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Richard “Dick” Glyn Kimber (born 1939) is an Australian historian and author who has written extensively on the history, art, culture and wildlife of Central Australia. He has published several books, the best known of which is ''Man From Arltunga: Walter Smith, Australian Bushman'' as well as more than 100 articles and essays. Kimber is also a Member of the Order of Australia.


Early life

Kimber was born at Freeling in
South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Austral ...

South Australia
in 1939. He went to school in the Riverland area and Brighton and then attended
Adelaide University The University of Adelaide (informally Adelaide University) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization ...
and Adelaide Teacher’s College.


Career

Throughout Kimber’s career, his focus has been on historical research,
Aboriginal art Indigenous Australian art includes art made by Aboriginal Australian Aboriginal Australians are the various Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples ...
and culture, and wildlife. He has published several books, the best known of which is ''Man From Arltunga: Walter Smith, Australian Bushman''. He has also published over 100 articles and essays. He has also given public lectures and made regular media appearances. Kimber moved to
Alice Springs Alice Springs ( aer, Mparntwe) is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an states and territories of Australia, Australian territory in the central a ...

Alice Springs
in 1970 and taught English, history,
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
and Aboriginal Studies at Alice Springs High School. In 1974 he became the first Sacred Sites Officer in the Northern Territory for the Sacred Sites Authority, before returning to teaching. From 1976 to 1978 he was the
Papunya Tula Papunya Tula, registered as Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, is an artist cooperative formed in 1972 in Papunya, Northern Territory, owned and operated by Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal people from the Western Desert cultural bloc, Western Deser ...
Artists Coordinator and devised Aboriginal Studies materials for schools, after which he again returned to teaching. Beginning in 1976 Kimber undertook research and prepared submissions for land rights and native title claims for over twenty years, in a private capacity and for the
Central Land Council The Central Land Council is a land council that represents the Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal peoples of the southern half of the Northern Territory of Australia, predominantly with regard to land issues. The head office is located in Alice S ...
and Ngaanyatjarra Council. During this time he also undertook research for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Studies, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the Australian Heritage Commission and the Strehlow Research Centre, regarding locations of Outstation (Aboriginal community), Aboriginal homelands and their needs, settlement history, and ownership of sacred objects. He researched the historical records of extinct and rare native fauna for the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory and provided advice regarding the development of the Alice Springs Desert Park and issues relating to Aboriginal land ownership of various parks and reserves. From the mid-1990s, Kimber advised the National Museum of Australia, Museum Victoria and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Northern Territory Museum regarding Aboriginal artefacts and cultural practices, access to Papunya Tula paintings that incorporated sacred elements, and the return of sacred objects to traditional custodians in central Australia. He continues to consult for Museum Victoria is association with the Strehlow Research Centre. Since arriving in Central Australia Kimber has undertaken travels, discussions and other shared experiences with many Aboriginal people, primarily in the south-western Simpson Desert, western deserts of Central Australia and the deserts of Western Australia through to the Canning Stock Route, and in
Alice Springs Alice Springs ( aer, Mparntwe) is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an states and territories of Australia, Australian territory in the central a ...

Alice Springs
. He has privately researched significant historical figures in inland Australia, Australian language usage, and native fauna of the inland including birds, and made important contributions to the Australian Language Dictionary, the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Northern Territory Dictionary of Biography. The National Library of Australia has established the RG Kimber Collection for his correspondence and records. Kimber was awarded an Order of Australia in 2001 for "services to the community through research projects and the recording of information of national interest in the areas of history, anthropology, Aboriginal art, ecology and land management practices in Central Australia". Kimber was awarded a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa from the Charles Darwin University in 2006.


Personal life

Kimber married to scientist Margaret Friedel in 1975. He has two children Steve and Barbara. In 1980, Kimber resigned from the Education Department “becoming Alice Springs’ first publicly acknowledged ‘house-husband’" while continuing his active writing life. He is passionate about Australian rules football, Australia Rules Football, lifesaving as well as history. He was the foundation captain and coach of the Melanka AFL Football Club (now West Football Club).


Works

* 1988 - ''Wildbird dreaming: aboriginal art from the central deserts of Australia'' Nadine Amadio and Richard Kimber * 1986 - ''Man from Arltunga: Walter Smith, Australian bushman'' republished 1990 * 1990 - ''Ancestor spirits: aspects of Australian Aboriginal life and spirituality'' by Max Charlesworth, Richard Kimber and Noel Wallace * 1900 - ''Friendly country - friendly people : an exhibition of Aboriginal artworks from the peoples of the Tanami and Great Sandy Deserts : desert lands, desert peoples, desert art'' * 1990 - ''Hunter-gatherer demography: the recent past in Central Australia'' * 1991 - ''The end of the bad old days: European settlement in Central Australia, 1871-1894'' * 2000 - ''M. N. Tjapaltjarri'' * 2006 - ''Colliding worlds: first contact in the Western Desert 1932-1984'', edited by Philip Batty with essays by Dick Kimber, Jeremy Long and John Kean


References


External links


Dick Kimber's Oral History interview
{{DEFAULTSORT:Kimber, Dick 1939 births Australian historians People from Alice Springs Living people Members of the Order of Australia