Native Spirit Festival Award

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We are very proud to stand with the Adnyamathanha, Gurindji, Tanganekald, Yankunytjatjara Anangu, Mirning, Narungga Aboriginal Australian people forward who are united in their case AGAINST the present and planned uranium mining and nuclear dump activities in South Australia.

The ‘Protecting Country’ film has been selected for screening at the 13th Native Spirit Indigenous Film Festival - Launch Day - UNESCO IYIL2019 Brunei Gallery Theatre, SOAS Russell Square, London, United Kingdom to be screened on Saturday, 12 October 2019 between 17:00 to 21:30 (BST)

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Native Spirit was established in 2005 and is the UK's first Independent organisation promoting contemporary Indigenous Cinema, Media & Artists with Year-round events, an annual Film Festival starting 12th October in London, and sister festival in Taiwan (November).

The founder of Native Spirit Foundation, Freddy Treuquil, Mapuche leader states: “All the [activists] have come to the conclusion that one objective of making video, radio and television is for the other culture to know us. It is necessary to create a bridge to share our culture in an educational form, without losing our identity.” - Native Spirit website


Bruce Hammond, an Aboriginal Tanganekald man with ties to the coast in the lower South East of South Australia and the central desert regions of Finke and Alice Springs in conjunction with Alexander Hayes & Magali McDuffie from Ngikalikarra Media brought the ‘Protecting Country’ documentary film on a screening road trip across Australia.

Read more about the entire film journey across Australia here - http://www.ngikalikarra.org/projects/protecting-country-film


Watch the film here and please re-share this post!

United Nations Award

Filmmaker and Distinguished Scholar, Magali McDuffie won the United Nations Association of Western Australia’s “Short Film Competition” in the Indigenous Culture category for the film ‘Bookarrarra Liyan Mardoowarra Booroo’ which is told through the voice of Dr. Anne Poelina, Nyikina Traditional Custodian of the Kimberley Region, Western Australia.

The film presents the case under Article 3 United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People for the protection of the Mardoowarra (Fitzroy River) and features Dr. Anne Poelina, Jeannie Warbie, Nyikina Traditional Custodian and Kyle Lawrence.




Films For Action

Screenshot:  Films For Action

It was great to see the ‘Protecting Country film distributed through the Films for Action website recently.

It shows for us that ensuring cultural materials are distributed as CC BY 4.0 Unported International Licence means that the resource can be picked up and shared with ease across these community frameworks.

Film distributed at https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/protecting-country/

Suicide Up Close

Today we have been forwarded a link to an article in the Sydney Criminal Lawyers website which speaks of the atrocities continuing with respect to suicides across Aboriginal communities in Australia.


“…Sharon Hume’s son took his own life last year. The 33-year-old man had dealt with ongoing trauma since he suffered a gunshot wound at the age of 19. He was experiencing long-term unemployment at the time of his death, and his family were struggling financially.

“It has been an option because people are not getting the help they need. People are looking for help and struggling to get it,” Ms Hume said. “There’s not enough services and people are too scared to talk about their problems.”

Ms Hume added that she was lucky as Mr Georgatos stepped in to help her family following the loss of her son. His organisation supported her with counselling, food vouchers, as well as assistance in organising the funeral.

And as for the government, Ms Hume said it needs to recognise that suicide deaths are on the rise amongst First Nations communities. “It has to start putting more funding into these areas and help those people who are working in those areas to provide more services,” she concluded.

The photo features Sharon Hume on the left with Gerry Georgatos by her side. Ms Hume’s sisters, Barbara, Jillian and Rosemary, are also featured, along with independent filmmaker Alex Hayes in the background. - Source: Sydney Criminal Lawyers


Speaking Out

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The ‘Speaking Out’ film is a short re-rendering of an audio presentation / podcast featuring Grace Cockie and Gerry Georgatos from the Institute of Social Justice & Human Rights (ISJHR) in Perth, Western Australia.

This short film is 6:11 in duration.

This short film is being used for a Canberra presentation in March 2019.


3rd National Social & Emotional Wellbeing Forum

Megan Krakouer, NICRS Critical Response Support Advocate WA is presenting at the 3rd National Social & Emotional Wellbeing Forum on the 13 - 15 March 2019 at the Cairns Hilton Hotel, Australia - https://akolade.com.au/events/3rd-national-social-and-emotional-wellbeing-forum

Magali and I put together a compilation of short screen grabs, film excerpts and photos to support Megan with her presentation at this event.

Desert River Sea

Ngikalikarra Media was contracted to provide filmmaking and training services to Goolarri Media (Pakkam) who are covering the ‘Desert River Sea - Portraits of the Kimberley’ exhibition which is being held at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

This short film will be broadcast via ICTV Play which is an online community for sharing and accessing media made by and for Indigenous people in remote Australia .

Image: Exhibition A4 Flyer


Let Them Speak


DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE


Date

8th February 2019

Description

A 53 minute documentary film premiere featuring four courageous Wongi Aboriginal women who speak of the catastrophic effects of intergenerational sexual abuse they have suffered, shared and face as a Family.

Produced

Sharon Hume, Rosemary Bailey, Barbara McGillivray and Jillian Heneker.

Event MC

Megan Krakouer - NICRS

Panel Chair

Hannah McGlade - Curtin University - legal academic and practitioner with special interest in Indigenous human rights.

Read the article written by Hannah McGlade at https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2019/02/11/its-time-change-aboriginal-women-will-stand-strong-against-sexual-violence-1

Increasingly, Aboriginal women are speaking out against men who sexually abused them as children. Last week in Perth the National Indigenous Critical Response Project launched Let Them Speak a documentary about four Aboriginal sisters from Leonora speaking out about sexual abuse they experienced. The film was launched at the same time as the report of the WA Coroner into the deaths of 12 Aboriginal youth in the Kimberley.

Executive Production

Gerry Georgatos - Institute for Social Justice and Human Rights (ISJHR) and the National Child Sexual Abuse Trauma Recovery Project (NCSATRP).

Music

Delly Stokes & Daughters ( Josephine, Iesha, Marika, Uniquewa)

Filmed and edited

Alexander Hayes & Magali McDuffie from Ngikalikarra Media, Perth, Western Australia. The documentary film will be released after the premiere screening available online under a CC BY 4.0 International Unported licence.

Date

6:30pm for a 7pm start

Location

Kim Beazley Theatre, Murdoch University, Western Australia
Building 351 Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch WA 6150


Flyer

Download the Let Them Speak: Film Premiere flyer - [ PDF 143 KBs ]


Suicide prevention and poverty researcher Gerry Georgatos (left, back), Independent filmmaker and child sexual abuse survivor Alexander Hayes, together with (L) Sharon Hume, Barbara McGillivray, Jillian Heneker, Rosemary Bailey. Photo - Megan Krakouer

Suicide prevention and poverty researcher Gerry Georgatos (left, back), Independent filmmaker and child sexual abuse survivor Alexander Hayes, together with (L) Sharon Hume, Barbara McGillivray, Jillian Heneker, Rosemary Bailey. Photo - Megan Krakouer


Documentary Background

In late 2018 we were contacted by Gerry Georgatos and Megan Krakouer from the Institute for Social Justice & Human Rights (ISJHR) and the National Child Sexual Abuse Trauma Recovery Project (NCSATRP) regarding four brave women who were prepared to speak about their experience of sexual abuse and harassment as children into their childhood.

We took three hours of film footage and from that we have produced an hour long documentary which will be made public both online and via a screening at the Kim Beazley Theatre, Murdoch University, Western Australia Building 351 Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch WA 6150.

To help other sexual abuse victims speak out, Mrs Heneker together with her three sisters Sharon Hume, 59 and Rosemary Bailey, 57 have shared their emotional and heartbreaking story in a documentary titled, Let Them Speak. Mrs Heneker also hopes it will allow for programs to be designed to support sexual assault victims. “If we can save one or two people with our stories, that will make us happy. I am proud of my sisters for doing it,” she said.

Read the article at - https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/four-sisters-reveal-details-of-sexual-abuse-for-first-time/news-story/d6ab3a671a8a57fcf3ff31c29994c8a3

Rosemary (far left), Barbara (middle), Sharon (far right) - Photo: Megan Krakouer

Rosemary (far left), Barbara (middle), Sharon (far right) - Photo: Megan Krakouer

“…After 30 years of marriage, Mrs Heneker and her husband, who share three children together, got a divorce. She blames her past for the breakup.

“Growing up I thought I would never find a partner of any description, I still feel that way all the time and maybe that is why my marriages and relationships dissolved,” she said.

“I know that there are a lot of people who are too scared to come forward with things like that — I am telling my story for the younger generation, and the older generation to find their confidence to talk about it.”

Barbara & Sharon - Photo: Megan Krakouer

Barbara & Sharon - Photo: Megan Krakouer


Let-Her-Speak

Photo: Megan Krakouer


On Australia Shores: Survivor Stories

CONTRIBUTIONS

ABOUT

For the last three months Magali and I have been travelling closely with and listening to the stories from families who have been adversely affected by the Agriculture Protection Board (APB), an Australian Government program which operated throughout Australia.

Eugene Mcmahon, Executive Producer and Cultural Adviser has been with the Ngikalikarra Media team to document stories from those families in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in that period. The focus of the project is in listening to these stories, producing documentaries based on those accounts and taking these to the United Nations, Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner (OCHCR) - https://www.ohchr.org/EN/pages/home.aspx

OCHCR

In Eugene’s words;

“…On behalf of the People,

We demand answers.

Questions have already been asked for thirty years from all the Families that have been impacted by the the use of 2,4,5-T and other toxic chemicals as part of the Australian Governments endorsed weed eradication programs in Australia.

The ‘On Australian Shores: Survivor Stories’ Project has provided Families who have lost loved ones with an opportunity to relate their stories on camera, despite their heartache. Their statements and our research, have highlighted the lack of duty of care of the Australian Government and the misleading information the victims were provided with during their time of employment.

Despite successive inquiries, reports and extensive press coverage these Families still have no answers to the questions that have been exhaustively posed to all government authorities, such as the whereabouts and return of human remains still housed in medical warehouses.

Recommendations made in those reports have been ignored and continued inaction from all levels of government still prevails in 2018.

Those Families demand answers, recognition and compensation. The Australian Government needs to own this issue and be accountable for this genocide.”


SURVIVOR STORIES

Each story tragically provides an account of how the government endorsed program wilfully according to some, set about sending teams of young predominantly Aboriginal men into remote locations to spray the deadly dioxin 2,4,5-T - 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid and mixed with 2,4-D and/or diesel;

“…2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (also known as 2,4,5-T), a synthetic auxin, is a chlorophenoxy acetic acid herbicide used to defoliate broad-leafed plants. It was developed in the late 1940s and was widely used in the agricultural industry until being phased out, starting in the late 1970s due to toxicity concerns. Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the British in the Malayan Emergency and the U.S. in the Vietnam War, was equal parts 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). 2,4,5-T itself is toxic with a NOAEL of 3 mg/kg/day and a LOAEL of 10 mg/kg/day.

LISTEN TO THE PROJECT OVERVIEW

You can listen to the podcast by Dylan Storer below or access it online also at https://omny.fm/shows/the-edge/documentary-sharing-stories-of-agent-orange-sprayi


LEARN MORE

This project is being privately funded by project supporters Amanda and Peter McCasker as well as Colin McCumstie, Sons Cain and Dale McCumstie have all provided financial and communications support to produce the West Kimberley region episode playlist at https://goo.gl/AYmAJ1

Read more about the project here - http://www.ngikalikarra.org/projects/on-australian-shores


Slap In The Face

On the 9th July 2018 at the request of a Yawuru Descendant man, Nicholas Marley I travelled to Johnny Chi Lane which is a shopping precinct tourist mall in the centre of Broome, Western Australia. In that lane there is a large diorama of scale interpretive model depicting the historical overview of the Broome community.


Nicholas Marley stated that he found the depiction of Aboriginal people in neck chains being led at gun point as being offensive and not true to the full picture of the role of Aboriginal people in the community as domestic servants, as labourers and in many other roles as well as those unfortunate to be led like dogs around in neck chains. Nicholas states in the short film that he wishes for the display to be either pulled down or substantial alterations made to the display.

Nicholas is petitioning the Broome Shire Council to force the proprietor of the arcade to make these substantial variations especially considering it is high tourist season and that it is also NAIDOC Week 2018 'Because of Her We Can'. Both Magali and I believe Nicholas has a valid point and that his story to be listened to and shared too. 


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Testimonials recived by SMS message - Friday 13th July 2018

Balla


Magali and I often come back from these trips on country after meeting a mountain of magic souls and then lucky us we get to meet a million more online. A very few, the most special of them all leave us a private message or two that inspire us to keep at it.

This work that we have mostly conducted to date with our own funds, own energy and sometimes our own tears is a lot of the time thankless as thats not what we set out to be doing. Our mission is to bring those voices forward that are often suppressed or unheard for any number of reasons. It is our future goal to do the same but perhaps employing a cast of thousands and making sure those too are inspired themselves to travel as we have.

To protect country.

My balla, my Brother, Michael Coleman is one of those men I'd like to get to know more. Nothing matters more than good connections. Real connections with real people.

Girr Ngin Ngan


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Facebook Messenger - Group message - Mary Ozies - Friday 13th July 2018



The main privilege we had as residents of Broome, Western Australia was listening to, recognising and honouring the Djugun community of whom they are part of the greater Goolarabooloo, sunset, sundown country. We also have witnessed some of the worst forms of lateral violence and intergeneration trauma entrenched in the contemporary psyche of a litmus tourist centre for the Kimberley Regions of Western Australia.



As our Ngikalikarra website will attest, we spent a big part of our time listening to the stories of Elders and aspiring leaders as they fought against mining, corruption and rampant development in this otherwise pristine and sacred landscape, country. To do so we expended much of our own time, our own resources and in doing so we gained so much knowledge and insight into how precious this environment is.

We are grateful, never complacent and know this part of the world will always be our home to protect.

 

Stokers Siding Screening

SCREENING OF 'PROTECTING COUNTRY' FILM
STOKERS SIDING, NSW


Friday 26th January 2018
 


DETAILS

Venue: Stokers Siding Community Hall - click here for details
Date: Friday 26th January 2018
Time: 6:00pm start
More Details: Call Alexander on +62 427 996 984


Australia Day is for many Australian's a day off work, attach the Aussie flag to the car aerial, stock up with at least a carton or two of cans and head off to listen to a day of Harvey Norman commercials in a park and watch fireworks, drape the flag over a drunk tattoed torso, scream "aussie aussie oi oi oi" on the way back to the car and brag on about "we are fourth generation" and " my grandfather cleared this land to make way for a better life and a better wife".

Photo: James Butler

Well frankly, all of those sentiments do not wash with us and the day means little more than a day of dubious importance other than a time to mourn the countless Aboriginal communities decimated by occupation over 230 years ago as James Butler puts forward in one of his latest photos.

This needs to be acknowledged as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities state as a time of sorrow and more importantly resistance to a continuing genocide across this "fair" nation. There is no unity, no harmony, no tolerance, no peace when the Australian government continues to shut down communities, permit illegal occupation and possession of country, remove children from families and incarcerate young Aboriginal people...a continued genocide and apartheid of the worst description and it continues today!!!

Photo: Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Jackie McDonald, Bunjalung.

So as a Family this Friday 26th January 2018 we are returning to Stokers Siding community in northern NSW who so generously supported the sponsorship of the 'Protecting Country' film in 2017 and we are going to screen the final edit of the 'Protecting Country' film with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Jackie McDonald, Bunjalung Aboriginal Elder and Traditional Custodian.

You can read more about Jackie here - Serving Our Country Project, ANU.

The screening details are at the top of this post and we hope that this event is well attended as this is a connection between the Bunjalung people and the Adnyamanthana people through our project Community Liaison, Bruce Hammond.

Read more about the 'Protecting Country' film project that we are delivering here - http://www.ngikalikarra.org/projects/protecting-country-film

We hope to see you there and if you are reading this from Facebook or other social media can you please ring around and tell people that this is happening and re-share the post across all your contacts please.


Yugambeh Country

Over the years both Magali and I have had differing experiences that have put us in contact with the many mobs who have protected country up here on the Gold Coast.

Magali has connections with the Bundjalung people especially through the Tweed Valley and through her old hometown for a decade at Stokers Siding, close to Murwillumbah NSW Australia. I had my own years of attending the old Lismore CAE and many years of travel up and down the Pacific highway with children spread across three states. We are up here visiting Aunty Jackie and Aunty Joyce and thats the best bit of it all here up this way as far as people go.

So it is that we are feeling very privileged to be on Yugambeh country, spending the day in forests where the Yugambeh, Ngarangwal, Nganduwal, Mibin/Miban, Danggan Balun(Five Rivers) clans would come together, long before it was logged and marginally saved by one old fella...the whole tragic story but one last remnant standing tall and strong amongst other towering cliffs nearby.

Surfers Paradise is the worst example of rampant consumerism gone wrong and the countless traditional sites that have been decimated to make way for these ugly times and ugly humans that inhabit piles of concrete boxes. It is a complete nightmare along this coastline and incredibly frightening to see the impact and pressure that a last remnant forest is under as tourists throw their coke cans into the bush, tramp through sensitive rainforest and kill off the waterways with their ridiculous canal houses.

In summary it is a place of extreme and paradoxical contrasts, absolutely amazing country in some pockets and decimated under tons of crap right next door. The cancer of estate houses and the mall after mall of shopping mayhem makes me sick. Thankfully the country will heal itself long after this scourge has left this planet.

Voices of Goolarabooloo


Today, Magali and I returned to the Goolarabooloo Millibinyarri Aboriginal community which is located only 12 kilometres north of Broome central,  fresh from recent rains in Mankala season - http://www.goolarabooloo.org.au/six_seasons.html

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Phillip Roe giving feedback on the trailer

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Phillip Roe giving feedback on the trailer

We sat with Phillip Roe, Grandson of the late Paddy Roe (Lulu) and discussed the final points Phillip wanted included in the 'Voices Of Goolarabooloo' documentary trailer we are releasing today. The trailer features Jeannie Warbie, Senior Nyikina Traditional Owner and also Phillip Roe, Goolarabooloo Law Boss and Traditional Custodian as well as Frans Hoogland, environmentalist, community spokesperson and mediator.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (l) Jeannie Warbie & (R) Phillip Roe

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (l) Jeannie Warbie & (R) Phillip Roe

A renewed fight to protect country, maintain law and culture in the face of rampant economic development which threatens and destroys the natural environment forms the central theme to this documentary to be released in late 2018 by Ngikalikarra Media. The trailer contains the key messages that the Goolarabooloo community have lived out through colonisation, forced removal of children, massacres and incarceration of Aboriginal Goolarabooloo people over 223 years. 

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Phillip Roe, (C) Jeannie Warbie, (R) Magali McDuffie at Walmadan (James Price Point)

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Phillip Roe, (C) Jeannie Warbie, (R) Magali McDuffie at Walmadan (James Price Point)

Both Phillip Row and Frans Hoogland speak of the failure of native title, the greed and corruption within land councils and the blatant disregard by a few individuals as they step outside of Law to the detriment of themselves and their immediate Families. With mineral sands, natural gas, fracking and other non-conventional mining international consortia pressuring the Aboriginal communities into non-veto positions, the federal and state governments using the instrument of native title are causing massive divides between traditionally harmonious people according to Roe.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Quondong Point, Western Australia

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Quondong Point, Western Australia

Frans Hoogland provides the fullest account of Liyan and the Bugarregarre, the core to Aboriginality and Law, culture as the main thread in this trailer, with Jeannie Warbie and Phillip Roe providing context and the contemporaneous challenges they face.


Resources & Links

 

Broome Regional Prison


Magali and I have completed one of our toughest film making assignments to date at Broome Regional Prison.

We were contracted to produce an induction video for those who have been sentenced.

After months of deliberation, repeat meetings with Men's Outreach Services in Broome, Western Australia and many, many hours of discussion with our community contacts the decision to produce a media based resource to replace a text-based resource was made based upon;

  1. Our ethical belief that anything that can be done to help predominantly Aboriginal prisoners in this facility is absolutely critical;
  2. Producing a high quality resource that advantages prisoners (who would otherwise be disadvantaged by low literacy) is also of fundamental importance;
  3. The video created reflected as closely as possible the reality of life in prison

We are not permitted to describe the video nor will it ever be released publicly but we are hopeful it will have a positive impact in its present and historical context.

Lurujarri Heritage Trail

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Magali taking footage at Walmadan

Magali and I have camped overnight (last night) at Walmadan getting more footage of country, birds, plants and the sunsets and sunrises to complete the first instalment of what will be a large documentary supporting the Goolarabooloo Law Bosses and their continued fight to retain and maintain their country.

Photo: goolarabooloo.org.au

Photo: goolarabooloo.org.au

We camped just over the hill from where the main corroboree ground is where for five long years the Goolarabooloo people fought off large consortia hell bent on installing the worlds largest natural gas refinery plant.

Photo: Corroboree site at Walmadan (James Price Point) - Alexander Hayes

"...The spirit beings of Bugarregarre (the Dreamtime) created all life as we know it. They enabled spirits to take form and gave us the law. This way everything could function in harmony. This law encoded in the Song Cycle has been passed down unbroken since creation. It is our record of history. It is the Law-keepers, Law-people, and custodian's job to keep passing Bugarigaara ceremonies and stories from one generation to the next." Quote:  goolarabooloo.org.au

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Rockpool at Walmadan

Each and every time we travel on country, listen to the many stories and meanings for the importance of country in everyone's lives we are reminded of the incredible foresight Paddy Roe had for everyone who come in contact with this place.

"...In 1987, Paddy Roe initiated the Lurujarri Heritage Trail as a trigger to encourage the members of the Goolarabooloo community to be walking the Country again, as had always been done; to conserve; renew and stay connected with their heritage and traditional skills and to keep the same alive for generations to come. He also sought to wake up non-Aboriginal people to a relationship with the land; to foster trust; friendship and empathy between the indigenous community and the wider Australian and International communities." Quote:  goolarabooloo.org.au

Tomorrow we take the rough cut of the film featuring Traditional Custodians and Elders, Jeannie Wabi and Phillip Roe as well as the insight we gained from listening to Frans Hoogland who also lives with the Goolarabooloo community. We sat in Mangala with the rain pouring down and thank our lucky stars that we get to be here and connect with all these important people, partial to their story, bringing their voice that would otherwise be silenced out into the world.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Vines at Walmadan, Western Australia.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - Vines at Walmadan, Western Australia.

Walmadan

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Jeannie Wabi and (R) Phillip Roe at Walmadan

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Jeannie Wabi and (R) Phillip Roe at Walmadan

We get one chance, just one opportunity to protect and retain the most precious of ecosystems, especially those tied with cultural significance.

Walmadan ( James Price Point) in the Kimberley Region, Western Australia is one of those significant areas for traditional custodians of this country. In the Bugarregarre this area this place was fiercely protected and to this day it will remain protected by Law through traditional custodians.

We have been on country over the last 24 hours listening to how recent events are again threatening to turn this fragile ecosystem into a mineral sands mine, a gas refinery hub, a commercial venture sold out to the highest bidder from foreign countries who have no respect at all for the environment. 

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Phillip Roe, (C) Jeannie Wabi, (R) Magali McDuffie - Walmadan camp

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Phillip Roe, (C) Jeannie Wabi, (R) Magali McDuffie - Walmadan camp

The great sadness and the centre of the anger that is building momentum is focussed on one entity in the Kimberley, on one specific group of people and specifically one specific man who is breaking Law. Our role as filmmakers is to bring voice to those who are currently suppressed, marginalised from those decision making processes and who are subject to repeat attacks from mainstream media and these foreign entities through the genocidal instruments that include native title.

"...native title is shit....a failure." states Phillip Roe.

In a short period of time that interview we shot yesterday on film with Phillip Roe and Jeannie Wabi will be released to the entire world as they share in their collective dismay at the extreme divisions that native title is having on their families, their culture, their communities.

The interview provides a historical account of the fight to save Walmadan country and the continued acts of dispossession that other Aboriginal communities are perpetrating on their own kin using native title as a means to divide, conquer and extinguish the rightful custodians of country. Our role as filmmakers, photographers, researchers is to listen with both ears, observe with both eyes wide, awake.

One Law

Photo: Ronnie Roy by Alexander Hayes

Today we met with Ronnie Roe here in Broome, Western Australia who we listened to speaking of his family, his birthplace, his knowledge of country, Law and all those under that Law.

On his lap he showed us the insidious workings of native title and spoke of the many ways in which Aboriginal Australian communities are living suppressed and in breach of the International Conventions of Genocide, that the actions and behaviours of a few individuals who currently hold positions of office are contributing to the division of whole Aboriginal nations in breach of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We sat and listened to Ronnie's personal story of his struggle to support and uphold the Law of his country and the custodianship of protecting country as passed on from Paddy Roe, the Law of the Goolarabooloo, a body of cultural knowledge  known as Bugarregarra, the Dreaming.

Paddy Roe

Paddy Roe

Gularabulu

 

As stated by Ronnie and reiterated by Michael Anderson Ghillar on October 10, 2017 native title is nothing more than;

"..A crime against our humanity is the way the Native Title process has been manipulated to further dispossess First Nations. Parliamentary legislation and 'Native Title specialist lawyers' are in lockstep with the colonial power to rob Aboriginal people of their inherent rights and responsibilities to uphold the oldest continuing living culture on the planet. Here on this island continent, now known as Australia, those wielding colonial power continue to promote Native Title in positive terms, well aided by the mainstream media, but the reality is a treacherous story of theft by trickery. " 

The sadness Ronnie embodies speaks of the fight and war he is having against those who claim his country is that of other mob, other peoples of who have forced the Goolarabooloo to cede their claims, seeking to extinguish their peoples under current and continuing Westminster Law in all its horrific and continuing manifestations.

In effect, we looked into the eyes and listened with our ears to a soldier who will defend his people and all those who protect country under Law.

Listening To Country



Today we met with a number of Djugun traditional custodians north of Broome, Western Australia.

It is apparent that recent developments in this part of the world mirror the genocidal actions of others experiencing similar in places as far afield as Mexico and Argentina. The key term here is apparent - genocide.

Photo: Alexander Hayes

Photo: Alexander Hayes

What welcome to country you might ask? What means being welcome on country when the overlords of one family exclude, pillage and assume the ownership of country that has since time immemorial been and always will be the country of another mob?

So it is we must #listentocountry

Whether we choose to do this by simply acknowledging the traditional and RIGHTFUL custodians of country is a start. Each and everyone of us must stand up and speak out against the greed of those being paid $750 an hour to broker mining deals with the Koreans and the Chinese.

We must listen to and respect that fracking has no place in a country that is fragile and bereft of water that is currently plowed into keep resorts green and sick of spleen. 

We didnt travel far today but we made it our mission to be with those who matter most.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - on our way to meet with the Roe Family.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - on our way to meet with the Roe Family.

And so it is that we declare our investment in the 'Listening To Country' initiative complete with reciprocal exchanges of cultural knowledge, education and related events. A union between like minded, conscious and mostly awake people willing to make a difference where possible in listening to and disseminating the story of others.

Photo: (L) Rafael Baro and (R) Alexander Hayes

Photo: (L) Rafael Baro and (R) Alexander Hayes

The plan is to use every possible means to bring people together in cultural activities across the Kimberley Region of Western Australia to engage with traditional Aboriginal Elders and Custodians linked with the same in countries Mexico and Argentina (to begin with).

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Rafael Baro and (R) Magali McDuffie