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Dadina Georgina Brown, Wiluna, 2007:

That’s why I do painting about my memories, me and my sister and brother, and my families.
A woman standing in the bush with a wooden vessel on her head. She is carrying a baby and a young child is standing nearby and holding what appears to be two dingo puppies.

Georgina standing with her mother, Naomi in 1976

Dadina Georgina Brown was just six years old when she came in from the desert. When she was found, she was clutching an armful of dingo pups.

Forbidden to marry under traditional law, Georgina’s parents, Naomi and Nyama, had run away from Wiluna. For years they had been living and travelling in the Gibson Desert, in the region east of wells 13–19. It was here that they raised Georgina and her younger brother Yuddi.

Leaving the desert

In 1976 the Gibson Desert was in the grip of terrible drought. Mudjon Freddy Freddy, a relative of Naomi and Nyama, was concerned for their safety. He had been a guide for many expeditions led by Stan Gratte, and he enlisted the explorer’s help to find them.

Mudjon sent out a signal at Well 19. Receiving a faint smoke in response from the east, he headed out with Gratte’s party. When the vehicles could go no further, Mudjon set off on foot. He eventually found the family 100 kilometres south-east of Well 18. Gratte gave Nyama an English name: ‘Ben Canning’.

Georgina’s parents always longed to return to their desert Country, but their worried relatives prevented it. They both died in Wiluna. In 2009 Georgina returned to the Country where she had grown up.

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