We didn’t find her, but we did find the bloke who morphs into her, Mark Bin Barkar, a Kitja man from the deep north.
Mark was down here to talk to parents and students at Spencer Park Primary School and what a time they had.
He spoke first to the parents wearing pants and a shirt, then he slipped into something more comfortable, a long dress and heavy makeup, and gave the youngsters plenty to think and laugh about.
If you aren’t too sure who Mark is, let me help: West Australian of the Year 2007; Amnesty International Medallion Recipient 2005; Chairperson Kimberley Stolen Generation Committee; comedian with a regular radio show broadcast to over 100 radio stations around Australia every Wednesday night; talented musician and compatriot of that great Broome mob, the Pigram Brothers.
In other words, Mark doesn’t get thumb twiddling.
I first met him in Perth, around 1986, after he had setup AbMusic to help Aboriginal people on their musical journeys. He had come down from Broome to complete his boilermaker-welder apprenticeship.
He made me laugh as soon as I set eyes on him and we’ve been welded ever since.
Pete and I had a great two days with Mark and his champion wife, Tania, telling tall tales and laughing our heads off, but what really made Pete sit up was when Mark said: “The Noongar is rising.”
“You Noongars bore the brunt of the Wadjela invasion, but I reckon your time has come.”
Pete smiled. I think he knows something.