Ruby Hunter dominated the nominations for the 2000 Deadly Sounds National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Awards, with a total of four to her name – Female Artist of the Year, Album Release of the Year, Single Release of the Year, and Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal Music.
Our swinging sister from the Ngarrindjeri people of South Australia took the award for Female Artist of the Year.
2000 has been a big year for Ruby. Her latest album, Feeling Good was released in May and is a wonderful contribution to the world of Indigenous music, with its rich and varied musical textures.
Ruby also took on a five-city tour this year to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane, performing with Archie Roach, Frank Yamma and Piranpa, her some Amos Roach, and Kavisha Mazella.
On top of this, Ruby has been working on a new film directed by Rachel Perkins, titled One Night, The Moon, due for release next year. She also featured in the SBS documentary The Land Of The Little Kings, screened as part of Reconciliation Week and performed at the Sydney Opera House.
To cap off a great year, Ruby was also nominated for an ARIA for Best Blues and Roots Release.
>Deadly Vibe Issue 73 March 2003
RUBY HUNTER, of South Australia, became the first Aboriginal woman to record a solo album when she released her debut, Thoughts Within, in 1994. Ruby and her long-time partner Archie Roach form one of Australia’s most respected singer-songwriter teams. Ruby is currently working on a children’s album to be released later this year.
How many children do you have? What are their names, how old are they and what do they do? Christine, 30; Arthur, 24; Amos, 23; Eban, 22, Terrence, 13; Nathan, 11. Amos is a cultural educator with the South Australian Department of Education and a session musician (he plays guitar). He’s the bachelor of the family. Eban and Arthur are both family men and Christine is a family woman. Terrence (or Mr T) does School of the Air from home and Nathan goes to primary school. The children have both their mother’s and their father’s ways.
How did having children change your life? It gave me happiness and responsibility. To care for another little human being that belongs to me … it makes me smile.
What are the things about motherhood that surprised you? It was quite surprising being called Mum for the first time. It was the word itself. Then you think, ‘Hang on, I AM a mum!’ I am a happy mum and not matter what the age of my children, I like to spend time with them. As I like to say, Mum’s the word!
What are the biggest challenges in being a mother? Never having a rest and always being on call, sometimes for the smallest of things. You have to be there for the happy times, for the sick times and for the surprising times.
What things do you consider important to teach to your children? What things did you want them to know about their culture? Good manners, politeness, respect, and to know values and their true culture.
How do you hope your children grow up? With good hearts and minds, with laughter and good humour, and to be good in life.