Thanks Peter for adding her to the "In Memorium" thread, and everyone for your comments. It still seems so hard to speak of her in the past tense. Hilda was an Indigenous Australian, she worked with women prisoners for many years teaching art in prisons. Her doctorate was in the arts and she was an activist for women's rights and Indigenous rights. She was a union delegate, representing Indigenous teachers in prison around the state in negotiations with prison education officials. She also spoke internationally at feminist conferences, and at a conference on Genocide. She had exhibitions of her art in Australia, the UK and the US.
Those who met her will know she had a very broad aussie accent, great sense of humour and was a very stylish and beautiful women. She was somewhere in her 60s, I think, because she had at least three 60th birthday parties :-)
Here is a link to a photo of Hilda in a book by her adopted mother, the famous Australian activist
I first met Hilda in 1986 at an artist's co-op gallery called Kelly St Kolektiv, in Ultimo, Sydney.
Her partner Butch is a musician in the band Full Circle, which plays Irish music. Butch is a lovely, gregarious, spontaneous man who adores Pam. I was with them when they first met at a folk fest at St Albans outside Sydney. Pam and I were watching his band perform at the Fickle Wombat, a coffee house in St Albans. In the break, Butch came over, and introduced himself to Pam by dropping on his knees next to her with his hands extended in a prayer position. It was love at first sight, and they have had several very happy years together.
My last memory of her is a visit two weeks ago. She came to my home, we talked for three hours. She told me she had just been diagnosed with emphysema. Despite this she looked very well, radiant even, and seemed glowing in health and confidence.