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The History Salon – Aunty Lois Peeler


Wed 25 Jul 2018, 6:00pm–7:00pm

Where: Bombini Buzz Mezzanine, Hamer Hall, 100 St Kilda Rd, Southbank Promenade, Southbank, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $0.00
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


Listed by: YIRRAMBOI Festival

The History Salon #4: Aunty Lois Peeler AM

The fourth History Salon features Aunty Lois Peeler, in conversation with Blak Betty.

Lois’ childhood was spent on orchards in Shepparton East and Orrvale districts of the Goulburn Valley after her family moved from the Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserve near Barmah. These experiences have shaped the lives of Lois’ family who have been very active in Aboriginal community development. Lois’ mother Mrs Geraldine Briggs AO was awarded for her work in this field. Lois’ sister the late Hyllus Maris was a visionary and writer who wrote Women of the Sun and established Worawa Aboriginal College in Healesville.

Lois has had a varied career which includes being the first Aboriginal model and the first Aboriginal person to work in television when she was engaged to work on the GTV 9 Breakfast Session in the ‘60s. Lois and her sisters formed a singing group the Sapphires which toured Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War. Lois’ nephew Aboriginal playwright Tony Briggs wrote about these experiences in the smash hit ‘The Sapphires’ which as a stage play completed sell out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth before going on to be a to take 11 of 12 awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA).

Lois began her career in the community sector as Assistant Director of the Aborigines Advancement League leading to senior positions in the State and Federal public service (spanning 16 years in public sector Aboriginal Affairs). Lois is author of Aboriginal Oral History of the Flats and co-author of Yorta Yorta Language Heritage. She headed Aboriginal Tourism Australia for more than a decade leading Indigenous tourism development and co-authoring the ‘Respecting our Culture’ tourism accreditation program for the Australian Tourism industry.

As Principal of Worawa Aboriginal College, Lois oversees implementation of a holistic education for young Aboriginal women, nurturing Aboriginal culture, history and identity in an education framework - empowering Aboriginal girls and young women to ‘Walk in Both Worlds’. She was named the 2017 Senior Victorian Australian of the Year and in May, 2017 was conferred an Honorary Doctorate (Social Science) by RMIT University.

Aunty Lois will be talking about pivotal moments in her arts career, including her time with The Sapphires, and working as a model. Hosted by Blak Betty.

The History Salon

A living encyclopaedia of Blak Arts in Australia. Our Elders created the opportunities we have today. We come from a 70,000+ year lineage of artists in this country, but we have very little written record of the heroes and mavericks that paved the way for Indigenous contemporary arts in Australia.

In honour of our traditions and ways of knowledge transfer, we gather, we listen and acknowledge the hard work that defined, inspired and transformed generations of Indigenous arts practice. The History Salon celebrates and shares stories from our Elders, informing new generations of their place in a long lineage of artistic practice. Join radio personality Blak Betty in a dynamic yarn with an Elder of the arts.

Know Your History
*Yirramboi will be taking photographs and/or shooting footage at this event. Photographs and/or footage collected at this event may be used in future City of Melbourne promotional materials, such as flyers, posters, brochures, website content and across social media channels relating to services and programs provided by Yirramboi. If you do not wish to be photographed or filmed, please inform one of our friendly Yirramboi staff on the day, or via email:

Free, but RSVP essential here.