The Namatjira Connection

Gayle's family involvement with traditional communities goes back to 1932, when her father Rex Battarbee travelled in a model T Ford to the central Australian outback settlement of Hermannsburg, south west of Alice Springs. He was a watercolour artist in search of the great outback landscape.

Rex was moved by the plight of indigenous Australians, who at that time struggled with cultural change, and had very few prospects for employment and healthy lifestyle.

While at Hermannsburg Rex met a young camel team worker called Albert. They developed a strong friendship, which resulted in Rex training Albert as a landscape artist. With Rex's mentorship, Albert Namatjira and kin became known around the world as the Hermannsburg Watercolour movement. From those beginnings, the current aboriginal art industry was created and has provided valuable careers for many remote indigenous artists.

Gayle grew up with the Eastern Arrente people of the Hermannsburg and Alice Springs area, and fondly remembers gathering bush food with the women and children. This cultural connection has been a vital link in the Outback Pride project development.

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Mike and Gayle Quarmby

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