The Stiff Gins are an Indigenous Australian band from Sydney. They call their music "acoustic with harmonies" and are regularly compared to Tiddas.[1] The band was formed by Emma Donovan, Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs in 1999,[2] after meeting at the Eora Centre while studying music. The band's name uses the word gin (a derogatory word for an Aboriginal woman which was also a Dharug word for woman/wife) with the word stiff to become strong black woman,[3] a name which caused debate about use of the word gin.[4]

Stiff Gins
OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • World
  • folk
  • acoustic
Years active1999 (1999)–present
Past members

The band won Deadlys in 2000 for Most Promising New Talent and in 2001 for their single "Morning Star".[5]



Title Details
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Stiff Gins (SGO2500)
  • Format: CD
Kingia Australis
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Didgeridoo records
  • Format: CD
Wind & Water
  • Released: March 2011[6]
  • Label: Gadigal Music (GAD006)
  • Format: CD, DD

Extended playsEdit

Title Details
Soh Fa
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Stiff Gins (TSG500)
  • Format: CD


Deadly AwardsEdit

The Deadly Awards, commonly known simply as "The Deadlys", was an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community. The awards ran from 1995 until funding cuts lead to their cancellation in 2014.[7]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
Deadly Awards 2000 Stiff Gins Most Promising New Talent Won
Deadly Awards 2001 "Morning Star" by Stiff Gins Best Single Release Won


  1. ^ Ewans, Michael; Rosalind Halton; John A. Phillips (2004). Music Research: New Directions for a New Century. Cambridge Scholars Press. ISBN 9781904303350.
  2. ^ Davern, Pearl (4 May 2009). "Emma Donovan shoots her first music video". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  3. ^ TE Archive Drink up the Heady soul of Stiff Gins
  4. ^ Dunbar-Hall, Peter; Chris Gibson (July 2004). Deadly Sounds, Deadly Places. Contemporary Aboriginal Music in Australia. University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 9780868406220.
  5. ^ Michael Ewans, Rosalind Halton, John A. Phillips Music Research: New Directions for a New Century 2004 Page 159 "... 2000, the group won a Deadly Awards for Most Promising New Talent, and in 2001, they won the Single Release of the Year award for their song "Morning Star."
  6. ^ Elder, Bruce (11 June 2011), "Indigenous folk", The Sydney Morning Herald
  7. ^ Feneley, Rick (14 July 2014). "Deadly Awards founder Gavin Jones dies after funding cut". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 February 2021.

Further readingEdit

Davis, Therese (2006). "'The Spirit, the Heart and the Power': An Interview with the 'Stiff Gins' on Music, Friendship and History". Aboriginal History. 30: 111–123.

External linksEdit