If she was remembered at all, Olive Muriel Pink (1884-1975) was most commonly regarded as an eccentric. During a life-time of activism on behalf of the Warlpiri and Arrernte people of central Australia, she wrote thousands of letters to newspapers, politicians and bureaucrats, demanding that they alter their ways, pointing out the faults in their policies and the unfortunate consequences of so many of them.
Such a woman was unlikely to be widely liked. In labelling her an eccentric her important anthropological and political work was obscured and diminished.
Julie Marcus has traced Olive Pink’s path from shy Tasmanian child to outspoken advocate for the Indigenous peoples of central Australia, a journey that took her from Hobart to Alice Springs, from flower painter to anthropologist, and finally to establishing the first botanic garden devoted to the flora of Australia’s arid regions.
Red Kangaroo Books acknowledges the Central Arrernte Traditional Owners and Custodians of Mparntwe where we live and work. We also pay our respect to the elders, past and present, of the lands here and beyond Mparntwe: wherever our visitors and readers call home.