Gertie is an important leader and elder from the Dingaal clan and is a traditional owner of the country around Lizard Island.
She was born in Woorabinda in 1944. Her family were interned there during WW2. Gertie and her family moved back to Hopevale when she was a young girl after the war ended.
Gertie’s totems are Bunjarr (Owl) from her father’s side and Walmbaar (Stingray), mother’s side.
Gertie’s husband recently passed away. They were passionate about passing down their cultural knowledge to the younger generations.
Gertie only recently began painting and now belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the Gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.