People of the Deep North: Jacky Green is a Garawa-speaking artist, activist and cultural warrior from Borroloola in Australia’s Northern Territory. He was born in 1953 in a creek bed on Soudan station in the Northern Territory where is father was working at the time. School was the bridle and the blanket, learning on the pastoral stations. He was taught traditional Law by his grandfathers, father, uncles and other senior kin. His early life was spent working as a stockman on pastoral stations in the Gulf Country.
His extensive knowledge of the Gulf Country and its peoples was developed through ceremony, song, hunting, fishing and gathering, and travelling through Country with the old people. For the past thirty years he has worked tirelessly with the Indigenous peoples of the Gulf; fighting first, to get country back in Aboriginal ownership, and then to protect and care for it.
In 2005, he, along with other Garawa and Waanyi people, started the Garawa and Waanyi/Garawa Ranger groups to care for over 20,000 square kilometres of ancestral land, and to create meaningful work in a remote and challenging region with few employment opportunities.
He says he started painting to get his voice out.
“I want to show people what is happening to our country and to Aboriginal people. No one is listening to us. What we want. How we want to live. What we want in the future for our children. It’s for these reasons that I started to paint. I want government to listen to Aboriginal people. I want people in the cities to know what’s happening to us and our country. I want the government and mining companies to know that we are still here. We aren’t going anywhere. We aren’t dead yet. We are still here, feeling the country.”
He works through Waralungku Arts in Borroloola and has exhibited at two solo shows in Melbourne (2013) and Sydney (2014) as well as a combined show in Sydney (2014) with Yanyuwa and Garawa artists Nancy McDinny and Stewart Hoosan. His artworks are held in numerous and private and public collections.
(Thanks to Jacky and Sean Kerins for this bio).

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