"Ollie George", by Leeann Merritt
This painting depicts the late Aboriginal Badimaya elder Ollie George sitting proudly astride his horse. George grew up on stations across the Murchison and came to be a revered stockman with excellent horsemanship skills. While life was tough as an Aboriginal stockman, George loved riding horses and spending long days and starry nights on the country that had nurtured his people for millennia. As a fine storyteller, he also became passionate about retaining Badimaya language when its speakers began to pass on. He worked with many in an attempt to preserve Badimaya language, history and culture. Some of his favourite stories are collated in the book ‘Nganang Badimaya Wangga: Yarns with Gami Ollie George’, whose cover bears this painting by Wajarri-Nhanda woman Leeann Merritt.