Justine Saunders as Rhonda Jackson in a scene from Number 96
Justine Florence Saunders
20 February 1953
Quilpie, Queensland, Australia
|Died||15 April 2007 54) (aged|
|Awards|| Order of Australia |
Red Ochre Award
Justine Florence Saunders, OAM, returned in 2000 (20 February 1953 – 15 April 2007) was an Australian stage, television and film actress. She was a member of the Woppaburra, an Australian Aboriginal people, from the Kanomie clan of Great Keppel Island in Queensland. She was born next to a railway track. At the age of 11, as a member of the Stolen Generation, she was removed from her mother Heather and taken to Brisbane and placed in a convent. Heather was not told of Justine's whereabouts for more than ten years, and spent much of that time searching for her. On the small screen she appeared in numerous series, mini-series and telemovies.
Saunders having started her career in theatre, made her screen debut in the television serial Rush in 1974, but first came to prominence as a cast member of soap opera Number 96 in 1976, as Rhonda Jackson. a character defending the rights of indigenous Australians. Subsequently in 1986 she became best known for her role as social worker Pamela Madigan in the serial Prisoner
Other television credits include: Skyways , Women of the Sun (1981), Farscape , Blue Heelers , and MDA .
Her film work includes The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and The Fringe Dwellers .
Saunders received the inaugural Aboriginal Artist of the Year award in 1985.
In 1991, Saunders was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), for her services to the performing arts, her services to the National Aboriginal Theatre, and for her assistance in setting up the Black Theatre and the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust.
In 2000, through the indigenous Senator Aden Ridgeway, she returned the medal in protest at the emotional turmoil her mother was suffering over the Howard government's denial of the term "stolen generation".
In April 2007, Saunders died of cancer at Hawkesbury District Hospital, Sydney, aged 54.
|Rush (TV series)||1974||Werowey|
|Essington (TV movie)||1974|
|Ben Hall (TV series)||1975||Jununji|
|Lukes Kingdom (TV series)||1976||Aboriginal girl|
|Number 96 (TV series)||1976||Rhonda Jackson|
|Pig in a Poke (TV series)||1977||Maureen|
|The Cake Man (TV movie)||1977|
|The Death Train (TV movie)||1978||Greg's wife|
|The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (film)||1978||Nancy|
|Against the Wind (TV miniseries)||1978||Ngilgi|
|Top Mates (TV series)||1979|
|Skyways (TV series)||1979||Flight attendant Helen Smith|
|Women of the Sun (TV miniserial)||Merida Anderson|
|Silent Reach (TV miniseries)||1983||Allison Burnie|
|Chase Through the Night (TV movie)||1983||Mary|
|Mail Order Bride (TV movie)||1984||Iris|
|Charleys Web (TV movie)||1986||Joan Lynch|
|The Fringe Dwellers||1986||Mollie Comeaway|
|Prisoner: Cell Block H (TV series)||1986||Pamela Madigan|
|A Country Practice (TV series)||1987||Brenda Dwyer - episode part 1 and 2; Birds of Prey|
|The First Australians (TV series)||1988||Co-presenter|
|Touch the Sun: Top Enders (TV movie)||1988||Elva|
|Until the End of the World||1991||Maisie|
|The Flying Doctors||1989-1992||Bessie (1989)/Magistrate Krum (1992)|
|Heartland (TV mini-series)||1994||Millie Carmichael|
|House Gang||1996||President of Australia|
|The Tower (TV movie)||1997||Louise|
|The Violent Earth (TV mini-series)||1998||Aunt Junie|
|Farscape (TV series)||2000||Altana|
|Blue Heelers (TV series)||Annie Baker|
|MDA (TV series)||2002||Ruby McKinnon|
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