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SCOTT RANKIN is a writer, director and creative director of the renowned arts organisation, Big hART. Scott wrote the highly acclaimed works Bo x The Pony for Leah Purcell, Riverland for Wesley Enoch and Ngapartji Ngapartji for Trevor Jamieson. Big hART is Scott’s passionate contribution to the arts and society – the company has won eight Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) Awards, the 2008 Myer Performing Arts Group Award as well as an AFI Award and a World Health Organisation Award. He has received many high accolades and awards including: two Premier’s Literary awards, three Green Room Awards including Most Innovative Production and Best Direction, as well as a Human Rights Award (arts). He has been awarded the Ros Bower Award for outstanding achievement in services to community cultural development, and has received a Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Namatjira / Ngapartji Ngapartji
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Namatjira / Ngapartji Ngapartji

Scott Rankin
Namatjira & Ngapartji Ngapartji go right to the heart of the intersection between Indigenous and non-Indigenous experience. These stories of family, friendship, land, myth, life and death are contextualised within the social and political framework of their times. They resonate universally, yet at the same time capture unique moments in Australian history and experience.

The story of Albert Namatjira ( 1902–1959). Namatjira was Australia’s most famous Indigenous watercolour artist, and the first to achieve commercial success, but his story is hardly known. Albert Namatjira’s story resonates today as strongly as it did 50 years ago, providing a lens through which we can see the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians both in the past and the present. 


Ngapartji Ngapartji
Taking its name from the Pitjantjatjara concept of exchange and reciprocity —co-created with Trevor Jamieson — this play is a deeply affecting experience of Indigenous history. Exploring themes of dispossession and displacement from country, home and family, the play tells the story of a Pitjantjatjara family forcibly moved off their lands to make way for the testing of British Atomic bombs at Maralinga.


   eBook available from

Cast : Namatjira - 4M + 2 musicians / Ngapartji Ngapartji - 10M, 3F + choir
Performance Rights :
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-922-1 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Platform Papers 57: Cultural Justice and the Right to Thrive
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Platform Papers 57: Cultural Justice and the Right to Thrive

Scott Rankin

What are cultural rights and why do we need them? In the author’s words, ‘Everyone, everywhere has a right to thrive.’ It is an issue of justice, an essential service like education, health. Culture is not benign, he says.

It is a powerful narrative contagion which binds us together. We need to pay attention to it and be vigilant, not for the few but the whole. Because if we don’t it can be used against certain sections of our society, demonising them or rendering their story invisible and citizens vulnerable. In Australia we pride ourselves on our cultural diversity but have little self-knowledge.

This paper draws from Rankin’s 26 years’ experience living with Big hART, a regional performance company and digital content producer based in Burnie, ‘the poorest electorate in Australia’, that uses the arts and performance to stimulate social development and better cultural understanding. He reflects on the lessons learnt from their successes and failures; and places their body of work in an international context of alternative company practice.

Currency House | 978-0-64842-650-9 | PB