Destiny Deacon (AU) KUKU, ERUB/MER

Destiny Deacon, [Smile], 2017. Courtesy the artist.

Destiny Deacon, Smile, 2017. Courtesy the artist.

Destiny Deacon was born in 1957 in Maryborough, Queensland, of the K’ua K’ua and Erub/Mer people of the Torres Strait Islands. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in politics at the University of Melbourne in 1979and a Diploma of Education from La Trobe University in 1981. Deacon worked as a history teacher in Victoria’s secondary and community schools, and as a tutor and lecturer in Australian writing and culture and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Production at Melbourne University. Inspired by her mother, Deacon eventually became one of the so-called ‘Charlie’s Angels’, working for Aboriginal activist Dr Charles Perkins as a staff trainer in Canberra.


Deacon began her professional career in photography in her late 30s as a way to express herself and her political beliefs. A self-taught artist, Deacon is primarily known for her photographs and videos; she also works in the mediums of installation, printmaking, performance, writing and broadcasting. Deacon is one of Australia’s leading artists and her work has been presented in major international exhibitions, including the prestigious Documenta 11, Kassell, 2002.

PHOTO 2021 Events

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March