Dr. Bronwyn Bancroft is a proud Bundjalung Woman and Artist.
Bronwyn started creating from the age of 7, growing up in Tenterfield in Northern NSW. Her professional career as an artist began following her graduation from the Canberra School of Arts in 1980. Bronwyn’s career has included both national and international exhibitions, and her work has been acquired by all major Australian galleries, state libraries and private collections.
Bronwyn’s contribution to Aboriginal children’s literature has been immense and has included the publication of 43 books. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Aboriginal oral histories and stories were compiled almost exclusively by European anthropologists and writers. There were very few Aboriginal contemporary writers and illustrators at the time of Bronwyn’s first publication in 1992, with the exception of Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Sally Morgan. Along with these two incredible women, Bronwyn has been a trailblazer in the field of Australian literature and has contributed significantly to representation for Aboriginal storytellers.
Bronwyn received the Dromkeen Medal for her contribution to Australian literature and has been nominated for prestigious international children’s literature awards including the Hans Christian Andersen and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Awards.
Bronwyn has been a Director of her own company, Designer Aboriginals Pty Ltd since 1985. Bronwyn was among the first fashion designers to be invited to exhibit in Paris in 1987, alongside Euphemia Bostock and Mini Heath.
Bronwyn is one of ten founding members of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative (est. 1987) and has been the Co-operative’s senior strategist since 2009. Bronwyn was approached in 2009 to assist with saving the now 35-year-old institution, which was in an incredibly dire situation. Boomalli was about to lose its home at Flood St, Leichhardt, and was in significant debt. The fact that Boomalli is still going strong today, has a permanent space, and continues to provide support for hundreds of NSW Aboriginal artists is a testament to Bronwyn’s sheer determination, countless hours of volunteer time and expertise, and never giving up in the face of extreme adversity.
Bronwyn is extremely passionate about artists’ rights and education, particularly around copyright and intellectual property. Bronwyn is committed to sharing the expertise and knowledge she has gained over her career to mentor emerging artists through the many obstacles they continue to face in an incredibly daunting and intimidating industry.
Bronwyn also offers her extensive expertise to the organisations where she serves as a Board member/Director including the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), Australian Society of Authors, and the Commonwealth Bank Indigenous Advisory Council.
Bronwyn has a Diploma of Visual Arts from Canberra School of Art, 2 Masters degrees, one in Studio Practice and the other in Visual Art, University of Sydney. Bronwyn was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy in 2018. Bronwyn was the recipient of the University of Sydney’s Alison Bush Graduate Medal for her contribution to the Indigenous Community and she is the currently completing the inaugural NSW Aboriginal Creative Fellowship at the State Library of NSW.