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The Voice of Indigenous Australia
Celebrated actor Jack Charles has been lauded as an amazing storyteller and inspiration following his death in Melbourne at the age of 79. Tribute, pages 22-23

Uncle Jack Charles: a story-teller of his time

Beloved Indigenous Elder and storyteller Jack Charles has been remembered for his persistence, against all odds and his ability to elevate those around him. The actor, musician, activist and member of the Stolen Generations suffered a stroke and died at Royal Melbourne Hospital on Tuesday, September 13, aged 79. 

“We’re heartbroken to be announcing the passing of our much loved Yorta Yorta senior Elder, Uncle Jack Charles,” his family said in a statement. 

“We are so proud of everything he has achieved in his remarkable life.” 

Before he passed away, his family were able to send him off on Country during a smoking ceremony at the hospital. 

The Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta man’s career spanned decades. 

While revered as the grandfather of Indigenous theatre, Charles became better known to audiences for his film roles in The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) and Blackfellas (1993).

More recently he voiced the frilled-neck lizard character Greg in animated film Back to the Outback (2021).

His works include touring his one-man show Jack Charles v The Crown based on his life, and the ABC TV series Cleverman and Preppers. He also appeared on the SBS series Who Do You Think You Are…

Latest News Stories

Basket weaver Cynthia Burke

Desert Mob gets arty

Monday, 26 September 2022 9:00 am

Hundreds of people have gathered in Alice Springs to see the first Desert Mob art show led by Aboriginal people. 

The annual exhibition has been running for three decades and showcases the latest work from artists in more than 30 community art centres in the central desert region. 

Western Aranda woman Marisa Maher put together the 2022 show with prominent curator, Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman Hetti Perkins. 

Ms Perkins said some of the artists on display are descended from the founders of the Indigenous art movement. 

“It’s really nice to see that this is keeping going through generations, it’s about that legacy and the pride in sharing the culture and the story,” Ms Maher said. 

DesArt chief executive Philip Watkins said he was “proud this is the first time in desert history that we have our own mob, DesArt, curating the exhibition”…

Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous pre-Doctoral Fellow at RMIT and co-researcher, Taungurung man Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch with the team’s concrete that was made using PPE. Pictures: RMIT University

Addressing PPE waste is a concrete matter

Monday, 26 September 2022 9:00 am

Taungurung researcher Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch is the brains behind a game changing innovation which uses recycled disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) to make concrete stronger and reduce pandemic related waste at the same time. 

The new type of concrete will not only benefit the construction industry, it will also have far reaching positive impacts on healthcare waste and environmental sustainability. 

A PhD scholar and Vice- Chancellor’s Indigenous pre- Doctoral Research Fellow at RMIT in Naarm (Melbourne), Mr Kilmartin-Lynch is part of the University’s School of Engineering team who are the first to investigate recycling three key types of PPE: isolation gowns, face masks and rubber gloves – into concrete…

Santa Teresa Aboriginal Community, 80 kilometres east of Alice Springs.

High Court to hear NT renters case

Friday, 23 September 2022 9:00 am

First Nations people living in “dilapidated” housing in the Northern Territory could be compensated after Australia’s highest court agreed to hear their case. 

Eastern Arrernte woman Enid Young is pursuing legal action against the NT government over the poor quality of rental homes in the remote community of Santa Teresa in central Australia, near Alice Springs. 

Residents have been left without electricity, hot water, cooking facilities or functioning toilets for months and years at a time, according to not-for-profit litigators Grata Fund. 

The High Court last Friday granted Ms Young, who is aged in her 70s, special leave to appeal a previous decision by the NT Court of Appeal that tenants could not be compensated. 

It will be asked to decide whether residents of Santa Teresa are entitled to compensation for the ‘distress and disappointment’ of living in poorly maintained homes…

NRL Cowboys House Dance Troupe with Kowanyama State School students.

Celebration at Cowboy’s ‘home away from home’

Friday, 23 September 2022 9:00 am

More than 100 students from 23 remote communities including the Torres Strait, NPA and Cape York, call NRL Cowboys House in Townsville their ‘home away from home’. 

On September 2, along with some family and friends at Cowboys House, they celebrated and recognised the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at their second annual NAIDOC Day.

The day is an extension of NAIDOC Week which is usually held in July but was held off because most of the students had returned to their communities for holidays. 

The event gave students, staff, families and supporters of the boarding facility the opportunity to celebrate Indigenous culture together, with a jam-packed schedule of activities running through the day…

Bunuba woman June Oscar, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

First Nations women demand their voices are heard on family violence

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 11:32 am

First Nations women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised and 11 times more likely to die from assault than other women in Australia. And yet, there is no national plan or policy that addresses the specific safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children. 

Last week Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar hosted the the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (women’s voices in Bunuba language) Women’s Safety Policy Forum online. 

More than 150 women – including specialist experts, researchers, frontline workers and women with lived experience of violence – attended the forum. 

It provided a dedicated space for First Nations women to speak on their own terms to government, policymakers and service providers about addressing violence in First Nations communities. 

“The forum is part of an important process that ensures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s voices are having input into government policies,” Ms Oscar told the Koori Mail

Skye Lockyer, Lowell Hunter – with boomerangs, and Bobbi Lockyer fly the Aboriginal flag at New York Fashion Week last week.

Fashion week in New York has never looked so deadly

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 11:30 am

Mermaid Queen Bobbi Lockyer made a splash at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) when she closed her fashion runway show barefoot, wearing ochre and proudly flying the Aboriginal flag. 

This was a world-first display at any NYFW event and Bobbi said she was thrilled to dip her fins into international waters and share her culture on the world stage. 

“I felt this immense feeling of pride and I just couldn’t stop smiling,” Bobbi told the Koori Mail. 

“I felt my ancestors were with me and I hoped I was doing my Mob proud.” 

Bobbi took her fashion label Gantharri to NYFW last week alongside First Nations creatives Skye Lockyer and Lowell Hunter, to showcase her collection Saltwater at the Flying Solo New York Fashion Week runway event.

In closing the runway show, each of the creatives wore ochre and were barefoot to share their connection to Country on Indigenous Land in NYC…