Ngarrindjeri elder Garnett Wilson was born at Raukkan, South Australia, in 1928. At the age of twelve he suffered a serious injury which developed into a painful and permanent disability. Tough family love turned him away from bitterness and self-pity towards a lifetime of achievement and service.
Garnett was the first Aboriginal woolclasser in South Australia. He was an inaugural member and long-standing chair of the State’s Aboriginal Lands Trust, the first Aboriginal land-holding body in Australia. He served as an executive member and acting chair of the National Aboriginal Conference. He also chaired the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee. In fact, he chaired so many committees, he came to be known as ‘The Chairman’.
The Chairman is Garnett Wilson’s autobiography, recorded by Anne Bartlett. Colleagues, friends and family have added their voices to the telling, setting the story of a remarkable elder statesman in its wider social context.