Mr Peter Fannin

Botanist and art lover

2006 NT Australian of the Year

Peter Fannin is a botanist, conservationist, astronomer, art lover, teacher and, most of all, a contributor to the community. Since the 1970s, Peter has been instrumental in encouraging Indigenous Australians to express their culture through painting, leading to the world renowned, watershed Papunya art movement. For the past thirty years, he has worked within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and, in retirement, still conducts guided plant walks, trains others to do so, and continues to work on the herbarium he helped established. Peter's unique collection of early indigenous art was recently acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. Believing that artists should benefit from the trading of their works, Peter returned much of the money he received to the original artists and established a trust fund from which artists' families are regularly paid royalties.