Meet Kiya Watt
Culture and Identity
A Proud Yorga belonging to the Wagyl Kaip Ilua Noongar Nation. Her bloodline and Moort connects her to Gnudju Boodjah (Country) in Esperance and Menang Boodjah in Albany, Warriup Swamp, Jerramungup, Bremer Bay and Doubtful island all holding sacred stories, located in the South West region of Western Australia. Kiya was raised on Menang Boodjah in a small town called Denmark then moved to Kinjarling where her Twins son’s, herself and her father were all born. Her Cultural ties, creation stories and connections to Kinjarling and her community are heavily reflected throughout her work.
Credits and Honour to those who have paved the way
Kiya makes Special thanks and credits to her Nan Carol Petterson, Nan Lynette Knapp, Pop Kim Gray, Uncle Lester Coyne, Uncle Michael Cummings, Pop Wayne Knapp and her Nan Kathy Gresty for their storytelling, teaching, spiritual guidance and support. Kiya wants to Further highlight her fathers Mother and her late Nan Kathy Gresty who taught her the story she holds closest to her heart. Wanting to pay tribute to this story she chose to represent it in her Kwilena (Dolphin) business Logo, this statement connected to her brand allows her to work hard and bring honour to her legacy knowing her success is shared through spirit with her much loved Nan.
Historical and Assimilating Australian policies have impacted Aboriginal people in detrimental ways leading to inter generational trauma and ongoing issues in Aboriginal communities. Kiya uses her platform to highlight these topics in hopes of raising awareness and educating her followers of the inequality her people face in this present day. She believes blak perspectives and representations in the media are vital. Kiya is proud of her media features on these platforms:
- Marie Claire
- Girl friend magazine
- Play magazine
- The west Australian
- National Indigenous times
- GWN 7news
- Southerly magazine (Cover)
- Albany Advertiser
- The guardian
- Style magazine
- Aurora Magazine (Cover)
A passion for family, art and culture.
Kiya Watt’s Art journey began when her twin son’s, Allikae and Desean approached her for assistance with their school Naidoc project. Working together they painted and uploaded the completed Artwork. The positive feedback made her reflective and empowered her to connect with her Elders and learn the creation stories, totems and bloodlines she is honoured to belong to. Kiya has always actively been vocal about the issue’s impacting First Nations people with pride installed into her from her father Michael Watt and like her Ancestors feels it is her obligation to keep fighting against Australia’s detrimental systems and discriminatory policies designed to keep Aboriginal people in cycles of disadvantage. Painting has created a new avenue for her to advocate as her success and media coverage has gained her over 45,000 followers Online, she uses her social Media platforms to create educational resources and links to campaigns aimed at addressing the ongoing issues First nations people face.
From Artist to Entrepreneur
Passionate and Empowered, Kiya felt it was a necessary step to develop her Art hobby into a business and further invest and nuture her skillsets. Aiming to Prove Blak self determination is inherently throughout Aboriginal families and communities.
Her business has gained local, national and international exposures through partnerships with brands, charities and even famous television shows like these ones:
She acknowledges her Ancestors past and present for her hard working ethics, creativity, self motivation, time management and confidence in the industry. She states that Aboriginal people are leaders and have always applied these ethics in their tribes for over 65,000+ years. She believes it is these attributes which have lead her to becoming a multi award winning Entrepreneur
- 2019 ACCI Albany Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal business of the year (Finalist)
- 2019 Albany Chamber of Commerce young business person of the year (Winner) 2020 Albany Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal business of the year (Winner)
- 2020 Albany Chamber of Commerce young business person of the year (Winner)
- 2020 South Perth Emerging Artists Aboriginal Artist Award (highly commended)
- 2020 The town of Victoria park Arts and culture award (Finalist)
- 2021 7News WA young achiever QION small business achiever (Winner)
- 2021 7News WA young achiever Awards Australia Regional Service Award (Finalist)
Through Kiya’s business journey and growing knowledge of the industry she found her self becoming frustrated with the lack of transparency and education around the trade of Aboriginal culture. Her disappointment grew when an Employment opportunity presented as a partnership turned into a life changing lesson due to the lack of disclosure around the legalities of copyright. Online Kiya leaned on her network of Blak business leaders to express her frustration and share her experiences. Grateful and Overwhelmed with support Kiya especially found solace with power house Wiradjuri woman Jarin Baigent founder of Jarin street, whom like her harboured the same drive for action to tackle this. Jarin started an online group with 10 other blak business leaders all committed to addressing these issues. Trading Blak was birthed through this union