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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.

Coji and Owen

c. 2000
Penny Tweedie

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 30.2 cm x 50.3 cm, image: 28.0 cm x 40.8 cm)

Owen Maher (b.c. 1975) and Duane Ahchoo (b.c. 1983) are Bardi men from One Arm Point on the Dampier Peninsula, and both worked as youth arts practitioners in Broome. The youngest of seven children to an Aboriginal and Filipino mother and a Scottish father, Maher was joint winner of the Commonwealth of Nations Youth of the Year in 1996 for his work as a community youth worker. Assistant to the project coordinator at the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council, he taught kids theatre, dance and acrobatics. After joining the Broome-based Indigenous dance company Marrugeku, he performed in Burning Daylight in Broome in 2009, which then went on a national tour to Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. The following year he danced in Marrugeku's performance Buru. Ahchoo's parents died when he was a baby, and he was brought up by his cousins, where he learnt acrobatics as a child in his bedroom. He later trained at the Desert Acrobats Shed in Broome, a skill he passed on to children in the local Aboriginal communities. Ahchoo is a member of the Bardi and Jawi Niimidiman Aboriginal Corporation and regularly performs cultural dance.

In this image by photographer Penny Tweedie, Ahchoo practises backflips over Maher on a beach near Broome, their silhouettes dramatic against the setting sun.

Gift of the artist 2004
© Estate of Penny Tweedie

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

Penny Tweedie (age 60 in 2000)

Duane Ahchoo (age 17 in 2000)

Owen Maher (age 25 in 2000)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Penny Tweedie (47 portraits)

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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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