AustLit logo
Bob Randall Bob Randall i(A23894 works by) (a.k.a. Bobby Randall; Robert James Randall; Tjilpi)
Born: Established: 1934 Central Northern Territory, Northern Territory, ; Died: Ceased: 13 May 2015
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal Yankunytjatjara people ; Aboriginal
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Singer, songwriter, teacher and activist, Bob Randall was born at Middleton Pond on Tempe Station in the Central Desert region of the Northern Territory. He is a traditional owner of the Uluru lands and a former Indigenous Person of the Year. His mother, Tanguawa, worked as a housemaid at Angus Downs cattle station for Randall's father, station owner Bill Liddle. Randall and his mother lived away from the main house with their extended family and he had little contact with his Scotsman father. He was taken away from his mother at the age of seven in Arnhem Land - another member of the stolen generation. He spent time in an Alice Springs institution for children, and at the Croker Island Reservation in Arnhem Land thousands of kilometres from home and family, and he was given a new identity and birth date. Randall had spent most of his youth in government institutions until he turned twenty, when he with his wife and child moved to Darwin, and later to Adelaide, South Australia. It was in Adelaide, that Randall established his career as an Aboriginal Cultural educator, and began looking for his family and his traditional country.

In 1970, Randall helped establish the Adelaide Community College for Aboriginal people and lectured at the college on Aboriginal cultures. He is well known for writing what some consider the anthem of the stolen generation, 'My Brown Skinned Baby'. Randall had appeared in the documentary films by John Pilger and had roles in the movies Picnic at Hanging Rockand The Last Wave. In 2005, with film maker Melanie Hogan, Randall had produced documentary Kanyini about his life story.

Randall's story was recorded by the National Library of Australia for the Bringing Them Home oral history project edited by Doreen Mellor and Anna Haebich (2002).

Randall had served as the Director of the Northern Australia Legal Aid Service and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander centres at the Australian National University, University of Canberra and University of Wollongong. (Source: Adapted from 'Songs Tell the Story of an Amazing Life', National Library of Australia, Gateways 46, August 2000)

Most Referenced Works

Last amended 2 May 2017 08:19:59
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: