Dr B Marika AO - In Memoriam

Artist, cultural activist and environmental adviser

NT State recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2020

Dr B Marika AO was known for her exquisite prints of ancestral creation stories on lino, her original media of choice. Born in Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land, Dr Marika and her sisters were among the first Yolngu women whose male relatives have encouraged them to paint ancestral creation stories.

Dr Marika was an artist, passionate cultural activist and environmental adviser. Dr Marika appeared as a speaker at both national and international conferences. In 1994, she and seven other artists won a court case against a company that illegally reproduced their work in Vietnam. Her story featured in the 1997 documentary Copyrights, which explored Aboriginal concept of ownership as it relates to art.

Dr Marika was an artist-in-residence at both the Canberra School of Art and Flinders University in South Australia. She was a traditional landowner in charge of looking after country at Yirrkala.