Peggy Patrick (Dirrmingali)
Polymer paint, natural ochres and acrylic binder on custom board
100 x 80 cm
Area: Kununura, Western Australia
Jirrawun Arts, PP 2008 01058
A prodigious singer, dancer, artist and storyteller, Peggy has performed throughout Australia. Frances Kofod, a linguist who has worked in the East Kimberley since 1971, is collaborating with Peggy on a bilingual autobiography. She believes that Peggy's repertoire of Kimberley song cycles is unparalleled and that her cultural knowledge is akin to an encyclopedia.
As well as her commitment to preserving her culture, Peggy has been a formidable politician; representing Gija people on the Kimberley Land Council, serving for nine years as the Chairperson of the Gooda Gooda Community and negotiating for Aboriginal rights on the Argyle Diamond Mine agreement.
Born in the East Kimberley around 1930, Peggy has lived through the profound social changes of first contact. Before Peggy was born, her mother witnessed the massacre of her parents (Peggy's grandparents) and other family members by Europeans greedy for the fertile plains of the Kimberley frontier. These stories were passed on to Peggy and other children.
In 2010, in recognition of her contribution to culture and for her efforts to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians together, Peggy Patrick was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia
Source : Beth Neate “Peggy Patrick AM: A Queen Among Men” , ABC Open Mother Tongue, 31 July 2014