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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.

Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal Tribe, 1992 (printed 2009)

George Fetting

type C photograph (sheet: 120.0 cm x 98.2 cm, image: 110.0 cm x 88.2 cm)

Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) (1920-1993) was an Aboriginal activist, poet and writer. Throughout her life, she aimed to promote cultural pride amongst Aboriginal people through her writing, which she described as 'sloganistic, civil rightish, plain and simple'. She became State secretary of the Federal Council for the advancement of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in 1961, and campaigned successfully for amendments to Sections 51(xxvi) and 127 of the Constitution in 1967. In the 1970s she chaired a number of bodies set up to promote indigenous interests, including the Queensland Aboriginal Advancement League. Having gained world acclaim for her writing and advocacy (for which she was also conferred with three honorary doctorates), she published her last collection of poems, Kath Walker in China, in 1988. That year, she reassumed her tribal name in protest at the Bicentennial celebrations, and returned the MBE she had been awarded in 1970.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010

Accession number: 2010.17

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

George Fetting (age 28 in 1992)

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (age 72 in 1992)

Subject professions

Activism

Writing

Donated by

George Fetting (4 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 both past and present.

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