- that was the way it has been reported. His name is there in the media. There are also photographs of him.
This may not seem anything other than ordinary or expected to most people but it is an indication of the way he lived his life - a life straddled between two cultures. It was not an easy life.
Many of the truly indigenous people of this country do not like to see the image of a deceased person or hear their name mentioned. It was David's own wish that both his image and his name be used. He was after all an actor. His image was going to be out there anyway. He knew it would be impossible to keep it from the world after his death.
It was one of the many things that David had to negotiate throughout his life. He may have been a "film star" but he was also a man trying to be two things at the same time. He came from a remote aboriginal community and had gone through all the initiation rites of his tribe. He was also an actor who worked in film and television which was very much of the twentieth and twenty-first century.
The first film of Storm Boy was probably the one which made his name. His acting in that is powerful and the second version of the film comes nowhere near his performance in that. He appeared in both the Crocodile Dundee films and films like Rabbit Proof Fence.
I first came across David when he was in a little trouble with the law. My late friend R..., introduced him to me. He was sitting in her kitchen being given her "Mum knows best" lecture - the sort that made us all squirm and feel awful that we had somehow let her down. David was squirming all right. He couldn't hide it. R.... was not pleased. She felt he had let everyone down.
David had hastily stood up and pulled out a chair for me. R... had that sort of effect on any young male. He gave me an uncomfortable sort of look. I tried to give him a sympathetic sort of smile back only to be told by R... that he deserved his telling off.
When she had finished R... gave us both a cold drink and we talked of other things as if nothing had happened. R... was like that.
I didn't see David again for many years. I suppose I had not even thought of him. He was just one of many young people I met in R...'s kitchen. Then one day I was crossing the university oval in the nation's capital and I saw someone trying to throw a boomerang. Throwing a boomerang is a very difficult thing to do. I had seen one thrown as a child but I had never seen anyone trying to master the art.
The thrower went to pick it up yet again, looked up and saw me. He smiled and called out, "Cat?"
He had remembered my name and in that instant I knew who he was.
"David!" I don't know how I remembered his name. I am not good at names.
It was good to see him again. He had still been in and out of trouble, mostly related to his issues with alcohol but he was making a name for himself by then. We sat on the grass and talked for a bit. He asked about R.... and told me what he had been doing. He was in the nation's capital to take part in a workshop. His life was "up and down" - much the same as any actor.
I didn't see him again but Middle Cat and one of my nephews met him when they both had parts in "Serenades". He was, they said, easier to work with than many people.
I wonder what it was really like for him though. He would not have fitted in comfortably anywhere but he had the imagination to fit in anywhere in his acting. It must have been a very difficult life.