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Families and communities

The following clips have teachers’ notes related to this topic:

A country’s shame

from the documentary After Mabo (PG)

It is 1993. Dr John Hewson exclaims to the Parliament that the passing of the 'Mabo Bill’ will be a day of shame for Australia. Titles on the screen summarise the key points of the …

Best man on ground

from the feature film Australian Rules (PG)

Prospect Bay has won the grand final in spectacular fashion. At the awards presentation that night, star-player Dumby Red (Luke Carroll) fully expects to be named best player on ground, but the local publican, Big …

Swamp canoes

from the documentary The Balanda and the Bark Canoes (PG)

Rolf de Heer oversees the construction of swamp canoes that will be used in the film Ten Canoes (2006).

For the future

from the documentary The Balanda and the Bark Canoes (PG)

Against a backdrop of images of the Ramingining community, director Rolf de Heer talks about the unexpected problems in casting Ten Canoes (2006). The kinship laws are so complex that the final choice of cast …

Papunya: a different world

from the documentary Beating About the Bush (PG)

The 'black and white urban band’ Djaambi arrives at the remote Aboriginal community of Papunya to find no audience, minor flooding and bleak housing conditions for the locals. The band hopes that their visit to …

This child, Zita

from the documentary Beyond Sorry (G)

Aggie Abbott tells of how, when Zita returned to her mother after years of being absent, her mother said that her daughter was dead. Ron Wallace, Zita’s husband, talks about Zita’s experience of …

Back to country

from the documentary Beyond Sorry (G)

Zita is sitting on a stool feeding a poddy calf. In voice-over Aggie Abbott says most children who were taken away never returned to their country. Zita on the other hand has sought her family …

For what purpose?

from the documentary Case 442 (G)

Frank Byrne, Stolen Generations senior case workers Heather Shearer and Justin Howard, director Mitch Torres and Julie Hayden from the Department of Indigenous Affairs sit around a table. They are looking at the yellow pages …

Dion the artist

from the documentary Cheeky Dog (G)

Joie Boulter speaks about having Dion’s artwork applied to T-shirts as a way to raise funds. We see examples of Dion’s artwork now applied to T-shirts. All royalties raised from the merchandise are …


from the documentary Footy The La Perouse Way (PG)

An RSL Club, and a raffle is taking place. Players from the La Perouse Panthers have gathered for the team’s fundraiser. Bruce 'Lapa’ Stewart, community elder and former La Perouse player, speaks into a …

‘My father’s country’

from the documentary Gulpilil: One Red Blood (PG)

Footage of David, Robyn – David’s traditional law wife – and their children in Ramingining. Sweeping aerial views of the ever-widening river that David needs to cross to reach David’s father’s country. Archival footage …

Heat of the Pilbara – ‘white with salt’

from the documentary Island Fettlers (G)

Blue skies, as the camera pans down, the frame rests on 'Wickham, Western Australia’. A Torres Strait man recalls how he came to work on the railway and stayed. As he describes his experiences we …

‘Halls Creek drop-in centre’

from the documentary Kimberley Cops (G)

Sergeant Neil Gordon befriended an Aboriginal boy who now resides with him. The local kids are often there playing pool and socialising and consequently Sergeant Gordon has labelled his home the 'Halls Creek drop-in centre’.

Like one big family

from the documentary Lousy Little Sixpence (G)

Two people removed from their families as children to enter into servitude, Margaret Tucker and Bill Reid, speak of their experience growing up. Historical footage shows children placed in missions.


from the documentary Loved Up – Lore of Love (PG)

The old women sit in the sand, the younger women next to them. The old women draw the skin system – or the lores of marriage – in the sand. The younger women are being taught the …

What is love?

from the documentary Loved Up – The Dream of Love (PG)

All the main characters are introduced in this clip, and all offer their own definition of love.

A forbidden love

from the documentary Loved Up – The Dream of Love (PG)

Anne and Trish, the sisters of the filmmaker, speak about the racism experienced by their father Colin when he first began dating their mother Gloria.

Looking for father

from the documentary Loved Up – Yellow Fella (PG)

We are introduced to Tommy E Lewis. Tommy speaks about his stepfather who raised him and loved him as his own, imparting Dreaming stories, and his white biological father, Hurtle Lewis, who was like ‘the …


from the television program Message Stick – Arafura Pearl (G)

Kathy Mills talks about her children and the closeness of her family and the role music plays in it. Allyson Mills talks about how her father called their attention to different sounds and rhythms.

Saltwater Freshwater

from the television program Message Stick – Arafura Pearl (G)

This clip shows archival photographs of the family. Kathy Mills tells of meeting her husband David, and how music was an element that attracted her to her husband.


from the television program Message Stick – Koori Court (G)

A background to the Koori Court system is given over a montage of Indigenous inmates in prison. Rob Hulls recites the incident that inspired him to have discussions with the Koori community once he became …

Circle justice

from the television program Message Stick – Koori Court (G)

An explanation of the physical and conceptual organisation of the Koori Court. Magistrate Ann Collins explains the informal process of reaching an outcome. Uncle Kevin Coombs speaks of his role as an Elder involved with …


from the television program Message Stick – The Long-grassers (G)

Archival images of long-grassers are juxtaposed with contemporary images of homeless Aboriginal people. We also meet an Aboriginal man from Bathurst Island who, for his own reasons, lives as a long-grasser in Darwin.

Someone else’s land

from the television program Message Stick – The Long-grassers (G)

Joanne Garngulkpuy talks about why people come to Darwin. John Greatorex tells us the history of the missions in the area, and how the different clans that were centralised in the settlements ended up living …

‘It doesn’t belong to us’

from the documentary Minymaku Way: There's Only One Women's Council (PG)

The Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council are holding their executive meeting. The women express their objection to the presence and abuse of substances in their communities.

The march

from the documentary Minymaku Way: There's Only One Women's Council (PG)

A four-wheel drive makes its way down a stretch of road at Curtin Springs. The women are discussing the alcohol-related fatalities that have occurred here. They reminisce about the 1990 march against the sale of …

Desert Rats

from the documentary My Brother Vinnie (PG)

Aaron reads the paper while Vinnie mows the lawn. Over family stills and clips showing Aaron performing in Dead Heart and Water Rats, Aaron describes how Vinnie always turned to him to be looked after …

A trip to Kundjabe

from the documentary Narbalek (G)

The family travel to Kundjabe to fish. The women bait the hooks with worms, while they talk about the different types of food available to them. There is a great familiarity with how the family …

The stealing of children

from the feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (PG)

As Constable Riggs (Jason Clarke) arrives, Maude (Ningali Lawford) realises he has come to take the children. They run, but Riggs cuts off their escape route and seizes the children one by one. He warns …

Mr Neville says no

from the feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (PG)

At the Moore River Aboriginal settlement, Molly (Everlyn Sampi) is called out of the assembly to be inspected by Mr AO Neville (Kenneth Branagh), the Protector of Aborigines. Mr Neville checks the colour of her …

The wrong fence

from the feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (PG)

Mr Neville (Kenneth Branagh) tells the police inspector (Roy Billing) that the three escaped girls must be following the rabbit-proof fence north, to their home. He devises a plan to catch them, sending police troopers …


from the documentary Rosie (PG)

Rosie is packing her bag to move out of the welfare house, and a young woman who is to take over her room is introduced to her. The young girl has the same last name …

I have seen it all

from the documentary Sammy Butcher, Out of the Shadows (G)

A teenage band put together by Sammy Butcher performs for an audience. Sammy talks about the kind of songs he and the children write together, and one song ‘Ngayulu Nyangu’ which means I have seen …

Never the same again

from the documentary Stolen Generations (PG)

Footage of Beagle Bay Mission. Historical black-and-white footage of Aboriginal children. Daisy Howard tells us of her experience of being removed, and being robbed of the opportunity of having a strong relationship with her sister …

Changing, ongoing

from the documentary Time Bomb (PG)

Interspersed with shots of Areyonga community, Frank Djara tells how he communicated health issues through painting, and by talking about sickness to his people.

Thirty years

from the documentary Willigan's Fitzroy (G)

Over shots of the town of Fitzroy Crossing, Willigan tells us that the Indigenous population have been employed in the CDEP or working for the dole scheme for nearly 30 years. We see people working …

Showcasing culture

from the documentary Willigan's Fitzroy (PG)

Over shots of the landscape, hills and rivers, Willigan talks about ecotourism, and Kevin Oscar talks about the influx of tourists. The landform is pristine. Bruce Williams gives us a brief tour of the country …


from the documentary Wirriya: Small Boy (G)

At school, Ricco stands with his hands drooped over an outside freshwater tap. He introduces himself to the audience, and the other main characters of the documentary soon after.

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