JC
Jack Charles

Jack Charles

Jack Charles (5 September 1943 – 13 September 2022), also known as Uncle Jack Charles, was an Australian stage and screen actor and activist, known for his advocacy for Aboriginal people. He was involved in establishing the first Indigenous theatre in Australia, co-founding Nindethana Theatre with Bob Maza in Melbourne in 1971. His film credits include the Australian film The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), among others, and more recently appeared in TV series Cleverman (2016) and Preppers (2021). He spent many decades in and out of prison and as a heroin addict, which he ascribed largely to trauma that he experienced as a child, as one of the Stolen Generations. In later life he became a mentor for Aboriginal youth in the prison system along with musician Archie Roach, and was revered as an elder. As a gay man, Charles was considered a gay icon and role model for LGBTQI+ Indigenous youth. Among other awards and honours, he was Victorian Senior Australian of the Year in 2015, and Male Elder of the Year in the 2022 National NAIDOC Week Awards.
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