The playwright who created Bran Nue Dae has died

Jessica Mauboy and Magda Szubanksi at the Sydney premiere of Bran Nue Dae. Picture: Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

The playwright of Bran Nue Dae, which was turned into a successful film in 2009, has died aged 69 in Broome, Western Australia, where he was born.

The man, who can’t be named for cultural reasons, was made a State Living Treasure of Western Australia in 2004.

The ABC quoted his sister, Maxine, as saying he passed away in Broome Hospital.

The play, a comedy-drama, was turned into a film starring Jessica Mauboy and Rocky Mackenzie.

In an interview in 2014, he said his writing gave him the strength to survive his own mental illness, bipolar disorder, and to expose racial inequality.

“I come from a mixed-race family; my father was Chinese and Japanese, my mother Bardi, Nyul Nyul and Scottish,” he told the program ABC Kimberley Mornings.

Bran Nue Dae, a coming of age story about an Aboriginal teenager on a road trip, is said to be the first Aboriginal musical.

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