Homeland: Yalaŋbara / Gulurunga / Yirrkala
Clan: Rirratjiŋu, Miliwurrwurr group
Banduk Mamburra Wananamba Marika, is the youngest daughter of the great Mawalan (c1908-1967) and sister to Wandjuk (1930-1987), Bayngul, Laklak and Dhuwarrwarr.
She lived and worked in Sydney from 1980-88 then returned to Yirrkala to be manager of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka. In 1984 she was Artist-in-Residence at the Canberra School of Art, and in 1986, Artist-in-Residence at Flinders University, S.A.
Banduk has acted on the board of the National Gallery of Australia and the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory. She has participated with the Australia Council.
The local and effective landcare organisation of the Mawalan Gamarrwa Nuwul Association is headed by her in Yirrkala were she is also a councillor for the Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association.
In 1994 a judgment in the Federal Court awarded Banduk (and seven other artists) damages worth $185,000 against a company which stole images of the artists to produce carpets in Vietnam (none of which has been paid). In 1997 Banduk featured in a documentary entitled ‘Copyrights’ shown on National television the following year.
Banduk has always been outspoken on issues affecting her culture. She is regarded as a pioneer and one of the outstanding proponents of Indigenous printmaking and works with printmakers in Darwin, Sydney, and Canberra and at her home community of Yirrkala.
In 2002 she was awarded the Red Ochre Award which recognised her as one of Australia’s most important indigenous artists.
She was a domestic cleaner at the Yirrkala Mission, then Nhulunbuy Hospital. In 1974 she left for Darwin where she was a Trainee Secretary at the Northern Lands Council until 1980. Other roles have included; Aboriginal Field-Officer, Youth Worker Y.W.C.A and housewife and mother of four children. In 1980 she moved to Sydney where she organised exhibitions of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Art.
Banduk was also a translator for Film Australia, and for the producers of ‘Women of the Sun’. She acted in three feature films, ‘Brides for all Seasons’, ‘Flight into Hell’, and ‘Cactus’. And also directed ‘Banduk’ for TCN9 and was the winner of International Children’s Film Festival major award.
Some of Banduk’s career highlights include the following:
- Recipient of Aboriginal Arts Board Grant.
- Residencies include: artist in residence at the Sydney School of Art, East Sydney Technical College, Flinders University, and National Art School (ACT).
- She was also the Director of the Yirrkala Dance Group for Department of Foreign Affairs and involved in the Cultural Festival Bougainville documentary for ABC ‘Dream-Time, Machine-Time’.
- In 1988 Banduk returned to Yirrkala to be with family with family. She was the Manager of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Arts and Crafts and a Member Yirrkala-Dhanbul Community Council.
- Exhibition and documentary for South Australian Museum in New York, USA.
- Exhibition for Prints Council of Australia, in India.
- Print for Australian Bicentennial Authority Folio.
- Guest speaker South Australian School of Art, Flinders University.
- Elected as first Aboriginal Member of Australian National Gallery, Canberra.
- DEET Departmental log0
- Print Workshops in Alice Springs and Darwin.
- TAFE Artist in Residence, Warnambool, Victoria.
- Keynote speaker – Adelaide Festival
- Education Dept. Darwin
- Power Institute Sydney University,
- World Indigenous Peoples Conference, Ooandaga, USA.
- Beach Camp Yirrkala Ethno-Botanical project with Conservation Commission, Northern Territory.
- 1992 -Mawalan (1) Gamarrwa Nuwul Association incorporated for the purpose of Land Management of Rirratjingu Land.
- Elected Vice-Chairperson Dhimurru Land Management Aboriginal Corporation (Aboriginal Board of Management for NE Arnhem Land).
- Member Australia Council for the Arts (Chairperson, Aboriginal Visual Arts Committee).
- 1993 -National Landcare (NT) Committee member.
- Board of Directors Bangarra Dance Company.
- 1994-96 -Board Member for Museums and Art Galleries of the N.T.
- Area Consultative Committee Member, Department of Employment, Education & Training, Northern Territory.
- Joint publication of ‘Rirratjiŋu Ethnobotany: Aboriginal Plant Use from Yirrkala, Arnhem Land, Australia’ by Mawalan (1) Gamarrwa Nuwul Association and Parks & Wildlife Service, NT.
- Board member of the Northern Land Council. 1996-98 -Coordinator for Landcare Department, Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association.
- Board Member for Museums and Art Galleries of the N.T. (3 year appointment).
- Board Member for the Australia Council – Aboriginal Arts.
- Deputy Chair for ATSIAU Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Art Australia Council (3 year appointment).
- Member of the Board Advisory Group for the South Australia Museum
- One of the seven Members of Women’s Committee (NLC)
- Council member Yirrkala-Dhanbul Community since 1988.
- Enrolled in Diploma of Natural Resource Management at Centre for Indigenous Natural Cultural Resource Management.
- 1999-2000 -Coordinator for Landcare Department, Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association.
- Council member Yirrkala-Dhanbul Community.
- Reappointed as Northern Territory Museum Board Member (3 Year Term).
- Member of the Board Advisory Group for the South Australia Museum.
- Committee member of Territory Health Services Crisis Centre -Awarded Individual Landcarer Merit Award for National Landcare Program.
- Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Women’s Achievement Award.
- Invited by Senator Hill to sit on National Sustainability and Greenhouse Emissions Forum in Canberra.
- Indigenous Director for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics 2001.
- Northern Territory winner of the Individual Landcarers Award.
- NT Chief Ministers Women’s Achievement Award 2002.
- Australia Arts Council’s Red Ochre Award.
- Member of Landcare Council of the Northern Territory 2003.
- Indigenous Representative for Northern Territory Landcare Council.
- Indigenous Director of “Body Dreaming” Adelaide Festival
- Coordinator of Landcare Department, Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association 2004
- Representative of Yolŋu Local Governance issues for 13 Clans of East Arnhem (Miwatj) region National Indigenous representative of Northern Territory Landcare Council 2005
- Winner, Best Bark Prize, 2005 Telstra National Aboriginal Art Awards 2006
- As Landcare Coordinator, Banduk is currently working on Natural Resource/Land & Sea Management for Yirrkala Community.
- 2010 – current Cultural Advisor to Yirralka Rangers
- 2012 Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority
- 2017 – current Board member Indigenous Art Code
- 2017 – current Deputy chair Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Incorporated
- Current projects include creating of a new Arts Studio which will promote educational awareness of environment which means working on posters of weeds, feral animals, and environmental concerns and with that comes Cultural Indigenous Exchange which will expand on the scientific education of environment issues within the region.
- Recipient of Honouree Doctorate, Flinders University
- 2020 Senior Australian of the Year (NT)
- 2020 Order of Australia