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


The life and work of one of Australia's most famous Aboriginal painters, Albert Namatjira, is to become part of an educational website thanks to a Federal grant, the Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Philip Ruddock, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) Chairman, Geoff Clark, announced today.

Mr Ruddock and Mr Clark said ATSIC would provide some funding to the 'In the Artist's Footsteps' educational website so that it could feature Mr Namatjira.

The website was created by Victorian-based company medialaunch with Telstra Country Wide being the principal sponsor.

"Countrytowns is creating a virtual gallery of the lives and works of Australia's most famous artists for schools and the general community," Mr Ruddock said.

"The project will be promoted through schools and to the general community, and will provide a unique opportunity to ensure Mr Namatjira's contribution to Australian art remains recognised."

"Mr Namatjira held a major place in the history of Australian art and a significant place in the fight for equality for Indigenous Australians," Mr Clark said.

"The use of the Internet will provide an ongoing and broader audience for the work and life of this famous and important Australian."

Mr Ron Smith, Managing Director of Countrytowns, welcomed Mr Ruddock's and Mr Clark's support for the project.

The Namatjira Collection will be curated on the website by Andrew Mackenzie, the biographer of Albert Namatjira and also the curator of the overall program.

11 June 2001

Media Enquiries:
'In the Artist's Footsteps': Ron Smith (03) 98185700
Mr Ruddock's office: Russell Patterson 0418 217 293
Mr Clark's office Paul Molloy 0419 690 926

Editors's note: The website is

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

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