Protecting Country


Protecting Country is an independently produced film bringing the voices of the contemporary Adnyamathanha, Gurindji, Tanganekald, Yankunytjatjara Anunga, Mirning, Narunnga Aboriginal Australian people forward who are united in their stand AGAINST the present and planned uranium mining and nuclear dump activities in South Australia.

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. 

The road trip took 14 days to complete and we travelled over 7741 kilometres through some of the most remote regions of Australia. Alexander Hayes was accompanied by photographer Liam Wille on this road trip, responsible for documenting community consultation and also providing additional cut away footage photographs for the final cut of the film.

The  film features many well known Aboriginal Elders and leaders from South Australia who provide their account of how important it is for all Australian’s to protect country from past, present and planned uranium mining and nuclear dump activities.

Contributors featuring in this film include;

  • Karina Lester
  • Bruce Hammond
  • Regina McKenzie
  • Tauto Sansbury
  • Vince Coulthard
  • Sharpie Coulthard
  • Ty Butler
  • James Butler
  • Clarrie Coulthard
  • Stephen Atkinson
  • Steven Harrison

The road trip commenced on the 17th July 2017 departing from Canberra, Australia travelling through and featuring private and public screenings  in the cities and towns of Canberra, Condobolin, Hay, Balranald, Mildura, Adelaide, Hawker, Nepabunna and Iga Warta.

We had intended on then travelling through Maree, William Creek, Oodnadatta, Coober Pedy, Marla, Alice Springs, Yuendumu, Tanami, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby and through to Broome, Western Australia. 

Whilst we were in Iga Warta we heard news that Yami Lester, late Father of Karina Lester who features in the film had sadly passed away.

Yami Lester is and always will be a key figure, a leader and respected anti-nuclear campaigner, a Yankunytjatjara man, an Indigenous person of northern South Australia. Lester, who survived nuclear testing in outback Australia, best known as an anti-nuclear and indigenous rights advocate - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yami_Lester 

To honour cultural sorry business and to respect the rights of Yami's Family and Relatives we did not screen the first cut of the Protecting Country film as we travelled up from Port Augusta and onto Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Katherine, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby and Broome - read more about this here > http://www.ngikalikarra.org/news/2017/7/24/james-yami-lester

Public and private screenings of the film were resumed with cultural consultation as of the 17th August 2017 with a screening of the second cut of the film at the Djugun Community of Coconut Wells, Broome, Western Australia.

You can read more about this at http://www.ngikalikarra.org/projects/protecting-country-film

Moving Forward

From mid September 2017 through the June 2018 we listened to Pat Riley, CEO Pandanus Park who gave us an account of the many and varied ways in which government assigned service providers have disenfranchised the Yurmulun Community, Western Australia.

In this short film, Pat Riley and John Edgar outline their key challenges of living in a remote region and the many issues they face as constant shifts in government agency affects their community. Appearing in this film also is Nyikina Elder and Traditional Custodian, Jeannie Warbie.


Act Of Genocide

For a few years now we have witnessed first hand the protracted attacks on the Goolarabooloo community by members of other family groups. We were asked to participate as filmmakers in capturing the blatant actions of services which threaten the existence of the Mallingbar Community, Broome, Western Australia.

Mallingbar Community, Broome, Western Australia is home for Aboriginal people and has come under repeat attacks of demolition. In this short film Ronnie Roe, Walman Djugun Elder takes on the Broome Shire, Broome Rangers Service and the Yawuru Corporation.

Voices Of The Goolarabooloo - Ronnie Ronnie

We listened to Ronnie Roe, Walman Djugun Elder, Goolaraboo whilst visiting Mududun near Broome Western Australia in April 2018 as he addresses those responsible for the devastation and desecration of country as he claims under native title.

Ronnie gave his candid account of what matters most to his people, community and to countless national and international visitors to this pristine region of the Kimberley.

Native Title

As filmmakers we have the privilege of listening to and documenting the views and opinions of those who are often silenced or ignored by mainstream media.

This is true to our own ethos of:

"...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." [ www.ngikalikarra.org/about ]

Recently we met Ronnie Roe, Walman Djugun Elder, Goolarabooloo who provided a candid account of what his opinion is on  'Native Title' overseen by the Australian Federal Government.

It is no coincidence that this film output coincides with the upcoming 'Native Title' 2018 Conference which will soon be conducted here in Broome, Western Australia.

Voices of Goolarabooloo - Phillip Roe & Jeannie Warbie


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

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. 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. 

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.

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.

A Yarn With Johani Mamid

On Sunday the 10th December 2017 Broome, Western Australia residents awoke to find racist and vile postings on the Facebook group 'The Broome Community Noticeboard' which boasts a 14,000 member reach. The posts targeted Aboriginal families and individuals who reside in Broome and the greater Broome Shire.

Frighteningly many other Facebook users and presumably Broome residents also in vigilante style called for Aboriginal children to be 'captured' and '...lets fuck these little cunts up'...and 'we have got bullbars (on our cars) for a reason". Examples of corporal punishment and support for 'vigilante groups' were posted all of which deeply disturbed Magali and I.


Screenshots presented to the Broome Shire Hospital.


We discussed this and decided that this was totally unacceptable in any town in Australia and in any town in the world. We took a series of screenshots and shortly after were horrified to find the thread deleted and the 'Broome Community Noticeboard' administrator stating that he had 'fixed it' and 'for christ sake you lot cant you just keep control of yourselves'.

A few days earlier Magali and I had already had a run in with this administrator who identified as 'the owner' of the Broome Community Noticeboard who was sending sexist, vilifying and derogatory messages to other members of the group online. I took objection to his messaging and indicated that 'this little corner of the web is over' and that I wished to meet him in a public place to confront him for his objectionable behaviour. His response was to immediately block me from the group.

Magali then approached this individual and she also asked him why he thought it was ok to call women in the group 'you silly goose' and then send putrid animated GIFs to accompany his badly scripted prose. Magali was then also promptly ejected from the group. (The responses since remain visible in the group to date however we have screenshot most of what has ensured since. )

So, I mentioned the first racial incidents to long term Broome resident Johani Mamid, an Aboriginal Yawuru man who indicated that there was great dissent in Broome over what a nurse at the Broome Hospital had put on this Facebook group. I indicated that I found it grossly in breach of Western Australian laws for incitation of racially motivated violence.

I drove to the Broome Police and stated my case and they indicated that unless there was an individual or myself that was prepared to push a case against the individual who made this rant online then 'it remains a civil matter and has to be dealt with by the relevant authorities.' Given the person is a nurse and public officer I decided to approach Broome Hospital for their response.

I put my screenshots on a USB drive and drove to the hospital and requested to meet with the acting hospital Manager. When she viewed the images and listened to my points she indicated she would escalate this matter ' to her superiors'. I was not surprised to wake up on Tuesday 12, 2017 to read on the front page of the ABC website that he had been stood down from his public role.

NOTE - The screenshots had apparently already been sent to Broome Hospital senior managers and my actions were in combination with a number of other cases.


 Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/broome-hospital-nurse-stood-down-for-online-racist-rant/9251874

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/broome-hospital-nurse-stood-down-for-online-racist-rant/9251874


Over the last few days the administrator of the Broome Noticeboard Facebook group has repeatedly engaged with multiple Broome residents in defending his style of 'cleaning this shit up' and his repeat blocking of those who call on his group to cease and desist with hosting and omitting, deleting and blocking information that is inciting hatred between people in this town.

Broome has been and always will be a culturally diverse city which has an atrocious history of stolen generations, slavery and abject poverty due to the colonisation by various other countries of this nation - Wikipedia 

It is therefore not acceptable that the majority of those 14,000 people on the group let racial intolerance be ignored in apathy. It is not acceptable for that group to be a representation of humanity at it's worst rather it needs to foster and promote humanity at it's best.

Both Magali and I stand united with many other people who believe that this Facebook group needs to be dramatically altered in its constitution. We call on its administrators and related moderators to respond to these public concerns and to act under Western Australian law to promote culturally cohesive, respectful and honourable conduct. Sexism, derogatory and divisive moderation practice is not acceptable.

Call To Action

The Broome Community Noticeboard must be a community resource managed by community residents as it 'represents Broome, it's residents and the greater good of this community.' It is NOT a resource of one person controlling the demography and civil rights of others.

We met with Johani Mamid yesterday and put together this short film to demonstrate that we will stand united on this matter and call on those who believe in social justice and community to meet with us at a soon to be hosted community meeting to rectify what would otherwise be an explosive and deeply fractious issue in Broome, Western Australia. 


Links To Related Articles

"A nurse at Broome Hospital has been stood down for posting a racist rant on a community Facebook page". - ABC Kimberley Facebook

"A nurse has been stood down from his hospital job in northern WA following an expletive-filled, racist rant on social media that threatened violence against children." - https://www.facebook.com/abc/posts/10155681453529550

Racism In Australia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Australia

Living On The Anne Street Reserve

Ngikalikarra Media was invited to and attended the 'Living On The Anne Street Reserve' event at Nulungu Institute on the 14th June 2017 held at the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia.

With the permission and encouragement of Nulungu Institute Director, Associate Professor Sandra Wooltorton, the event was filmed by Alexander Hayes and the rough cut edits planned and permissions granted by Dr. Kathryn Thorton and Anna Dwyer, Fellow Colleagues for a final cut edit to be released via the Ngikalikarra Media Youtube channel. Final polished edits were conducted by Magali McDuffie form Ngikalikarra Media.

The film is produced by Nigikalikarra Media distributed under a CC BY 4.0 International licence for the reuse of this important resource.

Protecting Country - Tauto Sansbury

Tauto Sansbury is an Australian Aboriginal Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia. He is a Delegate of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and Director of Garridja Aboriginal Cultural Consultancy. Tauto has concerns as to the way Aboriginal people have not been consulted in a culturally appropriate manner regarding proposed nuclear dumps in South Australia.

Protecting Country - Bruce Hammond

"....Bruce Hammond, a Tanganakeld man, Director of Envirologix speaks for country, of the failure of successive Australian Governments over centuries, to listen and act upon the knowledge of the traditional custodians of this country. Bruce questions on whose authority are national and international consortia basing their genocidal actions with reference to the proposed nuclear dumps in South Australia." - 

Protecting Country - Regina Mackenzie

"...After a very, very windy and stormy night, and still with no electricity, we drove out of Port Augusta, through Hawker, to Yappala Community, early on the morning on September 29th. The Federal Resources Minister, Matt Canavan, was expected to meet with the community but his flight had been cancelled due to the storm... Fierce winds and extremely cold weather greeted us as we got out of the car - soon tempered by the arrival of three brilliant, dynamic, and outspoken sisters: Regina, Vivienne, and Heather McKenzie. Alwyn McKenzie, Michael Anderson (ATLA), and other government representatives were also present. We quickly got a run-down of the situation by Regina McKenzie, before being ushered into a cold, dark room (no electricity there either), where the meeting was going to take place - the minister, instead of being there in person, was about to link in by phone. Vince and the McKenzie sisters proposed that I should film the meeting, and there was a consensus that I should be allowed to film, even from the minister and his staff, which I did, of course, for more than an hour. The attitude of the minister and the government, and their lack of consultation, again, revealing a very poor understanding of the importance of country for Aboriginal people. Regina explained how they had been able to secure a $50,000 grant from the State Government of South Australia to map several songlines on their traditional lands, working together with landowners on this important project, only to learn through a news bulletin that this same country had been earmarked for a low-level nuclear waste dump, with no prior consultation, and no mention of it by the landowners concerned... This footage of the meeting is riveting!

Read more of this blog excerpt at http://www.magalimcduffie.com/travels/2016/9/26/south-australia-no-nuclear-dump