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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

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Aden Ridgeway & pallbearers entering Sydney Town Hall, State Funeral for Kwementyaye Perkins AO, 25th October 2000

Mervyn Bishop

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 30.2 cm x 50.5 cm, image: 26.3 cm x 39.3 cm)

Aden Ridgeway (b. 1962), Aboriginal rights advocate and former politician, is a Gumbayynggir man who joined the Australian Democrats in 1990. Elected to the Senate in the 1998 Federal election he was a senator for New South Wales from 1999 to 2005. During his stirring maiden speech, he spoke about the importance of reconciliation and recognition of Indigenous culture. Since leaving politics he has co-founded the social change agency, Cox Inall Ridgeway, and held roles with bodies including the Healing Foundation, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, Recognise and Indigenous Voice.

On 25 October 2000, Mervyn Bishop photographed the State Funeral of Arrernte and Kalkadoon man and civil rights activist Kwementyaye Perkins AO (Dr Charles Nelson Perrurle Perkins AO) at Sydney Town Hall. Continuing Bishop's important documentation of Aboriginal social history, this image captures the then Australian Democrat senator Ridgeway as one of the pallbearers, the coffin draped in the Aboriginal flag. Former boxing champion Tony Mundine is behind Ridgeway and Hunter Valley Aboriginal Elder Bill Smith is in the foreground. Befitting the solemnity of the moment, the mood of the black-and-white photograph is sombre, with the focus on Ridgeway's face. Attended by thousands of mourners, Perkins' State Funeral was publicly broadcast outside the Town Hall and simulcast on national television.

Purchased 2001
© Mervyn Bishop

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Mervyn Bishop (age 55 in 2000)

Aden Ridgeway (age 38 in 2000)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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