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Minister Scullion: Mr Chi – an artistic advocate
Joint media release with The Hon. Ken Wyatt MP, Minister for Indigenous Health
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, have paid tribute to Mr Chi, an admired playwright, musician and composer who passed away in his hometown of Broome late last month.
Mr Chi was renowned for using song and humour to discuss topics often shied away from in the mainstream – and he will be deeply missed from Australia’s artistic landscape.
Heralded as one of the first contemporary Indigenous playwrights, Mr Chi created Bran Nue Dae based on his experiences growing up. The musical has since gained critical acclaim for its celebration of family, forgiveness and reconciliation, and was converted into a motion picture in 2010.
Following the release of his first musical, Mr Chi continued his work representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, going on to advocate and speak about his personal experiences with mental illness, including through the creation of his second musical, Corrugation Road.
As a proud artistic advocate, Mr Chi continued to contribute to the lives of Australians as a patron of mental health group SANE Australia. He was presented with the Red Ochre Award for his work in the area in 1997.
A funeral was held for Mr Chi in Broome today.
Minister Scullion and Minister Wyatt extend their sincere condolences to Mr Chi’s partner, three children and family at this sad time.