When Roy McIvor was a small boy, his people were taken from their mission home in Cape Bedford and exiled to Woorabinda Aboriginal Reserve more than 1500 kilometres away. Their lives were torn apart as they witnessed the death of more than a third of their people at Woorabinda and the internment of their beloved German missionary “Muni”. The removal of the Guugu Yimirthirrr people from Cape Bedford during World War II is a shameful yet seldom-told chapter in the history of Australia which remains unexplained to this day.
Roy McIvor was born on the Lutheran mission at Hope Valley, Cape Bedford, north Cooktown. He is a Guugu Yimithirr man and belongs to the Binthi clan from the McIvor River area. His people are wandarr, or white cockatoo people. Roy McIvor’s inspirational outlook and generous spirit show how he and his people triumphed over the hardship to which they were subjected, eventually returning home to re-build their community, now known as Hope Vale. Roy McIvor is recognised as one of Cape York’s leading artists, the Chairman of the Hope Vale Arts and Cultural Centre and a stalwart figure in the promotion of Indigenous art and culture. Roy's artwork is held in the Queensland Art Gallery and the Fireworks Gallery in Brisbane.
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