Farewell to a brother


YESTERDAY we gathered to farewell one of our most inspirational indigenous leaders, to the haunting sounds of 10 didgeridoos and wind sweeping through the gumtrees at a sacred site.

It was a fitting tribute to Colin McKinnon-Dodd, a Yamatji elder, artist, art curator, educator, storyteller, mentor to countless young aboriginal people and tenacious advocate for human rights. He was, above all, a beautiful man.

More than 100 family members and close friends gathered at Westerfolds Park in Melbourne, at the hilltop site of Mia Mia Gallery, which Colin ran for many years.

Colin died of cancer at the too young age of 55, I had the privilege of knowing him for many years. Colin said Aboriginal history was full of sublime stories and he was one of the great storytellers.

He gently and lovingly took us to a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture.

Colin’s Mia Mia, meaning shelter, became a home to Aboriginal artists, musicians, actors, dancers poets, story-tellers, sculptors, emu egg carvers, didgeridoo woomera
and boomerang makers. It was a magical place where “white fellers” like me were able to observe some of the finest indigenous artists at work.

I think Colin’s greatest gift was to inspire the many young people he mentored and taught. He was always there for other people.

I’ll miss his generosity, the long chats, his mischievous laugh and his beautiful spirit that became obvious to anyone who met him.



14 thoughts on “Farewell to a brother

  1. Precious moments Bryan,

    weaved into the tapestry of your life. Death can’t steal the memories.

    I love the photo of Colin and the Kookaburra. And I know that God is your strength and comfort.

    Love to you and Dawn at this sad time.

    Mon xxoo


  2. Death may leave a heartache which time can heal, but love leaves memories that last forever, which is probably what he’d want. Condolences, Bryan


  3. From what the rumour mill has informed me about this bloke, it seems like he should have been nominated for Australian of the Year…


  4. Hi Bryan, when I discovered you no longer were writing for the herald sun, I was so disappointed . I had always been an avid follower and your words that lakways lifted my spirit in times over challenge and sadness in my journey. of sadness in my life.
    I never missed your articles! In fact I placed them in a special book to read over and over whenever I felt I needed encouragement.
    In recent months, I made a new discovery!
    You are continuing your wonderful work via the net!
    So I want to say thank you, and to wish you Easter Blessings in the coming week.
    Thank you Bryan, , warm regards, Mary Bailey


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