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Teddy Briscoe (2000)


A documentary about an Indigenous stockman, and the legacy carried on by his family.

Curator’s notes

Teddy Briscoe, once a stockman, is now an old man, and his family is continuing the tradition of working with horses and cattle. The cattle industry of the Northern Territory relied on Indigenous stockmen. Teddy Briscoe is an elder who, through telling his story, shares with us the historical importance of men like him to the Australian cattle industry – past and present. In its signature treatment of oral histories, the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series uses a personal account as an entry into larger social, political and cultural perspectives, and there is an historical relationship between Indigenous people involved in the cattle industry and the push for human and cultural rights. Another famous Indigenous stockman is Herb Wharton, now a well-known Indigenous writer. A lot of his writing draws on his experience as a former stockman.

The role of Indigenous stockmen has been noted as critical to the Australian cattle industry. The work provided, and continues to provide, a means by which Indigenous peoples can earn an income and stay on their cultural homelands. In fact the first recognition of Aboriginal land ownership came about when Vincent Lingiari led 400 stockmen and their families in a walkout at Wave Hill. Teddy Briscoe is an important testimonial to the strength and determination of the Indigenous peoples who used this industry to assert their voices, and to maintain contact with their communities, family and land.