The First Garden tells the story of Olive Pink - a trailblazing Aboriginal land rights activist and environmentalist. Ridiculed by her peers and shunned by the Alice Springs community for espousing ideals that were considered to be outlandish she was viewed as a public nuisance, to be barely tolerated. However, due to her vigor and vision the Olive Pink Botanical Garden was established in Alice Springs.
The First Garden also touches on key narratives in modern Australian identity, seamlessly incorporating Aboriginal rights, environmentalism, the Gallipoli legend and feminism into its gentle rhythmic tone. This reflects a maturation of our society, where we are prepared not only to acknowledge but also to reconcile.
"Playwright and actress Natasha Raja dyed her hair grey to play notorious anthropologist and activist Olive Pink in new play The First Garden. A small sacrifice, she says, to play the extraordinary Miss Pink"... Article by Emma Sleath, ABC Local Radio Alice Springs.
"The audience sat facing south and it was so lovely it would almost have been alright for nothing more to happen. But then Miss Pink, played by Natasha Raja, appeared over the hill, triumphantly carrying a dead perentie. She cried out excitedly to a man we couldnâ€™t see, speaking partly in English, partly in an Aboriginal language. He replied sternly, angrily, telling her she has spoken of things she should not have: she must go, she is no longer welcome..." Review by Kieran Finnane
"Brilliantly conceived, beautifully acted and directed, and written with love and care, The First Garden was arguably the stand-out feature of this yearâ€™s Alice Desert Festival. It was an inspired idea to plant a play about Olive Pink in the garden she nurtured with her own hands...." Dave Richards discusses the production and its historical context.
Article by Dave Richards about the historical figure Olive Pink. Originally published in HQ Magazine in 1997.
Acquaintances and friends remember Olive Pink. Produced by Dave Richards for the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.
Tim Richards reviews the Alice Desert Festival, including the play The First Garden at the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens.
'The First Garden' a play inspired by the life of Olive Pink is performed in Sydney.
Botanical illustrator, anthropologist, environmentalist and trailblazing Aboriginal rights activist Olive Pink is the subject of a play by Chris and Natasha Raja.
Christopher and Natasha Raja talk to Radio National about their play, The First Garden.