Albert Namatjira was the first indigenous artist to paint and exhibit professionally in Western style. He painted his country and was both prodigious and successful, producing approximately two thousand pictures and founding a school of painting that continues today.
Albert Namatjira and his wife Rubina. In 1957 Namatjira and his wife gained Australian citizenship which entitled them to vote, own land, build a house and buy alcohol. Although Albert and Rubina were legally allowed to drink alcohol, his Aboriginal family and friends were not. The Arrernte culture expected him to share everything he owned. It was this contradiction that was to bring Namatjira into conflict with the law.
In 1957 the first Aboriginal Australians to be granted full citizenship were Albert Namatjira and his wife Rubina. It's sad that despite all the rhetoric and his considerable fame and fortune, they were denied permission to buy land and build a house, which is what they wanted to do. Sometime when I look at his fabulous water colours I think about them living in squalor with their meagre possessions on the outskirts of Alice Springs. Even today, sometime fame and fortune is not enough.
the gorgeous Ruby Hunter. I interviewed Ruby Hunter to write the story of her childhood so it could be included in Tough Stuff. Ruby was a member of the Stolen Generation. She was kind, courageous and inspiring.
Vincent Lingiari AM (1908 – 21 Jan 1988), was an Aboriginal rights activist. Lingiari was a member of the Gurindji people. He worked as a stockman at Wave Hill Cattle Station. Vincent was elected and became the leader of the Gurindji communities in August 1966. On 7 June 1976, Lingiari was named a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the Aboriginal people. (Vincent is pictured with Gough Whitlam in the symbolic 1975 handover of Wave Hill back to the Gurindji People.)