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Cate Blanchett and Ernie Dingo
, 1994

by Juno Gemes

gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned (sheet: 60.8 cm x 51.0 cm, image: 44.2 cm x 29.1 cm)

Ernie Dingo AM (b. 1956), television presenter and actor, is a Yamatji man. Dingo was born at Bullardoo Station and spent his teenage years in Geraldton, Western Australia, excelling in long-distance running and basketball. After making his stage acting debut in Perth, in 1978 he joined the Middar Dance Theatre; the following year he went to Victoria, where he spent several years as an Aboriginal Culture Officer. His first leading role came in 1987 when he played Robert Tudawali in the SBS telemovie Tudawali, for which he received a nomination for best actor in the 1987 Australian Film Industry Awards. International recognition came to him with his small part in Crocodile Dundee II in 1988. Subsequently he appeared in The Cowra Breakout, The Fringe Dwellers, Fast Forward, Bran Nue Dae and Mr Electric. Juno Gemes photographed him on the set of the television production Heartland with his co-star Cate Blanchett, who had graduated from NIDA two years before. A presenter on the long-running television travel program The Great Outdoors from 1993, Dingo is now one of Australia’s most popular television identities and is a designated Living National Treasure.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2004
Accession number: 2004.48