Jack Davis (1917–2000) was born in Perth and brought up at Yarloop and the Moore River Native Settlement.
He became an activist on behalf of his people and from 1967–71 was director of the Aboriginal Centre in Perth. In 1971 he became the first chairman of the Aboriginal Lands Trust in WA and from 1972–77 was managing editor of the Aboriginal Publications Foundation.
Davis’ first full-length play Kullark, a documentary on the history of Aborigines in WA, was first produced in 1979. Other plays published by Currency include No Sugar, The Dreamers, Barungin: Smell the Wind, In Our Town and for younger audiences, Honey Spot and Moorli and the Leprechaun.
For services to his people he received the British Empire Medal in 1977 and in 1985 became a member of the Order of Australia. He has received the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, an Hon. D.Litt. from Murdoch University and been elected Citizen of the Year in WA. In 1989 Davis was awarded one of the first Creative Fellowships given by the Federal Government to established artists in recognition of their contribution to Australian culture.