How to say 'Yes'
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As we prepare to commemorate National Reconciliation Week and celebrate 50 years of teaching Aboriginal Studies at UniSA, Jason Bainbridge talks to Australian National Living Treasure Ernie Dingo about his career and the importance of Aboriginal Representation in Popular Media in challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers.
Ernie grew up in Mullewa, in the Geraldton region of Western Australia. He moved to Perth when he was 17 and his first job was as an apprentice sign writer, which he says developed from his interest in painting – a passion he now actively engages in, and through which he expresses his love for his Aboriginal culture, the memories of his people and country. His career in the Arts is as extensive. A distinguished actor and presenter, Ernie was nominated for two Silver Logies (in 2003 and 2004), won an AFI award for Best Actor in the Television Drama A Waltz Through the Hills, and in 1990, was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the Performing Arts. In 1994, he was named 'Aboriginal of the Year' and in 2004, he won a ‘Deadly’ award for outstanding achievement in film and television. He has appeared in the films Bran Nue Dae and Crocodile Dundee 2, was a long-time presenter of the travel show The Great Outdoors and an actor in numerous TV series, including Heartland, with Cate Blanchett and Blue Heelers.
But his most important role is as a proud Yamatji man who speaks Wajarri, passionate about breaking down barriers between non-indigenous and indigenous people. As he has said:
“We all know how to say yes in Spanish don't we? We all know how to say yes in German don't we? We all know how to say yes in French don't we? Do we know how to say yes in any of the 360 Aboriginal dialects in this country?”
Professor Jason Bainbridge
Professor Jason Bainbridge is Head of School at the University of South Australia's School of Creative Industries.
Previously Professor Bainbridge was a key player at Swinburne University in Melbourne where he was Chair of Media and Communication, and Acting Dean of the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities - helping to transform and energise media and arts education.
He has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queensland University where he also completed his Bachelor of Arts Honours and his Bachelor of Laws.
Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and UniSA's School of Creative Industries
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