Joan Martin was born in the country town of Morawa, Western Australia, in 1941. She was a proud Widi woman whose traditional territory extended from Geraldton eastwards into the salt-lake area.
Joan led an exciting and adventurous life, from life in the bush to school in Perth, and back again. But it was a life with great challenges, including efforts to avoid Native Welfare, so as not to be shipped off to a mission, and her later very public battle with Homeswest for the right to live in peace in her own home. Her legacy includes her work on native title, and her art.
Joan’s stories reveal interconnected themes: visiting family, teaching bush lore to her children, passing on Dreaming stories, celebrating culture through her art, along with conflicts with mining companies and white bureaucracies.
There is a poignant balance between her love of country with its expression through her art, and the victories and mischance of her life.