Award-winning author dies at 77

ACCLAIMED Northern Rivers author Dr Ruby Langford Ginibi has died unrepentantly on Saturday in Sydney.

Dr Langford was born at the Box Ridge Mission, Coraki, on January 26, 1934, and published several books which were set on the Northern Rivers.

Close friend Dr Janie Conway-Herron said Dr Langford had made an enormous contribution to Australian literature.

"She told a narrative of indigenous life very few people know of in 1988," Dr Conway-Herron said.

"She always said she wrote the truth."

Her books are studied in high schools and universities.

Dr Conway-Herron said her autobiographical book Don't Take Your Love to Town was ground-breaking.

It won the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Human Rights Award for Literature.

"She was a great educator and told stories about 'country'," Dr Conway-Herron said.

Dr Langford grew up at Bonalbo and went to high school in Casino. At 15, she moved to Sydney where she worked as a clothing machinist.

She married young and had nine children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She didn't begin to write until late in life.

She received an inaugural History Fellowship from the NSW Ministry for the Arts in 1994, an inaugural honorary fellowship from the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 1995, and an inaugural doctorate of letters (Honours Causia) from La Trobe University, Victoria in 1998.

In 2005 she was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award's Special Award.

She won the 2006 Australia Council for the Arts Writers' Emeritus Award.

It was announced at a ceremony during the Sydney Writers Festival.

The award recognises the achievements of writers aged over 65.

Dr Ginibi has written non-fiction books, essays, poems and short stories.

Details of her funeral, which will be held in Sydney, are not yet known.

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