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c) Maybudger
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‘The First Crocodile’

 Back in the Dreamtime, two women got their yam sticks and dilly bags and set off to look for food.  They walked along the creek gathering prawns by pulling all the grass from the side of the creek up onto the sand.  As they moved on one of the women came upon a sand goanna.  She grabbed it by the tail hitting it with her yam stick, the other woman joined in to help her.  The goanna lay still on the sand.  Thinking the goanna was dead, the two women went looking for wood to cook it.

  While they were gone the goanna crawled down into the creek, down into a deep pool.  Lying down on the bottom of the pool the goanna changed into a large crocodile.  By that time the two women came back with the wood to cook their goanna.  While they were making the fire the large crocodile came up out of the water, the women got such a fright they ran off to tell the tribe. 

So when you see a crocodile he has still got all the marks on his back from being hit with the yam sticks.

Size: 76cm x 51cm

Acrylic on Canvas

Artist Profile:  Mona Mckenzie


 Mona McKenzie is a Jirrbal woman aged 65 years.  Her language name is: Ingadinga meaning Lightning and Thunder.  She has a daughter Donna, and eight grandchildren.  Mona has been painting since the 1970’s, Mona and her husband were the original founders of the Babinda Co-Op where they produced artefacts such as boomerangs, clap sticks and bark paintings these they then painted for sale to the public.

Mona has had exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and Broken Hill. Her first piece of art was sold to an American who lives in California. Mona paints the stories passed onto her from her elders and while she may paint the same stories several times they are never painted in the same way.   Mona resides in Babinda where she continues to paint and teach her stories.