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Message Stick – The Convincing Ground (2007)

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The Convincing Ground massacre

This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Walter Saunders, from the Kilcarer Gilgar clan of the Gundidj-Mara peoples, tells the story of the Convincing Ground massacre in Portland Bay, Victoria, while others talk of its legacy.

Curator’s notes

This clip demonstrates the Gundidj-Marra peoples’ maintenance of their oral traditions, as the people talk about the stories passed down through their families about the massacre at the Convincing Ground.

A number of Indigenous peoples from the Portland Bay area recount the stories told to them by family members about the massacre at Convincing Ground. The simplicity of the filming, restricted to medium close-ups, serves to highlight the power and impact of what’s being said.

The filmmaker, Richard Frankland, uses still images including maps, photographs, documents and artworks to provide strong visual support in portraying the sequence of events leading to the massacre. This approach is simple and appropriate for the sombre nature of the content. Denise Lovett, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer; Denis Rose, CEO Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation; and Kelvin Onus-King provide an insight into the depth of community sentiment relating to the Convincing Ground site.

The use of re-creations is jarring and doesn’t add anything meaningful to what is being said. But even this unnecessary intrusion doesn’t detract from the poignancy and tragedy of the stories told in this clip.

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Downloadable Video – FOR EDUCATIONAL CRITICISM AND REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY

This clip is available for download for the limited purpose of criticism and review in an educational context. You must obtain permission from editorial@aso.gov.au for all other purposes for use of this material.

Terms & Conditions

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described here and elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions. ALL rights are reserved.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading this clip:

When you access ABC materials on australianscreen you agree that:

  1. You may download this clip to assist your information, criticism and review purposes in conjunction with viewing this website only;
  2. Downloading this clip for purposes other than criticism and review is Prohibited;
  3. Downloading for purposes other than non-commercial educational uses is Prohibited;
  4. Downloading this clip in association with any commercial purpose is Prohibited;

The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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