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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Heath

2020 (printed 2022)
Brett Canét-Gibson

inkjet print on paper, edition 3/5 + 2 A/P (image: 89.5 cm x 59.5 cm)

Heath Bergersen (b. 1976) is an Indigenous actor working across Australian television series and movies. Born in Derby, Bergersen was adopted by a family in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and spent the first 16 years of his life in the city before moving to Perth to pursue music and acting. In Perth, Bergersen worked with primary school children, teaching them about Aboriginal art, culture and history. As a didgeridoo player, he also spent time explaining and demonstrating the machinations of the instrument. Passionate about music and performance, Bergersen completed a three-month course at the Aboriginal Musical Theatre Training Course. After that, he appeared in the musical Bran Nu Dae, performed with the Warda Dance Group, and acted—and toured—in various plays, including Wicked, No Prejudice and Runumuk. He first appeared on television with Kids Co. and The Great Outdoors, performed on the Channel 7 Christmas Pageant as a digeridoo player, as well as in two SBS documentary series, Images of Us and Destination Dole. Bergersen has appeared in feature films including Rabbit Proof Fence, Japanese Story and Secret River, played the lead role of Jarli Cooper in ReFraction.

Responsibility to educate is a core component of Aboriginal performance, culture and ceremony. Skills and knowledges have been passed on to keep culture alive. Bergersen, as a recognised Aboriginal actor, musician and performer, has been dedicated to make visible Aboriginal ways and culture to Australia and the wider international audiences.

Purchased 2022
© Brett Canét-Gibson

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

Brett Canét-Gibson (age 55 in 2020)

Heath Bergersen (age 44 in 2020)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency