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Awarded for service to the Arts, service to Aboriginal Affairs, service to Education and Training
Born: 2 September 1931
Entered on roll: 2009
Corrie Lavinia Fullard was born on Flinders Island on 2 September 1931. While growing up, she watched her mother and father undertake the traditional art form of shell necklace making; gathering, drying and cleaning shells before stringing them into necklaces. At the age of 16, Corrie Fullard decided that she would dedicate her life to continuing the tradition of shell necklace stringing.
Auntie Corrie, as she is known, continues this complicated, traditional art form which has been practiced by generations of Tasmanian Aborigines for thousands of years. It is Auntie Corrie’s commitment to handing on this art which inspires so many.
Auntie Corrie’s first national exhibition of artwork was the 5th Indigenous Heritage Art Award at Old Parliament House, Canberra in 2000. In 2003, the National Gallery of Australia included a necklace of Auntie Corrie’s in the exhibition Tactility – two centuries of Indigenous objects, textiles and fibre. In 2001, in collaboration with her daughter Jeanette James, Auntie Corrie was selected as a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award. In 2007, the Bett Gallery displayed their work in the Corrie Fullard & Jeanette James exhibition.
Although now retired, Auntie Corrie continues her commitment to preserving this important art form. From 2000 to 2006, she was a tutor in the Tasmanian Aboriginal Education Schools Visiting Program, conducting workshops on shell-working. Auntie Corrie has also conducted shell-stringing workshops at numerous festivals Australia-wide.
The necklaces of Auntie Corrie are displayed by many museums and private collections throughout Australia and internationally. Within Australia, Auntie Corrie’s work is exhibited in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Australia; the Lake Macquarie City Gallery, NSW; the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston; and the Museum and Art Gallery of Tasmania, Hobart.
As well as her contribution to cultural arts, Auntie Corrie also served as a member of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Education Association Committee.
Auntie Corrie is a well-known and highly respected elder of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.