What does Ngikalikarra mean ?

We get asked that question often!

The term 'Ngikalikarra' is grounded in country and is pronounced - ni-gah-lig-arrah.

Ngikalikarra means 'you have got to listen' and was given to us as a term to use by Jeannie Warbie, Traditional Owner, Elder and Cultural Advisor of the Nyikina people of the Kimberley Region, Western Australia. 

Jeannie explained during a conversation with Magali McDuffie and Alexander Malkay Hayes that each and every time it is spoken, every where that it is written, invariably a question will arise.

 "...what does Ngikalikarra mean?"

In answering, there is an opportunity, a beginning for listening.  It is the beginning of conversation focussed on protecting country, of 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.

"....country.....protect river....Nyikina.....I am from the river...Mardoowarra...Fitzroy River...you tell them that they got to listen...you 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 country...you tell them they have got to listen."

Jeannie Warbie
August 2016, Broome
Western Australia

Our Working Principles

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

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

 Source:  Figshare

Source: Figshare


The following points are often raised in conversation with others;

  • 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, no budget or low budget from ethical philanthropic sources;
  • Our Kalara 'reveal: make seen' 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;
  • We are the 'documenter' and our subjects are the 'producer' for digital media output, likewise we are 'editors' with any print based outputs.


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

Jeannie Warbie & Magali McDuffie - May 2016



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, web developer, data scientist and researcher that has worked with many Australian Aboriginal 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 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.

In late 2017 Alexander returned to the Iga Warta community of South Australia 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.

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