Nurturing force of nature sang of Australia’s sorry past

Berbard Zuel; 22/2/10

Obituary: Ruby Hunter, 1955-2010

Ruby Hunter had plenty more work to do when she died last Wednesday. The Ngarrindjeri woman who began her life in the South Australian riverland before becoming one of the stolen generation always had work on the go, plans for more. It might be performance or a film, an album or a visit to an outlying community to sing songs with the children and remind them that ”Aunty Ruby” had stories and history in her. Because wherever she was, Hunter, described by the composer and pianist Paul Grabowsky as having an ”absolutely unique, utterly Australian” voice, saw it as her responsibility to represent the past as well as the present of Aboriginal Australia and with it capture a wider Australian story.