Cossack in the Early Years

This regional art award had its genesis in the early 1990s. It was the brainchild of former Cossack caretaker Brian Hoey, who developed the concept of exhibiting the works of local artists in the newly restored buildings of the historic Cossack settlement. Artists eagerly submitted works to be displayed within the enchanting architecture of magnificent granite and bluestone masonry.

In the early years following its inception the official Cossack Art Award was held in the Bond Store, with local resource companies Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd (Rio Tinto), Robe River Iron Associates and Woodside Offshore Petroleum as major sponsors. In 1998 Philip Crabb, mining entrepreneur and tireless advocate for regional Western Australia, became the inaugural Patron of the Cossack Art Award. In 2004 Michael Wright of Voyager Estate also became a Patron of the Award.

Entries to the Awards have multiplied over the years, resulting in additional demands for wall space and in 1999 artworks were not only displayed in the Bond Store, but also expanded in the Post and Telegraph Building. Sponsorship and Patronage has increased over the years and the Award has grown to be the richest acquisitive art award in regional Australia.

The town of Cossack comes to life every year with the opening of the Cossack Art Awards. The City of Karratha and Principal Partner Rio Tinto look ahead to years of celebration and festivity with the continued growth and success of this significant cultural event.