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Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships unites riders and artists

Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships 4 mins read
Kalkadoon artist Alysha Blackley who has redesigned the Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships logo for 2024

Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships unites riders and artists in cultural celebration


Ah One x Church Family Trans-Tasman Indigenous Rodeo Challenge

Kiakati (key-ah-kar-tee) Indigenous Arts and Culture Precinct

Artworks by Kalkadoon artists Alysha Blackley and Jesse Wilson

Australian music royalty in Kasey Chambers and Christine Anu


In just three years the Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships has become a multi-award winning event that unites riders, artists and rodeo fans, shines a spotlight on the incredible talent of First Nations athletes and generates serious revenue for the region.  Images here


Already the event has taken GOLD in the Festivals and Events Category at the Queensland Tourism Awards, and won the Queensland Reconciliation Award for Partnerships with Mona Aboriginal Corporation.  In addition, research from Tourism and Events Queensland for the 2023 event shows it generated a direct and incremental expenditure of $1,792,405 for the Mount Isa economy and $1,307,383 for the Queensland economy.


In just ONE MONTH on August 8, the THIRD Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships will take place, this year welcoming indigenous New Zealand riders and unveiling Kiakati (key-ah-kar-tee), an Indigenous Arts and Culture Precinct at Buchanan Park.


The inaugural Trans-Tasman rodeo challenge will celebrate two of the greatest Indigenous rodeo families from each side of the famous ditch.


The Ah One x Church Family Trans-Tasman Indigenous Rodeo Challenge will see some of the best cowboys and cowgirls from New Zealand take on the Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo champions. This Bledisloe Buck of rodeo has been created to pay tribute to George Ah One, known as The Carandotta Drover, and his family who walked the legendary CARANDOTTA horses over 200 kilometres from Carandotta Station through to Kalkadoon Park for the annual Mount Isa ROTARY Rodeo in 1959. The family did this for over 20 years, and became revered for their horsemanship, and the bloodline of these horses, as a result of George’s care, are still viewed as the best rodeo stock in the country. 


While the Ah One name is legendary in Australian rodeo, the Church family is legendary in New Zealand. This multi-generational Māori rodeo family are the reigning national champions. Celebrating these pioneers of indigenous rodeo heritage will create Trans-Tasman rodeo history.


In 2024 Mount Isa Rodeo Festival will welcome a significant new experience - Kiakati (key-ah-kar-tee), an Indigenous Arts and Culture Precinct at Buchanan Park, being produced under the guidance of Malkarri Cultural Centre Limited.


Kiakati is a Kalkadoon word meaning “to make”, with the precinct to be home to artworks, artefacts, classes hosted by Elders and artists from across the region, storytelling, songline talk and creative leadership. Importantly, Kiakati will make lasting partnerships with community and partners, and be a place to talk of old memories and make new ones.


Kiakati is hosted in partnership with longtime rodeo collaborator and First Nations guide, Malkarri Cultural Centre Limited, a not-for-profit Australian First Nations organisation and charity, focused on preserving and continuing Kalkutungu (Kalkadoon) Culture, through language, song, dance, art and cultural practice. Kiakati will open for all four days of the Mount Isa Rodeo Festival – August 8 to 11 and is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.


This year, the 2024 Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships logo has been redesigned by 19-year-old Kalkadoon artist Alysha Blackley.  Artwork for this year is a yidaki (didgeridoo) by Kalkadoon artist Jesse Wilson and will be unveiled as part of the Opening Ceremony of the event. 


On August 8, when the rodeo action is over and new champions are crowned, Australian music royalty in Kasey Chambers and Christine Anu will take to the Rodeo Rock stage for the night.


Of the rodeo action – last year a legend emerged. Northern Territory and  Pitta Pitta cowboy Jason Craigie took back-to-back Bareback Ride buckles, and doubled up to win the Saddle Bronc Ride, while Doomadgee cowboy Peter Jupiter stole the show with a spectacular dispatch from the saddle into the stand!


The buckles were won in front of a record crowd, and against a record number of riders - 100 indigenous riders took part, and thanks to funding from the Queensland Government, the event welcomed  119 nominations across a full program showcasing the skills of Australia’s extraordinary Indigenous stockmen and women.


Natalie Flecker, CEO, ISA RODEO LIMITED, said, We are all so proud of the Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships, everyone that is part of the journey to create it, to stage it, and all the riders who compete.” 


“The event expertise of Isa Rodeo Ltd, the cultural guidance and input from Malkarri and the inspiring programs and advice Mona Aboriginal Corporation offers to empower our Aboriginal youth is a deadly combination that demonstrates the sort of outcomes great partnerships can produce. This event has enormous growth potential and will play a significant role in the First Nations offering to the many visitors leading up to and beyond the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.”


ABOUT THE Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships

The event is produced as a partnership between Isa Rodeo Limited, Mona Aboriginal Corporation and Malkarri Cultural Centre Limited, and aims to galvanise the interest in rodeo from Indigenous competitors and showcase bush skills from indigenous cowboys, cowgirls, stockmen and stockwomen. It provides indigenous athletes access and information on the pathways available to progress their skills and potential careers and/or volunteerism in rodeo. It connects visitors to the northwest Queensland region, the Kalkadoon people, their stories and culture as well as the visiting indigenous communities of northern Queensland.


The Queensland Government is the Principal Partner of the Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships and is also supported through Tourism and Events Queensland.


Mount Isa Rodeo Festival: August 3 to 11

All information and TICKETS ON SALE: Mount Isa Rodeo - Australia's Most Spectacular Rodeos


Thursday 8th August:  Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships

  • The third year of the Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships will see more records set, and indigenous riders celebrated, and includes the first ever Ah One x Church Family Trans-Tasman Indigenous Rodeo Challenge.
  • Rodeo Rock starring Kasey Chambers + Christine Anu.
  • A Welcome to Country and cultural performance by the Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers.
  • The 2024 logo has been designed by 19 year-old Kalkadoon graphic artist Alysha Blackey and this year’s commissioned artwork a yidaki (digeridoo)  by Yirandali and Ngnwun artist Jessie Wilson.



For media interviews, imagery and more, please contact 

Contact details:

Kath Rose on or 0416 291 493


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