Marcia Langton AM (b. 1951) is s descendant of the Yiman nation of central Queensland. Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, she is widely published on topics in Aboriginal studies, including land tenure, art and agreement-making. During the 1990s she conducted her doctoral fieldwork in eastern Cape York Peninsula, drawing on a decade of administration and fieldwork pertaining to Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory in exploring the statutory land claim and native title system in far north Queensland. Awarded a PhD from Macquarie University in 2005, she is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and Chair of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership. She also engages in film and art criticism. Langton was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for services to anthropology and advocacy of Aboriginal rights.
Brook Andrew (b. 1970), a Wiradjuri artist, placed Langton in a pose referring to the interest in Buddhism that she developed while living in Asia in the early 1970s. He says that the black and white skulls signal the politics of humankind, and the radiant diamond-sun alludes to the sitter’s work with Aboriginal communities and mining companies; but the symbols are deliberately open to interpretation.