Past Present Future

BOOMDubbo Adnate Pearl Gibbs

Past. Present. Future.

The child of today takes her place in the world because of the vision, passion and advocacy of Aboriginal women like Aunty Pearl Gibbs.

Created by Melbourne-based artist, Adnate, this landmark work pays tribute to a woman who first drew public attention in defence of other Aboriginal people in the 1920s. Pearl Gibbs only stepped away from her activist platform with her death in 1983. She knew and worked with almost every major Aboriginal activist in 20th-century Australia.

“Will my appeal for practical humanity be in vain?” – Pearl Gibbs (quote on the wall)

Gibbs was secretary of the Aborigine Progressive Association (1942), vice president and then secretary of the Dubbo branch of the Australian Aborigines League (1946) and organising secretary of the Council of Aboriginal Rights (1953). She was the first and only female member of the NSW Aborigines Welfare Board (1954-57). In 1956 she founded the Aboriginal Australian Fellowship. Subsequently, she established the first Aboriginal hostel in Dubbo for those requiring hospital treatment. A passionate and fluent public speaker, Gibbs fuelled debate on Aboriginal politics, focusing on women’s issues and full citizen rights.

Dubbo-based artists Dylan Goolagong and Nathan Peckham worked with Adnate on the background and design elements of the work.

Commissioned through a BOOMDubbo partnership with Dubbo Regional Council’s Ignite program. Thanks to the Dubbo Aboriginal Working Party for their advice and research.


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