme—Girra is not another landscape prize.

Girra was borne out of the enduring social and cultural importance of the natural environment in the Fraser Coast region, encompassing land, sea and sky. Home of the Butchulla people, the region’s unique natural features include the world’s largest sand island K’Gari and its surrounding waters, recognised as the world’s first Whale Heritage Site.

Entries for the inaugural prize open from 1 May 2023 and close 5pm AEST 21 June 2023. The Major Prize winner will be awarded a $25,000 acquisitive prize. Their work will become a significant early acquisition for the newly focused art collection of the Fraser Coast.

The finalists’ exhibition, held at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery 23 September to 12 November 2023, will form a compelling story of our nation’s relationship to the environment told through diverse perspectives and aesthetic approaches.

Entries are encouraged from contemporary artists working in any visual art form, including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, and video.

Entries for the 2023 prize are now closed


Major Acquisitive Prize: $25,000
The Hervey Bay Boat Club People’s Choice Award: $2,000


Dr. Fiona Foley (Associate Professor at The University of Queensland), Peta Rake (Senior Curator, UQ Art Museum) and Ashleigh Whatling (HBRG Director)


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Enter the prize

Entries for the 2023 prize are now closed

Key Dates

Call for entries: 1 May-21 June 2023
Finalists advised of inclusion: 12 July 2023
Exhibition: 23 September-12 November 2023
Opening and Prize Announcement: Friday 22 September 2023


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  • Girra: Fraser Coast National Art Prize draws its name from the Butchulla word for sand, a vital component of the region’s landscape. As a title, Girra is both emblematic of the Fraser Coast region and a conceptual provocation that encourages artists to consider how their practice relates to the natural environment.

    Girra, or sand, forms our saltwater coasts, freshwater riverbeds, and dry desert interior, shaped over millennia by the tides and winds. Sand forms the foundation of our cities, mined and rendered into concrete or melted into glass. A ubiquitous presence in the Australian landscape, sand reveals the sensitive, cyclical, and reciprocal relationship between people and place.

  • Artists should address the relationship between people, place and the environment in their submission. Girra/sand has been used as a provocation in the naming of the prize, however the artwork does not need to reference sand specifically.

  • All Australian citizens and residents over the age of 18 at the time of submission. Employees of Fraser Coast Regional Council (inclusive of HBRG), the judges, and members of their immediate families are not eligible to enter the Prize.

  • Artwork can be any visual art medium including, but not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, and video. A submission can consist of a single piece or a multi-piece artwork which must be considered a single artwork. There is no size limit for work submitted. The value of the artwork must not exceed $25,000. The submitted artwork must not have previously been a finalist in another art prize.

  • Yes, there is a $25 entry fee.

  • No. Shortlisted finalists will be exhibited at the gallery and judged in-situ.

  • In the interests of strengthening ongoing support for existing long-standing local art prizes run by the Hervey Bay Art Society and the Maryborough Art Society, Girra will maintain a Major Prize and People’s Choice prize only. 

  • Successful entries will be notified by 12 July 2023 and logistical details about delivery of works will be advised by the gallery.

  • If you win the Major Prize you will be awarded $25,000 and your work will become part of the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery Collection. No further fee shall be paid and the work must be immediately available. If you win the People’s Choice prize you will be awarded $2,000 and your work will be returned to you at the conclusion of the exhibition.

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