Please note: This article contains the name and image of an Aboriginal person who has passed.
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Vale Aunty Lillian Crombie

Creative Australia acknowledges the passing of renowned First Nations actress and dancer Lillian Crombie, and recognises her contribution to Australian arts and culture.

The Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara woman, and survivor of the Stolen Generation, was a trailblazer for First Nations artists, in a career spanning stage, film, and television.

Her early training at the Port Pirie ballet school led to further studies at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York.

She was part of the Australian Indigenous Dance Troupe’s first international tour of Nigeria in 1997, helping to share First Nations arts and culture with the world.

She graced the theatre stages in numerous productions at home and abroad, and played several on-screen roles, including in The Secret Life of Us and Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia.

In 2020, she initiated dance workshops for children in Port Pirie, aspiring to establish her own dance and drama school.

Photo: South Australian Film Corporation – Lillian Crombie on set of Deadly Family Portraits: Crombie Crew.
Franchesca Cubillo, Executive Director of First Nations Arts and Culture at Creative Australia, said:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Aunty Lillian Crombie, an Elder and leader in the First Nations arts and cultural sector. Aunty Lillian’s warmth, humour and wit will be sorely missed, she was a pioneer whose legacy will continue to pave the way for many other First Nations artists to achieve their dreams.”

Creative Australia extends its deepest sympathies to Lillian Crombie’s friends, family and community.

Lillian Crombie
1958 – 2024