Press Centre

Media Release

Hon. Philip Ruddock MP
Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
National Office
PO Box 17
Woden ACT 2606

27 October 2001


The Minister of Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Philip Ruddock, today launched a new website featuring the works of Albert Namatjira.

Mr Ruddock was joined at the launch at the Melbourne Museum by ATSIC Chairman, Geoff Clark, and artist Sir William Dargie, a close friend and painting companion of the late Mr Namatjira.

Mr Ruddock said the development of the website provided a unique opportunity to ensure the "life and work of this important artist is accessible to schools and art lovers around Australia and the world."

"I'm sure it will prove extremely popular," he added.

"The depth of research and the availability of catalogues, letters and photographs help paint a broad picture of Mr Namatjira's achievements."

The new website is part of the Artist's Footsteps project which places the lives and works of famous Australian artists in a social context.

"I commend the creators of this project, medialaunch, and ATSIC, which readily agreed to sponsor the Albert Namatjira site," he added.

The ATSIC Chairman said the Commission was pleased to finance production of the site with a grant of $18,000.

"It is important to have a permanent and readily accessible record of Mr Namatjira's achievements as one of Australia's major artists," he said.

"It provides a major opportunity to place many of the issues faced by Albert and his family in an educational context and to increase community understanding of the significance of his life and work."

Mr Clark said ATSIC would be requesting all Education and Aboriginal Affairs ministers to promote the site through school internet programs and to the broader community as part of the Albert Namatjira centenary celebrations next year.

Media Contacts:
Mr Ruddock's office: Jeremy Chitty 0418 971 042
ATSIC: Giuseppe Stramandinoli: 0419 508 125

Editors Note: The site can be found at

Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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