Elsie Gabori Dibirdibi

I was born on Bentinck island. When I was about 2 or 3 years old our people were all taken from Bentinck island to the mission on Mornington Island because there was a severe fresh water shortage on Bentinck island. I was placed in the dormitory and kept away from my parents. I attended the mission school along with the Lardil children of Mornington Island. I went to school until I turned 15 and then I went to work as a housemaid in the mission house. I was paid about 10 shillings a week but we lived off the land and sea and didn't really need money.

A vacancy opened on a cattle property on the mainland at Kamilaroy and I was sent there to work as a house servant for 3 years before I returned to Mornington Island. I raised a family of 3 girls and 2 boys with my present partner Bob Thompson.

I only had housework to do and was bored. My mum was selling lots of paintings and really enjoyed painting. One of my brothers passed away so I went up to the Art Centre with mum to keep her company and decided to try painting for myself. I found that I loved it as well. I really want to become a good artist like my mum and paint about Bentinck Island and my people and their stories.

Elsie Gabori Dibirdibi

Elsie Gabori passed away 11th November 2023


Artworks coming soon