Dingo - Australian Actor
Most of us recognise Aboriginal actor, Ernie Dingo, as one of the team reporters on Channel Seven's
Great Outdoors. This year, Ernie has been travelling the
world, reporting in his own unique style, which he describes
as telling “a yarn to the people home watching it". His relaxed approach has
been enjoyed by audiences for 15 years.
When Ernie is not on the road for The Great Outdoors, he's been
doing promotional work in
for the Youth on Health Festival in Mandura. An avid
AFL fan, he's still gloating about the West Coast Eagles
by one point” during the grand final.
Ernie is on the move. After spending ten years in
Brisbane, he's relocated to Melbourne, coming to the
conclusion that he doesn't need a suntan anymore.
This attitude is indicative of Ernie's humour. He explains, “it's
not about being rude to anybody, if people take offence to
what I say, they are entitled to as I am entitled to give my
point of view. If they reckon I am being silly, then don’t
listen to me... Most of the time I am pretty happy and
jovial about things around me, without serious moments and
depressing things, and sometimes you think…where do you
Ernie Dingo at the Woodford
Folk Festival Dec/Jan 2007
Ernie remembers being “a bit of a show off” in his teens,
especially on the basketball court in the Seventies. He had no
ambitions to take up show business. He says, “I just follow the ebbs
and flows of everything and got into one area that was good to me
and just played along with it”.
Behind his carefree manner is a serious actor who is modest about
his industry experience. Embracing his cultural practice, he
performed traditional dance. In 1979, he acted with the great
Aboriginal playwright and actor, Jack Davies in the ground breaking
stage play, Kullark. In 1982, he toured
and Canada with Dreamers, performing No Sugar, part of
the trilogy by Jack Davis. In 1983, Ernie arrived in Sydney where he
worked on stage and screen (including appearing in Crocodile Dundee
II), as well as “a bit of busking”.
On the broader issue of Australian Culture, Ernie laments the loss
of this quintessential Aussie tradition of mateship. “People in
Australia are made up from all walks of life, and from all around the world,
yet try to be like somebody else. We have a great mateship in
this country. But people are forgetting about it because we are coming
to electronified, and Americanised!
Ernie is wanting more from our cultural exchanges. He uses the
example of eating out at a restaurant, such as Indian or
In this experience “we embrace all the things for what they give us,
but what do we give them? Money, and it's transactions done! But
if we embrace their culture, we learn a little bit about them”.
He speaks of embracing “each other as that (Australians) and
stopping “all the negativities” just because “if you don't
understand something, then you become bias.”
Ernie’s empathy for diversity and culture, cheeky Aussie humour,
and his engaging yarns make him a fine ambassador for The Great
Celebrities that Ernie
Guy Pearce, Jack Thompson,
Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett and Sigrid Thorton.
Classic Aboriginal bands such as
Coloured Stone, Kourri Country
Singers Roger Knoxs and Jimmy Little and
Aboriginal Opera Singer, Harold Blair. Rumpi Band,
Mop and the Drop Outs.
Legendary Football Ruckman Bill Dempsey.
Ernie's, true to his travelling spirit, says his favourite Charity
Royal Flying Doctors
because “outside the city you rely of them to help you”.
Article written by
Chrissy Layton/Pauline Sheldrake for AusNotebook Music & Creative
Ernie Dingo acts in upcoming
movie Bran Nue Dae showing in 2010
Photo taken by Chrissy Layton