ABOUT THE ARTIST
Madge was born in Yarrabah in 1946. Her parents were both stolen from their families as children and taken to Yarrabah mission.
Madge’s mum Myrtle’s language is Western Kuku Yalanji, and country is Bulgan Warra (Kings Plain, south of Cook Town). Her dad Nolan’s country is up around Maytown, north of Laura.
Madge’s mother died when she was 6, so she was sent to HopeVale to live with her mum’s brothers (who were also stolen from their family as kids and sent to Cape Bedford Mission, which became HopeVale).
“After I left school I did some domestic work in mission staff homes. I stayed in the dorm until I was 21, when I got married. That was freedom for me – to get out of the girls’ dormitory. Then I worked at the school for 21 years.
I ended up with six children – the oldest one just turned 50! After my husband died, I couldn’t stay home – all my kids were at school, or had moved out. What can you do at home? Just the housework, then you’ve got nothing else to do! So I decided to go to the art centre and join in with the other ladies – and we’re still here”.