What does Ngikalikarra mean ?

Jeannie Warbie & Magali McDuffie - May 2016

The term 'Ngikalikarra' is grounded in country (pronounced - ni-gah-lig-arrah) and was given to us by Jeannie Warbie, Traditional Owner, Elder and Cultural Advisor of the Nyikina people of the Kimberley Region, Western Australia.

Ngikalikarra means 'you have got to listen' and as Jennie explained, there is an opportunity, a new beginning for conversation to focus on protecting country, respecting the rights of Traditional Owners and Custodians, listening to their knowledge and putting that knowledge into action across every aspect of our individual lives.

" river....Nyikina.....I am from the river...Mardoowarra...Fitzroy tell them that they got to have got to listen....Nyikalikarra....YOU have got to listen...that's the name...yes...that is the name you use when you work with people...protect Mardoowarra...protect tell them they have got to listen." - Jeannie Warbie, August 2016, Broome, Western Australia

Our CORE Focus

After careful listening (ngikalikarra) which sometimes may take months of communications and face-to-face meetings with community members or individuals we do not NOT pick a fight, we choose a side.

We work with a diverse range of people, organisations and communities from many different nations, clans and countries. Our core principles and working relationships with everyone are:

  • focussed on environmental protection and social justice;
  • emancipatory by our conduct in listening, sharing and reflecting as Participants;
  • accountable through the transparency of our ethical funding sources, connections and transferrable project outcomes

Kalara: REveal 'Make Seen'

We assert that civil and political rights are fundamental to democracy, that a civil society must not suppress nor negate personal identity, that investigative journalism is a core counteract to abuse of power and corruption, that rule of Law is only of any value if it acts from a base of ethics, not moral servitude. 

We also assert ‘The Principles’, a Charter for a Free Press in Australia which details;

1.0 Freedom of the press means the right of the people to be informed by the press on matters of public interest so that they may exercise their rights and duties as citizens;

4.0  It is in the public interest for the press to make available to the people a wide diversity of views and opinions.

In context and in detail the following points are often raised in conversation with others;

 Source:  Figshare

Source: Figshare

  • We are partial documentary filmmakers, meaning we choose to work with people who are often NOT afforded mainstream media representation or who are marginalised even from their own communities;
  • We are not activists despite what others may label us, preferring to be known as 'actionists';
  • Our project funding is often pro bono (work undertaken with no charge), low or no budget from ethical philanthropic sources;
  • Our Kalara 'reveal: make seen' working methodology brings all data back to community, always;
  • We are co-creators, working with others and our work is mostly distributed under a CC-BY 4.0 International Unported licence.

Our Working Principles

Over the last decade we have established and abide by a strict adherence to ten (10) 'working principles' that protect the personal, cultural and civil INDIVIDUAL rights of those (Subjects) who appear in our films, photos and supporting documentation;

  1. Invitation - We work with many differing communities by invitation, direct referral or rarely as incidental observors;
  2. Presence - Our presence as 'filmmakers', 'photographers' and 'editors' often has a direct effect on the manner in which people interact and so we are aware, with respect, to seek permission or remove ourselves with no notice if required;
  3. Documenter - As filmmakers, photographers we are the 'documenter' of the 'field of view' captured in a digital format;
  4. Producer - Our Subjects are the 'producer' and we work closely with the Subjects (human people) to select, include, exclude, edit or alter captured digital media to compose the agreed output;
  5. Editors - We produce a 'rough cut' of the final work and this is viewed in full by representative Subject/s before release;
  6. Review - The process of review involves iterative changes to the 'rough cut' till a 'final cut' or agreed digital capture meets the agreement by the Subject/s for final release;
  7. Copyright - Long discussions with our Subject/s informs our position of releasing photos, films, short videos and written material in a digital format under a Creative Commons 4.0 Unported International Licence, which means that our outputs are reusable, identifiable, distributable and ethically engineered for future generations in a historical context; 
  8. Distribution - Ngikalikarra Media reserves the right to distribute generated and 'final cut' digital content via any means to reach the agreed known and unknown audiences without third party (non Subject) intervention;
  9. Redaction - We ensure 'truth' or 'base state' digital material uploaded or distributed by Ngikalikarra Media is viewed, approved and reviewed by our Subjects, with 'redactions' re-published and links to original digital sources preserved for historical, legal or related purposes;
  10. Veto - Our working relationship with our Subjects provides for the 'power of veto' whereby digital material can be requested (in its base state form or location) to be removed without notice from its primary base online location, cognisant (and as explained to Subject/s) that digital material uploaded to the Internet maybe replicated and aggregated outside of our power of retraction. Note: This encompasses and respects cultural 'Sorry Business' and many other reasons for the removal of that digital data from its source location.



We are constantly evaluating our methodological approach as film makers, photographers and researchers guided by the seminal works of others including:

  • Relational Filmmaking: A Manifesto by Julie Perini - Available as HTML | PDF | ODT
  • Paddy Roe's Story - Goolarabooloo - HTML | 
  • Dadirri: Inner Deep Listening and Quiet Still Awareness - Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr | HTML


Magali McDuffie, filmmaker, researcher has been working with the Nyikina community for over ten years producing many short films and documentaries, living and working with community Elders, families and the broader community.

Her work has enabled the voice and continuing aspirations of the Nyikina community to be featured in national television programs, international film festivals, academic conferences, forums and many online communities. 

Dr. Anne Poelina, Lucy Marshall OAM and Jeannie Wabi, Senior Custodian and Cultural Advisor

Alexander Malkay Hayes


Alexander Malkay Hayes is a photographer, filmmaker, web developer, data scientist and researcher that has worked with many communities involving numeracy, literacy, life skills and creative arts practice projects over the last 25 years.

His work has included social justice programs with young people, online web development with communities and extensive public works programs involving NGO's.

In 2016 Alexander was given the Aboriginal name 'Malkay' as testament to his own life lessons and to his continuing close relationship with the Nyikina community of the Kimberley region, Western Australia.


Lucy Marshall OAM & Alexander Hayes - May 2016

Clifford Coulthard & Alexander Hayes discussing the final edits for the 'Protecting Country' film at the  Iga Warta Community - 24th July 2017



A commitment to listening (ngikalikarra) to the many and varied ways that Aboriginal people of Australia connect with and protect country has become a central focus to the work of Ngikalikarra.

Our work also encompasses the challenges that Australia and other countries face as rampant and often unchecked development proceeds irrespective of the collective views and experience of traditional custodians. We often find ourselves at the centre of these disputes and our working principles ensure that we are bringing in those voices which would otherwise be omitted.

We have discovered a depth in listening to the many and varied ways that successive governments have served themselves in direct opposition to the well being of communities and we are often called upon for our opinions on issues that affect people, carefully separating our personal opinions from that of others.

The photos here depict Alexander Hayes returning to the Iga Warta community of South Australia in December 2017 where he was met with the Andyamanthana people and given valuable feedback to complete a film that Ngikalikarra had made featuring Clifford and Sharpie Coulthard called 'Protecting Country' -

Alexander Hayes & Sharpie Coulthard previewing the 'Protecting County' film on the 23rd July, 2017 at Iga Warta Community, South Australia.