The Country Cries for Truth: Dr Bronwyn Bancroft

  • Past Event
Indigenous Talks & Ideas
On Site

Hear about the stories and practices behind Dr Bronwyn Bancroft’s new exhibition at the Library, The Country Cries for Truth.

Event Information

Past Event
General Admission:  
The Library Auditorium, Lower Ground 1, Macquarie St Building

1 Shakespeare Place
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9273 1414

Art work by Dr Bronwyn Bancroft


“The Country Cries for Truth is a celebration of Dr Bronwyn Bancroft’s family and their ongoing connection to Bundjalung Country. This exhibition calls for us to pause and consider the devastation of colonisation for Aboriginal people, and to remember the complex and painful legacies of this history which still live in Country.” 

— Cherokee Lord (Curator), Indigenous Engagement, State Library of NSW

The Country Cries for Truth is a powerful and personal exhibition by distinguished Bundjalung writer and artist Dr Bronwyn Bancroft, that celebrates family and connection to Country, while exploring the complex and painful legacies of colonisation.

In this special event Dr Bancroft is joined by her daughter, Ella Bancroft, and members of the State Library’s Indigenous Engagement branch, Melissa Jackson and Damien Webb, to explore the stories and practices behind the exhibition.

The Country Cries for Truth exhibition emerged from the inaugural NSW First Nations Creative Fellowship — a partnership between the State Library of NSW and Create NSW — awarded to Dr Bancroft in 2021. During this fellowship she completed a series of works containing enlivened images of family, sacred belongings from Country, and a sequence of mixed media artworks that are a direct response to photographs from the Library’s JW Lindt collection. In the exhibition these artworks are presented alongside a selection of belongings from Dr Bancroft’s personal and family collections. 

Dr Bronwyn Bancroft is a Bundjalung woman and artist. She has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for over four decades. She has also illustrated and/or written 47 books and has been the Director of her own company, Designer Aboriginals Pty Ltd since 1985. Dr Bancroft is a Board Member/Director of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), The Returning and the Commonwealth Bank Indigenous Advisory Council. She is a Founding Member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative and has been the Co-operative's volunteer senior strategist since 2009. Dr Bancroft has a Diploma of Visual Arts, 2 Masters degrees and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Sydney. In 2021–22 Dr Bronwyn Bancroft completed a series of works as part of the inaugural NSW First Nations Creative Fellowship at the State Library of NSW.

Ella Noah Bancroft is a proud Bundjalung woman with ancestral bloodlines to Poland and Scotland. Ella is an Indigenous writer, published author, mentor, and founder of The Returning Indigenous Corporation. She is an experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment, social justice and system change. Ella has two published books, Sun and Moon (Hardie Grant, 2022) and It takes courage to tell the truth (Self-published, 2019). She has also written a fortnightly opinion piece in the Australia-wide newspaper The Koori Mail since 2022. In 2022 she was part of the Koori Mail flood hub recovery work in northern NSW and was a key organiser of the flood hub. She was amongst her community when they received the innovation award at NAIDOC Week in 2022.

Melissa Jackson is of Bundjalung descent with family links to the Baryulgil area near Grafton. Born in Crown Street Women’s Hospital she has spent her whole life in Sydney. Melissa worked in various government departments, including the Department of Housing and Attorney General’s Department before starting work at the State Library of NSW in 1991. One of two Indigenous Services Librarians, she has a background in teaching and obtained her librarianship qualifications from the University of Technology Sydney. Melissa is a past president of ATSILIRN, the national body representing Indigenous library workers.

Damien Webb is a queer Palawa man (from southeast Tasmania) who has worked in state libraries for the last 10 years, including roles in Western Australia and New South Wales. He previously coordinated the State Library of Western Australia’s ‘Storylines Project’ and has worked with Aboriginal artists, traditional owners and researchers all over Australia.