Vale: Ningali Lawford-Wolf

Indigenous actor Ningali Lawford-Wolf, best known for Rabbit-Proof Fence, Last Cab to Darwin and Mystery Road has died at the age of 52.

She died in Edinburgh on Sunday while touring with the stage production of The Secret River.

Sydney Theatre Company in a statement said it was absolutely devastated by her passing.

“Ningali was an incredibly talented performer as well as a wonderfully caring and thoughtful person. We’ve lost one of Australian theatre’s greatest treasures,” STC said in a statement.

“Ningali was a Wangkatjungka woman born under a tree at Christmas Creek Station in the far north Kimberley region of Western Australia. Ningali trained as a dancer at the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre, then continued to perform professionally with Bangarra Dance Theatre in Sydney to build an impressive stage and screen career.”

Her film credits included films Rabbit-Proof Fence, Bran Nue Dae, Last Cab to Darwin

TV credits included The Circuit, 3 Acts of Murder, Little J & Big Cuz and Mystery Road.

Her theatre roles included her one-woman show Ningali (1994-1996), which toured nationally and internationally and earnt her a Green Room Award for Best Actress and a Fringe First Award for Best New Production, Aliwa for Company B Belvoir (2001), Uncle Vanya (2005) and Jandamarra (2008) both for Black Swan Theatre Company.

She was involved in the development of The Secret River at STC, narrating its return Sydney season and national tour in 2016, Adelaide Festival performances in 2018 and Edinburgh Festival performances in 2019.

Source: Sydney Theatre Company, ABC.

Image approved by family.


  1. Expressing my sadness also. Thank you for letting us know. Much love and peace for her soul’s journey and for all those left behind who loved her.

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