community

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.




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.


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.

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

James Yami Lester

In 2016 Magali McDuffie and I set off on a journey across Australia from Canberra, across the Hay Plains and into Adelaide, South Australia to meet with Bruce Hammond, Aboriginal Tanganekeld Man, [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanganekald_people ] Son of the late Ruby Hammond [  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Hammond ]

The year prior I had met Bruce in Canberra, Australia and he had inspired me with his Mother's story and indeed his own personal story as he fought for Country, the act of speaking for his homelands and that of the Aboriginal country of which Australia is made up of. As we arrived in Adelaide Bruce made it know that his Ancestors had travelled with us, right into the biggest storm that Adelaide had experienced in decades.

With the power out across the state Magali and I drove a 4WD vehicle up to Port Augusta, then onto Quorn, Hawker, Yapalla Community, Copley and over the hills into the Nepabunna Community and back into Iga Warta, Flinders Ranges - http://www.igawarta.com/exper.html

We listened and recorded the views of those people we were connected to via Bruce and he assured us that each and every person we interviewed were in some way connected to the story emerging regarding the largest planned nuclear fuel dump in Australia. We returned via Port Augusta after recording 12 interviews and many hours of scenic footage. That was the beginning of a long journey forward with this story on our minds and with much editing work to complete.

For Magali and I, after many years in this industry and with many years working with Aboriginal communities across Australia one thing is clear - make sure the story we listen to is authentically, responsively, culturally appropriate, that it is clearly demonstrating the ethics of the individuals included and most importantly that the while process is open for change from those it seeks to represent.

As is the emancipatory journey, the Nura (country) to filmmaking process we promised to return and screen with each community now has the results of what we thought the key emergent story is from this important discussion. Over the next year the film weighed deeply on our minds as battled many different personal challenges and the expense that it had taken us to achieve this journey - $12,000 AUD of our own personal funds in total.

So in early July 2017 we finished the editing of the first rough cut of the film and with a 32 min recording we set out from Canberra, ACT Australia after screening the first of many screenings with community, both public and private of the 'Protecting Country' film. To return this film to country meant we had to travel back across many thousands of kilometres and so with all due respect and planning we set about visiting other communities to bring them into the awareness of the important message in the film.

We made the decision also to bring along on the journey a young person who would benefit from the experience, culturally, professionaly, personally and this person is Liam Wille, a fantastic photographer - https://500px.com/liam_wille

We setup a sponsorship prospectus and set about asking the public, friends and our families to support us on this journey as we have expended every last cent of our own funding. In total we sought $2000 to take us as far as Alice Springs, Northern Territory of Australia which is the heartland for this story and the plans to dump this waste in South Australia. With the help of many sponsors that you can see listed here - http://www.ngikalikarra.org/protecting-country - we managed to make it all the way back to Iga Warta, screening the film in Canberra, Condobolin, Hay, Balranald, Mildura, Adelaide, Port Augusta, Hawker and Iga Warta communities.

Along the way we cut a short trailer and released it for feedback.



Whilst we were in Iga Warta we heard news that Yami Lester, late Father of Karina Lester had past 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

This post serves to inform everyone that as a mark of respect, to honour cultural sorry business and to respect the rights of Yami's Family and Relatives that we will no longer screen the first cut of the Protecting Country film as we travel up from Port Augusta and onto Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Katherine, Derby and Broome.

We raised close to $2000 AUD which paid for our accomodation, food, fuel and other items we needed to travel from Canberra through to Alice Springs. From that location we will use our own limited personal funding to return this important story along the songlines and story lines of central Australia.

We wish to thank all of our sponsors who have made this trip possible to return this film to country to be screened with hundreds and close to thousands of people who may never have had the experience to contribute to the feedback, considerations, advice and eventual final cut of this important film.

Our journey across Australia and up to Broome via Katherine will continue but we will not be screening the film rough cut as we have returned it to the main community members it includes. Our journey now is to travel across country, to connect with Yami Lester's story personally ourselves and to respect the rights of those who have afforded us the right to be on country and to understand how important it is to protect this country.

We are planning to premier this film, Protecting Country in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide Australia in late 2017, early 2018 when we have permission to do so, complete and in the final form that it will also be seen worldwide after the premiers in Australia. This important film is destined to screen in Germany, France and England and will be made available also via NITV, ITV and other appropriate channels.

The following photos are but a few of many that Liam has taken whilst on the journey through to Iga Warta from Canberra, ACT Australia.

 

When this film has reached final cut we will send everyone details of screenings and locations for you to attend and support.

Many many thanks!