Laurie Bayamarrawangga (Big Boss)

Buy one of Laurie’s three exquisite baskets or as a special collection – limited

Artist Profile

Laurie Baymarrwangga (Gawany) Baymarrwaŋa was born (circa 1920) on Murruŋga Island (largest of the outer Crocodile Islands of North-East Arhnem Land, in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.

These pieces were hand crafted by this amazing elder.

In 2010, after a struggle stretching back to 1945, Laurie received back payments for rents owed to her as the land and sea owner of her father’s estate. She donated it all, around A$400,000, to improve education and employment opportunities on the islands and to establish a 1,000 square kilometre turtle sanctuary on her marine estate.

Laurie is the Senior Aboriginal Traditional Owner of the Malarra estate, which includes Galiwin’ku, Dalmana, Murruŋga, Brul-brul and the Ganatjirri Maramba Salt Water surrounding the islands and inclusive of some 300 other named sites. She has devoted her life to the intergenerational transmission of the ancestral language and knowledge of her homelands on the Crocodile Islands for the benefit of future generations.

In 2011 she won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NT Research and Innovation Board for the Crocodile Islands Initiative in honour of her ongoing struggle to save her homelands from administrative closure.

She was the 2012 Senior Australian of the Year awarded for her “leadership and commitment in caring for the Crocodile Islands biological and cultural environment.



  • NameLaurie Bayamarrawangga