Bob Maza

Robert Lewis Maza AM (25 November 1939 – 14 May 2000) credited as Bob Maza was an Australian actor and playwright.

Bob Maza
Bob Maza 1972.jpg
Addressing a protest at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, July 1972
Robert Lewis Maza

(1939-11-25)25 November 1939[1]
Died14 May 2000(2000-05-14) (aged 60)[1]
OccupationActor, playwright


In the 1960s, he was inspired by Malcolm X Speaks, and became politically active as a member of the Aborigines Advancement League, of which he was subsequently made president. In 1970, he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the subject of "the third-world status of Indigenous Australians".[2] In 1972, he took part in the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest.[2]

Literary careerEdit

Maza's plays include Mereki and The Keepers.[3]

He helped found theatre companies including Nindethana and the National Black Theatre.[2]

Acting careerEdit

Maza has appeared in television series including Bellbird, Harry's War, Wildside, A Difficult Woman, A Country Practice, Women of the Sun and Heartland. He has also acted in films, including When the Stars Came Dreaming (1998), Lilian's Story (1996), The Back of Beyond (1995), The Nostradamus Kid (1993), Reckless Kelly (1993), Ground Zero (1987), The Fringe Dwellers (1986), BabaKiueria (1986), White Man's Legend (1984), and 27A (1974).[1][4]

Personal lifeEdit

Maza was born to a Murray Islander (Torres Strait Islander) father and to a Yidinjdji (Australian Aboriginal) mother.[2]

He married Vera Blankman, an immigrant from the Netherlands, and they had two sons, C'Zarke and Mataika and two daughters,[citation needed] Lisa and Rachael, also an actress.[5] They felt the impact of racism for those times, but their relationship endured.

Father and daughter, Bob and Rachael both had roles in the short-lived Australian drama series Heartland.


In 1993, he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to the arts and to Indigenous people.[6]

Australia Council for the ArtsEdit

The Australia Council for the Arts is the arts funding and advisory body for the Government of Australia. Since 1993, it has awarded a Red Ochre Award. It is presented to an outstanding Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal Australian or Torres Strait Islander) artist for lifetime achievement.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1998[2] himself Red Ochre Award Awarded

Today, the Bob Maza Fellowship, awarded by the Australian government, is destined to help further the career of established Indigenous actors.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Bob Maza on IMDb
  2. ^ a b c d e Bob Maza Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine on the website of the Australia Council for the Arts
  3. ^ a b "Bob Maza Fellowship" Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Australian government
  4. ^ Bob Maza's filmography, New York Times
  5. ^ Rachel Maza at IMDB
  6. ^ It's an Honour