ROBERT MERRITT was born in 1945 and brought up on Erambie Aboriginal Mission, NSW. The Cake Man, written in isolation in Bathurst, was an attempt to express the root causes of Aboriginal despair. It was first performed in 1975 by the newly-formed Black Theatre in Redfern, followed by a number of successful productions. In the 1980s he made a number of documentary films, was Chair of the Aboriginal Arts Board, the first Aboriginal member of the Australia Council and Chair of the Festival of Pacific Arts in 1988.