Bigali Hanlon

Roebourne, Western Australia

Community builder, gardener

Born in the East Pilbara, Bigali was stolen from her family in 1946. As a young adult, she re‑connected with them in Wittenoom, which is where she found bush cucumbers growing in a creek bed, sparking her interest in native plants. The Yindjibarndi elder is now bringing this plant and others to the community garden at Roebourne’s Ngarluma and Yindijibarndi Cultural Centre. Growing medicinal and bushtucker plants, it will be a place where generations can share knowledge and good company. Bigali is using her grant to visit and learn from other botanists in Alice Springs, and ultimately make Roebourne known as the home of Australia’s second-only native botanic garden created by Aboriginal people.