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Eva Johnson Eva Johnson i(A34951 works by)
Born: Established: 1946 Daly River, Daly River - Wadeye area, Top End, Northern Territory, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal Malak Malak ; Aboriginal
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Eva Johnson belongs to the Malak Malak people of the Northern Territory. She was taken fom her mother at the age of two and placed on a Methodist Mission on Croker Island where she remained until she was transferred to an orphanage in Adelaide at the age of ten.

She has been an enrolled nurse and also gained an Associate Diploma in Community Development from the South Australian Institute of Technology. She has studied for a degree in Aboriginal Studies at the University of Adelaide. She has been actively involved in Aboriginal Land Rights, Black women's issues, Black theatre, and the fight against racism. She is an Aboriginal writer who performs her own works, a drama teacher and an accomplished actress. She appeared in the last episode of the acclaimed television series Women of the Sun.

Johnson began to write in 1979, and her first poem became the title of the first play ever produced by Black Theatre in Adelaide, When I Die You'll All Stop Laughing. She directed the first Aboriginal Women's Art Festival in Adelaide (1984), and it was for this festival that she wrote her acclaimed play, Tjindarella. In 1985 she was writer and co-director of Onward to Glory, which looked at the effects of the Australian education system on women (Adelaide Women's Theatre), and was awarded the Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award. Johnson was writer/director of the First National Black Playwrights' Conference (Canberra, 1987), from which the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust was developed.

In 1990, Johnson was invited to the First International Women's Playwrights Conference in Buffalo, New York, and was writer in Residence at the Native American Community School in Minnesota. She has spoken at several universities in the United States. At the Fourth International Feminist Book Fair in Barcelona (1990) she received a standing ovation for her portrayal of Aboriginal life.

Johnson's play Heartbeat of the Earth had its premier performance at the 2nd World Indigenous Youth Conference, Darwin 1993. In the same year, she was awarded the Australia Council inaugural Red Ochre Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts culture.

Most Referenced Works


  • Aboriginal artist of the year 1984.

Affiliation Notes

  • Aboriginal: Malak Malak (NT); came to SA

Awards for Works

Murras 1989 single work drama
— Appears in: Plays From Black Australia 1989; (p. 79-107) Australian Women's Drama : Texts and Feminisms 1997; (p. 150-167)
1992 runner-up Ruth Adeney Koori Award (RAKA)
Last amended 4 Jul 2017 09:30:54
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