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Western Australia


Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Derby Who's Who

Distinguished and Famous people from Derby

Dame Mary Durack (1913-1994)

Dame Mary Durack was an Australian author and historian from Derby. She was best known for her works on Australian pioneering history, particularly the epic family saga, "Kings in Grass Castles." Durack's writing played a significant role in shaping and preserving the history of Western Australia's Kimberley region.

Ernie Bridge (1936-2007)

Ernie Bridge was a prominent politician, community leader, and musician. He was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the Western Australian Parliament. Bridge was born in Derby and fought tirelessly to bring attention to the issues faced by Aboriginal people. He made substantial contributions to the advancement of indigenous rights and reconciliation in Australia.

Vivienne Binns (born 1940)

Vivienne Binns is an accomplished artist and educator born in Derby. She is renowned for her significant contributions to Australian contemporary art. Binns' work often explores themes of identity, culture, and gender. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally and was awarded the Order of Australia in 2017 for her services to the visual arts.

Jim 'Kookaburra' Paterson (born 1930)

Jim Paterson, also known as 'Kookaburra,' is a highly regarded Nyikina elder and cultural leader from Derby. He has dedicated his life to preserving and promoting the Nyikina language and culture. Paterson has been instrumental in various language and cultural revitalization projects, ensuring the knowledge and traditions of his people are passed down to future generations.

Patrick Dodson (born 1948)

Patrick Dodson, often referred to as the 'Father of Reconciliation,' is an influential and respected Aboriginal leader hailing from Derby. He has made significant contributions towards indigenous rights, social justice, and reconciliation in Australia. Dodson has been involved in numerous national and international forums and was named Australian of the Year in 2009.

Pugilist Dan Morgan (1864-1945)

Dan Morgan, also known as "Mad Dan," was an Australian boxer and one of the pioneers of bare-knuckle fighting. He was born in Derby and gained fame for his fierce fighting style and numerous victories in the ring. Morgan's career spanned over two decades, and he remains an iconic figure in Australian boxing history.

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