AUNTY ZETA THOMSON (VIC)
Aunty Zeta Thomson is a respected Elder and descendant of the Yarra Yarra Clan of the Wurundjeri people through her father and grandfather, Alexander Briggs, and is a descendant of the Ulupna Clan of the Yorta Yorta people on her mother and grandmother, Teresa (Yarmuk) Clements. She is a renowned artist, culture teacher and advocate for the rights of Aboriginal prisoners in Victoria. Aunty Zeta retains strong connections to her ancestral homelands. Her parents participated in the historic Cummeragunja Walk-Off, relocating to the Shepparton-Mooroopna. Her family maintains links with Cummeragunja through the continuing use of ancestral burial grounds. Her knowledge of culture has been passed down by her mother and father and maternal grandmother.
Aunty Zeta and her husband, Edward have been proudly for married 54 years. She is a mother of three children and a grandmother of ten. She has had a lifetime involvement in Aboriginal affairs, working at a community level, like many of her family members. She has supported land rights and Aboriginal rights with her family. Aunty Zeta was the first Victorian Aboriginal artist to have work exhibited at Melbourne Museum’s Bunjilaka Gallery. Her paintings are inspired by the family stories and her work showcases the Yorta Yorta creation story: “Aboriginal art is storytelling; it is inspired by old creation stories”.