Yawuru pays respect to Mrs Lawford-Wolf


On behalf of the Yawuru community, the Yawuru PBC and NBY we wish to pay our respects to the late Mrs Lawford-Wolf. Mrs Lawford Wolf, a Gooniyandi woman, was born at Christmas Creek Station in the Kimberley, and was a legendary performer.  She was a strong Kimberley woman with ties throughout the region and across the globe and her vibrant personality, talent, commitment and joyful, boisterous laugh made her a cherished character who will be greatly missed by her local community and her many colleagues in the performance world.

Mrs Lawford-Wolf was a true performer and communicated the spirit of her roles to her audience, whether it was through her early dance work with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and Bangarra or her long acting career in films such as Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), and Last Cab to Darwin (2015) and television shows The Circuit (2007 – 2010), 3 Acts of Murder (2009), Little J & Big Cuz (2017) and Mystery Road (2018 and 2019).

She is well known for her theatre work including her one-woman show Ningali (1994-1996) and Jandamarra (2008). Mrs Lawford-Wolf gave a solo performance in the reading of Windmill Baby in 2014, the winner of the 2003 Patrick White Playwright’s Award, which she co-wrote with David Milroy, and performed in The Long Forgotten Dream at Sydney Opera House last year.  But for many Kimberley people, Mrs Lawford-Wolf will always be Rosie in the first performances of Bran Nue Dae; a role which has become iconic in Broome, the town in which she made her home.

While she was a respected national performer, Mrs Lawford-Wolf always maintained her strong ties to her family and community.  She was well-loved at Broome Senior High School where she worked and was an inspiration to many young Indigenous performers.

Peter Yu, CEO of NBY said “The Yawuru community sends their deepest condolences to her family; her partner Joe and children Jaden, Rosie, Alexander, William, and Florence, and grandchildren Zavia and Mia. Knowing of this passing makes our liyan feel bad and we hope for a speedy return of her family to their Kimberley home so that our community can mourn with them.”


14 August 2019