Agatha Ngakmik Morgan and Kerry Madawyn McCarthy

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DOB: 1952 & 1975
LANGUAGE: Batjamal
COMMUNITY: Bulgul, NT

Agatha Ngakmik Morgan

Agatha Ngakmik Morgan is a woman from the Wadjigan tribe at Banbinya, (Belyuen area). Agatha was born in 1952 and spent her early childhood at Belyuen, formally known as Delissaville.

Typical of the times, Agatha and her family were forceably resettled to to Daly River with her sisters Marjorie Terrikil Morgan and Rosemary Parrabaty Morgan. At Daly River the sisters stayed in the boarding school run by nuns until they finished their schooling.

After leaving school, Agatha worked in various positions on the mission; as a secretary in the office, working in the local school and the local shop. In 1982, Agatha moved to Darwin, working at the library services in Winnellie catering to the many schools in Darwin. She chose to study after this in the former N.T. University then down in Sydney and Adelaide.

After her tertiary schooling, Agatha chose to return to the Top End to her home out in the bush, Bulgul. Agatha tells us that "Living out in the bush, I feel happier even though I know it's a lot of hard work for me. I love painting out at bush; it frees my soul. I think of so many stories of what my dad and mum told me. I still live there."
Agatha Ngamik Morgan has taken part in group shows in Australia and in Singapore

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy

Kerry (or Madawyn, as she is known to her indigenous family) McCarthy was born at Daly River in August 1975. The daughter of an Irish father and indigenous mother and sister of Helen Tyalmuty McCarthy, Kerry was brought up in the Daly River community learning both the ways of non-indigenous society and respect and understanding for the indigenous traditions of the bush.

After moving to Darwin in 1985 and completing her schooling, Kerry moved back to the Daly where she worked in various jobs. In 1994, at the suggestion of one of her indigenous mothers, Kerry started to paint. Originally Kerry pursued the traditional style of the area which focuses on depictions of animals and plants. However, following completion of a tertiary course in Art and Craft from Bachelor Institute of Advanced Education, Kerry's style changed to subjects associated with indigenous tradition. This change was also influenced her grandfather and her spending two years bush at her mother's home country at Bulgul.

Kerry is a gifted colourist, precise in her work and continually exploring new means of expression of her stories of life and tradition in the Top End.

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy spends her time with her three children between homes in Bulgul and Darwin.