Barbara Egan














Barbara Egan is a 'Mati Mati' woman from Balranald. Her Father was born at the Framingham Mission. Barbara runs and organises an Aboriginal Art & Design Centre in a large shed in Robinvale, North Western Victoria by the great Murray River. She started the business approximately 14 years ago and other than initial assistance from TAFE teachers from Mildura, is largely a self taught artist and business woman.

With some assistance from ATSIC, Barbara went out on her own and named her business after 'Emily' her beloved late sister. The Miss Emily Aboriginal Art Group was formed and Barbara is very proud of the business and her fellow artists who work in the shed. Barbara proudly says “our daily life is working in the shed which gives every one of us some hope in this world”.

The business is very much a family affair with several of Barbara’s six children working as artists. The Miss Emily products are available in Melbourne, with Australian by Design being their main sales outlet. The group creates hand painted original Aboriginal works, paintings and ceramics, along with beautiful hand painted silk scarves and greeting cards. All of their work is individually hand painted bringing out the natural colours of their birthplace within their work.   Every day they strive to show their passion in these creations.

Barbara is the oldest of ten children and was born on Murray Downs Station. Her father was a coal burner who moved around for work, between Swan Hill, Balranald and Robinvale. Barbara has been an artist from her childhood, preferring to sketch and draw rather than attend her school lessons. The family lived near the Murray River and Barbara remembers Murray Perch on their family Christmas table at Christmas.

Barbara is an ardent football fan and loves to attend the local games to see her grandson John Egan play for the Mildura Demons. She doesn’t follow any one team, just picking one on the day.

Barbara is very proud of her family of three sons and three daughters. She has 20 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. 'They all know of Aboriginal Art, and they all know how to dance!’


You can view a video of Barbara at our Video page or visit: or