Sid Bruce Short Joe

Sid was born in the Aurukun mission 1964. His traditional saltwater totem is “bull shark” and freshwater totem is “blue tongue lizard”. He is a “Wik Iiyanh” tribe. His traditional country is North East and inland of Pormpuraaw. His people are freshwater people. The people of this part of Cape York speak many indigenous languages. It is not uncommon for locals to speak 4 to 6 languages. Sid speaks 9 languages plus English. He grew up in Pormpuraaw and learned “Thayorre” the indigenous language of the traditional owners. When a teenager he lived among his great grandmother’s the “Kugu” people and learned those languages. He shares his knowledge with his nephews, family and community. He is a cultural scholar and a national treasure. He is the respected president of our management committee. He volunteers assisting the magistrate working as interpreter and mediator. He is welcome at the campfires of many different tribes because he can speak their languages and respects their laws. He enjoys creating art. Art is a new language for him and a way to share and express himself with a wider audience.
Sid is known as “Mister Lino” because of his print making ability. He is also called the general bull shark because of his leadership at the center. He started at the centre in 2010 and has produced a large volume of work. He has been the main inspiration for two books published by our centre titled “Pormpuraaw Totems” and “Pormpuraaw Art and Culture”. His stories and work has been feature in two different NITV shows.  The Australia Museum in NSW has purchased a ghost net sculpture titled “Munha” or shovel nose ray in English.
Australian Museum, Sydney NSW
Crocodile Story, Australian Museum

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