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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.

Dillon Kombumerri

c. 2000
Penny Tweedie

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 31.0 cm x 50.8 cm, image: 28.0 cm x 40.8 cm)

Dillon Kombumerri is a Yugembir man who grew up on Minjerriba (North Stradbroke Island). After graduating in architecture from the University of Sydney he, interior designer Alison Page and architect Kevin O'Brien set up the Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit within the NSW Government’s Department of Public Works in Sydney. Since 2000, the three designers have worked separately but founded an association of Indigenous architects, Merrima Design, helping to create architecture that respects Aboriginal cultural practices, connects to Country and includes Aboriginal communities in decisions regarding their environment. Kombumerri is now a principal architect for Government Architect NSW. With over 25 years of experience in architectural practice, he is passionate about projects that seek to improve the health, wellbeing and prosperity of indigenous communities. He also lectures around the world about the value of Indigenous knowledge in delivering better outcomes for the built and natural environment.

Penny Tweedie spent a year travelling around Australia in 2000 photographing and interviewing successful young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which resulted in her 2001 book Indigenous Australia: Standing Strong. This photograph of Kombumerri at work as an architect was taken for the project.

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)

Dillon Kombumerri

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

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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