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Younger Indigenous Women Are Making Their Mark

A portrait of Pitjantjatjara woman Sally Scales featured prominently in this year’s Archibald Prize, arguably Australia’s favourite and highest profile art event.

But the stunning artwork somewhat belies the outstanding achievements of Ms Scales, herself a celebrated artist and finalist in this year’s Wynne prize. Sally hails form from Pipalyatjara in the far west of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and herself won the People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

The Tsering Hannaford portrait of Sally Scales depicts a a rising confidence too among First Nations women in Australia, women making their mark on society in the arts, culture, community and now in politics.

They include Linda Burney, Australia’s first female Indigenous Affairs Minister; DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe and DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman, Lidia Thorpe who take their places as Australian Senators on the Green team in the Federal Parliament.

Ms Scales is a working mother and a passionate activist. She’s a team member driving reform and an Indigenous voice to parliament under the Uluru Statement From The Heart. Sally Scales represents a strong new direction for diversity, inclusion and visibility in Australia.