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Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld
, 2004

by John Elliott

type C photograph (sheet: 60.7 cm x 50.6 cm, image: 50.0 cm x 33.0 cm)

Herb Wharton (b. 1936) was born at Yumba, an Aboriginal camp near the Queensland town of Cunnamulla. He began writing poetry in his fifties, after a long career as a stockman, drover and labourer. In 1990 he entered several poems in a competition for unpublished Aboriginal writers, and as a result was commissioned to write a novel for the University of Queensland Press. The resulting book, 1992's Unbranded, drew on Herb's experiences as a stockman in the Australian interior. He has since published the fictional works Cattle Camp (1994) and Where Ya' Been, Mate? (1996), as well as the autobiography Yumba Days (1999), written during a residency at the Australia Council's Paris studio. A frequent participant in major literary festivals throughout Australia and the world, Herb Wharton is an Elder of Queensland's Kooma people and a Life Member of Australia's Stockman's Hall of Fame.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2005
Accession number: 2005.30