Media Release: Wednesday 2 September 2020.              

Winning couple to embark on small ship expedition to Cape & Torres Strait

Winners are grinners, Cheryl and Kevin Cullen now look forward to cruising the cultural coral seas

Bargara couple Cheryl and Kevin Cullen have turned fandom for Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) into a dream fulfilling prize as the lucky winners of Coral Expeditions’ 10-Night Coastal Cultures of the Torres Strait and Cape York expedition for two in 2021.

The couple first encountered CIAF in 2018 while visiting the Far North.  Having enjoyed the experience with a promise to return, the couple have been active followers of the event ever since, staying tuned via social media channels and website.  It was their participation in this year’s virtual iteration, CIAF – The Cultural Evolution, that saw Cheryl take up the open invitation to enter Coral Expeditions’ online competition.

Mrs Cullen said the win was completely unexpected and after learned the good news earlier this week, has been on a ‘high’ ever since.

The couple can now look forward to next year and enjoying their once-in-a-lifetime holiday cruise.

“I wish to thank the amazing sponsor of CIAF 2020, Coral Expeditions, for this unbelievable prize.

“I also want to thank the CIAF for holding their event annually and particularly this year – as it’s proven to be a difficult time for all.

“I loved this year’s program and particularly, the chats with the arts community.,

“The gallery virtual walkthrough, the music, dancing and culture of our First Nation performers. It’s difficult to choose any one item as they were all outstanding,” Mrs Cullen said.

 Mrs Cullen said that winning this trip means they can now experience in much more detail, the culture and art of the Torres Strait Islander people.

“And again, see their beautiful smiles and make lasting friendships,” she said.


Background Information

Australia’s pioneering small ship expedition line, Coral Expeditions continues to chart a cultural course as this year’s major prize partner of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2020.

Underpinned by a decade-long tradition, CIAF has shown its true resilience and agility during pandemic restrictions to present The Cultural Evolution – a multi-faceted digital program comprising a series of live stream presentations, music and fashion performances, webinars, workshops, community spotlights, virtual gallery exhibitions, art awards and conversations.

CIAF’s three-year partnership with Coral Expeditions maintained momentum in 2020 helping to raise awareness of the Festival with a prize promotion giving online visitors and event participants the opportunity to win a 10-Night Coastal Cultures of the Torres Strait and Cape York expedition for two in 2021.

CIAF’s Artistic Director Janina Harding said this a once in a lifetime prize was very popular and helped raise awareness of Queensland’s emerging and established artists by rewarding ‘supporters’ to this year’s CIAF website.

Coral Expeditions’ Jeff Gillies said his company was proud to continue its growing involvement with CIAF in 2020 and beyond as a major partner of the CIAF ‘Collectors and Curators’ program.

“We have been delivering world-class expedition experiences in north Queensland for over three decades.

“We pride ourselves on the relationships we have developed with remote Indigenous communities through visitation and the promotion of culture and art.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with CIAF each year and reimagining the 2020 partnership in light of the disruptions and challenges we all face at the moment.

“As our company grows, we value how this great event helps inspire us and our guests with more cultural content and themed voyages, to visit more communities in our travels and to showcase the art and culture of the region on our vessels and to our guests.

“We trust that visitors to CIAF online were just as inspired,” Mr Gillies said.

The prize, valued at $21,800 includes all meals, a drink package, daily excursions, lectures, guides, taxes, port fees and onboard gratuities.

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About CIAF

CIAF was established by the Queensland Government in 2009 as a strategic initiative of Backing Indigenous Arts which aims to build stronger, more sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industry in the State.  CIAF Ltd, formed in 2014 is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and governed by a Board of Directors.

The Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support CIAF.

In 2019, CIAF celebrated its 10th Anniversary and continues to introduce innovative and exciting opportunities for Queensland Indigenous artists. CIAF has gone from strength to strength since the inaugural fair in 2009, attracting significant attention from both international and national institutional and private collectors, curators, media and the general public.

In 2020, CIAF will deliver its new and interactive, digital festival platform to the world through a series of live stream presentations, performances, webinars, workshops, community spotlights, virtual gallery exhibitions.  Traditional highlights transformed to the virtual platform include the opening and closing ceremonies, symposium, art exhibitions (CIAF Art Fair, Undercurrents – Cook 2020, North Site Contemporary Arts’ Billy Missi’n Wakain Thamai and UMI Arts’ Freshwater Saltwater), Water is Sacred fashion performance, storytime readings for kids and more.

From the outset, CIAF has generated strong outcomes locally and nationally. In just 10 years, over 320,000 people have visited the event and approximately $7.6 million has been generated in art sales which have been returned to the artistic community and are being used to further develop their art practice.

About Coral Expeditions

Recognised as Australia’s longest established and most awarded expedition cruise operator, Coral Expeditions are Australia’s pioneering cruise line offering a unique style of immersive expedition adventures in small ships purpose-built to take guests closer to nature and cultures.

Starting with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, 35 years later the fleet has grown to an all-new ocean-going fleet featuring the intimate blue-water vessel Coral Discoverer and the brand-new flagship vessels Coral Adventurer and sister ship Coral Geographer.

Headquartered in Cairns, Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the outerknown regions of the Great Barrier Reef, the ancient Kimberley coastline, Tasmania’s wilderness coast, Cape York and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and further afield to the small Islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Find Freedom in the farthest reaches with Coral Expeditions.