Digby Moran honoured by Southern Cross University

Published 15 January 2020
Detail of Digby Moran painting from 2016 exhibition at Lismore campus.

The Southern Cross University community has paid tribute to acclaimed First Nations artist Digby Moran, following his sudden death in Lismore this week.

The 71-year-old Bundjalung man has been remembered as prolific, generous and well known locally for his exhibitions in Tweed, Lismore and Grafton.

He was also highly respected internationally as a regular exhibitor in Germany.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Adam Shoemaker has fond memories of his first meeting with Digby Moran.

“One of my earliest experiences at Southern Cross was meeting Digby at the launch of one of his exhibitions in our Lismore Library foyer,” Professor Shoemaker said.

“His celebration of place was always so strong and his generosity with people was legendary.”

Southern Cross University today honoured the memory of Digby Moran by lowering the campus flags to half-mast.

Head of Art and Design at Southern Cross, Dr Stephen Garrett, said he was deeply saddened to hear of Digby Moran’s passing.

“He was an incredibly important Bundjalung artist both of the Northern Rivers, and nationally,” Dr Garrett said.

“Outside of a few meetings with Digby, I always felt that I knew him through his artwork, which was a deeply personal connection to country and growing up on Cabbage Tree Island, and living in this region.

“He was a strong voice to many… to also enable their stories to be told.”

Often reaching back into his earliest years, Digby Moran was known for his abstract and playful interpretations of sand crabs, fish, lobsters and the fun of his boyhood explorations on Cabbage Tree Island.

A statement from the University's Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples said Digby Moran was “a caring and gentle man, passionate about his culture and the Country he grew up on - inspiring and teaching his knowledge to the younger generations.”

"The sharing and passion for his culture, language and growing up on Country permeates through his art. Uncle Digby will continue to inspire many more through his artworks and teachings long into the future.

"Uncle will always be deeply respected and held at highest regard here at Gnibi and Southern Cross University for the work and involvement he has had over the years. It is with such fond memories and that we will truly miss a great Elder, Teacher and Artist. All here at Gnibi send our deepest condolences to Family.”

Media contact: Adam Walters scumedia@scu.edu.au