Detail: 'Mangaraka Gorge After Rain', 1950, Albert Namatjira, Image © Namatjira Legacy Trust
Why a Trust?
Albert Namatjira remains one of the most revered names in Australian art history. The Namatjira family hold of some of the country’s most significant heritage, and yet today face many challenges.
Next: At the grass roots
“The most important thing to our family is keep our culture strong…We are hoping that the Trust will help us to achieve better living conditions for our families, better schooling for our kids, and better resources for our art centre. We want to run the buses out and pick up the kids after school, and take them to paint on the country that we learnt to paint on from our fathers.”
– The Namatjira Family
At the Grass Roots
For the Namatjira family and Western Aranda communities, the watercolour movement is their strongest asset – internationally recognised, and an avenue to generate income at the same time as connecting to country, heritage and culture.
The Trust works in partnership with Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre and resources initiatives that keep culture strong:
Next: Albert Namatjira's copyright
- Professional development for practicing contemporary Indigenous watercolour artists
- Intergenerational workshops between elders and young people, strengthening art, culture, language and identity
- On country painting workshops – allowing artists to refresh their aesthetic by painting ‘en plain air’
- Participation in community and cultural activities or ceremonies
Detail: 'Talipate, Western Macdonnell', c1945-1953, Albert Namatjira, Image © Namatjira Legacy Trust
“We’re happy we finally got it back. The whole family is really happy and proud.” – Gloria Pannka, granddaughter of Albert Namatjira.
In 2017 the Trust successfully secured the transfer of the copyright to Albert Namatjira’s works – a great victory for social justice and reconciliation.
The Namatjiras did not earn a cent from their grandfather’s artworks from 1983 – 2017. With resilience, patience and determination, the family campaigned for decades to secure benefit for their next generations.
Now, copyright proceeds will resource community initiatives and the Trust will ensure Namatjira’s treasured artworks are celebrated nationally and internationally.
For licensing inquiries email Copyright Agency
Board of directors
Lewina is the granddaughter of Albert Namatjira. Her father was Maurice Namatjira and she is a sister of Kevin Namatjira. She is an accomplished acrylic painter and has recently started painting in watercolour. Her sister, Elaine Namatjira and cousin, Gloria Pannka taught her to paint.
Betty Wheeler is Albert Namatjira’s granddaughter, daughter to Martha Namatjira. Betty was born in Hermannsburg and lives there with her husband, Pastor Marcus Wheeler and children. Betty is a jewellery maker, sings with the Hermannsburg choir and paints in the tradition of her grandfather. Betty is an emerging watercolour artist, painting with Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre and learning from her cousins. Betty has been working with Big hART’s Namatjira project since 2010, touring with the theatre production and providing cultural consultancy.
Gloria Pannka is a senior Western Arrarnta woman who lives in Thakaperte (near Hamilton Downs). She is a second generation Hermannsburg School watercolour artist - her father Claude Pannka was one of the original Hermannsburg School watercolour artists, learning from Rex Battarbee, and teaching Gloria to paint when she was a young girl.
Gloria’s work has featured in many exhibitions nationally and internationally throughout her career. In 2008 she received a Highly Commended award for her painting in the NATSIAA awards which was then acquired by the NT Museum and Art Gallery. Gloria’s painting ‘West MacDonnell Ranges’ was acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection Canberra.. Gloria was again Highly Commended at the NATSIAA awards in 2014 for the collaborative Knara Nunaka Tjurretja – Our big country: the West Mac Donnell Ranges.
Ruth is the eldest of the 4 children of Dudley and Helene Burns [nee Albrecht]. Helene Burns grew up at Hermannsburg where her father, Pastor Albrecht ran the Hermannsburg Mission until 1952. Ruth has many wonderful memories of trips to Central Australia to visit her Nana and Papa Albrecht. One very memorable highlight was being taken for a ride in the back of Albert Namatjira’s truck with a large number of other children. Nana and Papa Albrecht, and Ruth’s mother Helene, never lost their connections with the folk in Central Australia. Pastor Albrecht and Helene Burns spoke Western Aranda fluently. Ruth has continued to maintain these connections, including close connections with the Namatjira family. She also speaks a few Western Aranda words! Ruth’s family heritage engendered in her a love for art, in particular the watercolour art from Hermannsburg.
Ruth has been a self employed dentist with her own practice for the past 33 years in Melbourne. She grew up in Adelaide, and graduated from Adelaide University. She worked in Horsham in country Victoria for 5 years where she met her husband Howard, with whom she had two sons, Sam and James.
Colin Golvan is a Queen’s Counsel, specialising in intellectual property law. He has had a long involvement in the protection of indigenous arts and culture. He is also the author of a number of plays and books (legal, fiction and non-fiction), and a Board member of a number of arts organisations, including Museums Victoria, the Australian Book Review and Malthouse Theatre Company.
TrusteeSteven J Miller
Steven undertook his accounting apprenticeship with a medium sized chartered accountancy firm, Thomas Davies & Co, until he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1983.
In 1985, he worked as the head accountant with a large manufacturing and wholesale company before founding Steven J Miller & Co on 1 June 1987.
He has a keen interest in the Arts (just look at the walls) and has supported the Arts both commercially and on a pro bono basis for many years.
His other main interest is working with companies at an operational level to grow and secure their business for the future.
TrusteeSteven J Miller
Sophia has been lucky enough to work with the Namatjira family and Western Aranda communities since 2009, as the creative producer of Big hART’s multi-platform Namatjira project. This has included a creative community development project, workshops with artists and young people on spectacular Western Aranda country, a nationally and internationally touring theatre production, an App for iPhone, CD albums, numerous short films and the Namatjira Project documentary.
Sophia graduated in 2005 with a BA in Communications and International Studies, and has worked in diverse areas of social justice and the arts, both internationally and locally. She is also the mother of two daughters who have both been warmly welcomed into the Namatjira family!
The Namatjira Legacy Trust is in the process of obtaining deductible gift recipient status (DGR). Currently donations are auspiced by Big hART Inc and all donations over $2 tax deductible.
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