Michael Connolly

Michael Connolly is a well-recognised Aboriginal artist. Born in Charleville with traditional ties to the Kullilla tribe from his father's side and Muruwari people on his mother's side, he now calls Redcliffe, Queensland home.

In 1995, Michael arrived at a personal crossroad. Sensing her husband was dissatisfied with the direction his life was taking, his wife Jo encouraged him to pursue his love of art, which led to the establishment of Dreamtime Kullilla Art- specialising in unique Australian Aboriginal works of art and craft and native bush tucker product.

Not content with overcoming one big challenge by starting a business, in 2004 Michael went back to school.

He completed a Cert II and Cert IV in Leadership and is currently undertaking a Cert IV in Literacy and Numeracy.

"Returning to study was really difficult, but well worth it," he said.

Michael now shares his time between art, cross-cultural training, consultancy and mentoring.

He is involved in assisting Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory to become more self sufficient in such areas as tourism, land management and market gardening.

"I find delivering cultural education in the community a very rewarding experience," Michael explains.

"I'm inspired by seeing our people succeed and achieve and I'd like to think I'm making a positive contribution by increasing people's awareness of their 'real' cultural heritage.

"What I'd really like to see is young people taking ownership of their responsibility-having a good look at themselves to find out who they really are," he said.

Michael's daughter says her father comes across as having a hard exterior, but he's actually a 'real softie'.

"It was the way I was bought up by my father," Michael says.

"You tell people what you think with no messing around!"

DESCRIPTION: Michael Connolly - Artist and Cultural Mentor