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The Australia Council for the Arts honours the life of Aboriginal artist Mr Dawson a senior member and artist of the Wingellina community in Western Australia.

A highly respected artist, community leader and elder, Mr Dawson was a great ambassador for his community and other Indigenous Australians.

Mr Dawson was part of the Australia Council for the Arts representatives that attended the opening of the MusÈe du Quai Branly in June 2006. Despite language barriers, Mr Dawson made meaningful connections with the French and impressed dignitaries with his warm and generous personality along with his standing as a respected, experienced lawman.

Mr Dawson proved to be an excellent ambassador and advocate for Aboriginal art while in Paris, attending every event that the Australia Council was involved with. He was a tireless representative who constantly raised awareness about his art and culture.

Dr Chris Sarra, chair of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, said that Mr Dawson’s passing has been sudden but his legacy as an artist and respected member of the Aboriginal community will prevail.

‘I pay my respects to the people of the Wingellina community and extend my deep condolences for their loss in such tragic circumstances.

‘Mr Dawson was a well-respected elder in both his community and within the international art world.

‘His work as an artist was imbued with a strong sense of culture and heritage and his presence and contribution will be sadly missed,’ Dr Sarra added.

Mr Dawson was on the Executive Committee of Desart until November 2006, having served for a number of years with the organisation. He will be remembered for his generous and telling contribution to the promotion of his culture, as an artist and craftsman and as a leader in establishing and administering arts organisations.

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