Ron Edwards... Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, Australian folklore and
bushcraft authority, saddlery expert, teacher, writer, poet, illustrator
and visual artist... had an impressive record of artistic
For many years, with his artist wife, Anne, Ron could be found in the shade of the big banyan tree at Port Douglas markets on a Sunday morning.
Surrounded by paintings of horses, boats, island life, local scenery and
scores of his illustrated books, Ron usually spent the morning chatting
to passers–by as he worked on his latest painting.
Sad Note: Sadly, Ron died in 2008 so you won't be able to find him under that banyan tree any more. But my guess is that his spirit lives on there and in the islands of the Torres Strait that he so enjoyed visiting with Anne.
I have left this page about Ron and his life and art on my site in honor of that life and his influence over the poetry, song and paintings of the region.
In 1950 Ron Edwards founded the Rams Skull Press, which is the largest publisher of books on Australian bushcraft and folklore in the country, now managed by his family.
He became president of the Australian Folklore Society and has 120 books in print, their subjects ranging from children’s stories to bush crafts and folk music. Once, when Anne was ill and Ron needed to be the cook, he even wrote his own recipe book! I remember being amused when he told me how he had turned what may have seemed a negative into a resounding positive!
Ron Edwards was a well recognised visual artist, with awards from
Swinburne University, the Advance Australia Foundation and the Order of
Australia medal being amongst plaudits earned over the years.
He was always good for a yarn but, although he is no longer under that banyan tree his stories live on in his delightful, inexpensive small books about Australian folklore and bushcraft.