Don Dunstan’s socially progressive leadership of SA during the 60s and 70s oversaw (amongst other things) the recognition of Aboriginal land rights, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the abolishment of the death penalty, the relaxation of censorship and drinking laws. On top of all that, he was a great supporter of the arts.
One day when I was very young, my parents and I were passing through Murray Bridge, where my Dad grew up. There was a huge crowd in the park near the river, and on investigation we discovered they were crowded around a raised stage, gazing adoringly at the Premier, Don Dunstan. Ceremonially he cut a ribbon, placed a 20-cent coin in the slot of a small metal box and, for the first time, Bert the Bunyip emerged roaring from the water. I remember Don was resplendent in a short-sleeved and short-legged safari suit and I’m quite sure that it was pink. Like the very short pink shorts he turned up to Parliament in, one hot November day.
This print is based on an iconic newspaper photograph taken that day, as well as Barbara Hanrahan’s (another Local Icon) screenprint Flying Mother.
Image is 24 x 29 cm, printed on paper approx 32 x 39 cm.