Award winner Cassar-Daley calls for treaty

Australian country musician Troy Cassar-Daley has won a top prize at the Indigenous Music Awards.

Australian country musician Troy Cassar-Daley has won a top prize at the Indigenous Music Awards.

Australian country music star Troy Cassar-Daley has called for an Aboriginal treaty after taking out top honours at the National Indigenous Music Awards.

The ARIA-winning veteran, who snapped up Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his hugely successful record Things I Carry Around, said a settlement between the federal government and indigenous groups would work towards reconciliation.

"I hope I see it happen before I die. It would bring true respect between black and white in this country," Cassar-Daley told AAP.

"Music and education can definitely play a part in this process."

The Sydney-born guitarist said the biggest issue facing indigenous Australia today is a lack of independence.

"(We must take) ownership of our culture once again and our stories and songs," Cassar-Daley said.

"We need to put our role models and proper representatives in more important positions to get things done and to have something for our young to aim for."

Cassar-Daley describes his record, which also earned him a Golden Guitar for 2017 Album of the Year, as a "snapshot" of his life.

"I've never tried to do that before and loved the result," he said.

"It was very personal... it was liberating to talk about my dad and the effect he had on my musical life."

Hip hop duo A B Original received the award for Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year for January 26, a protest anthem about changing the date of Australia Day.

The rappers showcased the track from their ground-breaking album Reclaim Australia at the event in Darwin on Saturday night, while Dan Sultan, Paul Kelly, the Numbulwar Red Flag Dancers, Leah Flanagan and Gawurra also performed.

Electric Fields won the hotly-contested New Talent of the Year category over fellow nominees Tia Gostelow, Emily Wurramara, Apakatjah and Yirrmal.

The Numbulwar Red Flag Dancers took out the Traditional Music Award while the Community Music Clip prize went to Halls Creek for Save The Water "Ngaba".

A moving tribute was also paid to Australia's most prominent Aboriginal musician, blind singer Dr G Yunupingu, who last month died after a long battle with kidney and liver disease.

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