The real Sapphires
The Sapphires feature film is inspired by a true story about four extraordinary Aboriginal women, sisters Laurel Robinson, Lois Peeler and their cousins Beverley Briggs and Naomi Mayers. Yorta Yorta women born along the Murray River, they were part of an extended family of brothers and sisters who regularly sang together during the 1960's and 70's. Sisters Laurel and Lois toured Vietnam in the late 1960's singing to the American troops - an extraordinary achievement for two young Aboriginal women, considering that Aboriginal people had just received the right to vote. All four women still live in Australia. Naomi Mayers has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Service for 30 years. Beverly and Laurel have tirelessly worked by her side striving to improve the health of the Aboriginal community. Naomi received an Order of Australia Medal in 1984. Lois Peeler became Australia's first Aboriginal model and is now the Executive Director of Worawa Aboriginal College, a secondary education facility for young Aboriginal Women, founded by one of her seven sisters the late Hyllus Maris. Lois is also the former head of Aboriginal Tourism Australia.