Growing up with a life-threatening illness, art became Craig Ruddy’s outlet and source of inspiration. In his life and his art, recognition and appreciation of Indigenous culture were driving factors for Craig, and in 2004 he won the coveted Archibald Prize for his portrait Two Worlds depicting world-renowned Yolngu actor, David Gulpilil.
The portrait, with its message of recognition and reconciliation, is considered a crucial piece of art for the nation, and saw Craig become one of the most talked about winners in the Archibald’s history.
In appreciation of the honour of painting the iconic actor – and influenced by his own early-life medical issues – Craig wanted part proceeds from the sale of the artwork to go towards a project that would significantly contribute to improving health and education for First Nations Australians in the Northern Territory.
In January 2022, Craig sadly passed away. Amidst his grief, Craig’s partner Roberto Carlos Meza Mont is honoured to enact his wishes by establishing the Craig Ruddy Scholarship at Flinders University.
The annual $5,000 scholarship, for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander medical student in Flinders University’s NT Medical Program, will help fund study equipment and resources, mentoring or tutoring, or any other tangible need as the student works towards their study and graduation success.