“Djon Mundine is a Bandjalung man. He is a foundational figure in Australian art. He is an intellectual, an activist, and a cultural leader. He is a fierce advocate and a driving force, consistently contributing to the development and exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal art in Australia, and internationally.”
So began the Australia Council for the Arts awards night oration honouring Djon's work with a Red Ochre Award for Lifetime Achievement, on 27 May 2020. Many of the Chau Chak Wing Museum team have known and worked with Djon over the years. Most recently Djon has worked closely with Matt Poll and Rebecca Conway as one of the curatorial collaborators on the forthcoming major exhibition Gululu dhuwala djalkiri: welcome to the Yolŋu foundations, one of 18 exhibitions on show when the Chau Chak Wing Museum opens in November.
Between 1979 and 1995 Djon was Art Advisor at Milingimbi and Ramingining in the Northern Territory and it was through Djon that the University of Sydney was able to acquire a significant number of artworks by Indigenous artists over this period.
Djon’s engaged, activist and socially responsible practice has enriched the lives of so many Australians, as he continues to champion the exhibition and development of Aboriginal art in Australia and internationally.
Featured images (top of page): Djon Mundine (centre) at Bula'bula Arts with Tolbert Dharramanba (far left), Bobby Bunnunggurr (far right), and Macleay curators, Rebecca Conway and Matt Poll. Ramingining, Arnhem Land, NT.
Photo: R Conway, 2017