“In 1993 Australia created an Indigenous Branch in Australian Film Commission, now Screen Australia. The Branch created opportunities for Indigenous practitioners to be involved in Drama Initiatives that workshopped, trained and gave opportunity for creative to find their voice
with the support of workshops and training while doing short films.

This has led to the wave of very distinct voices coming out of Australia for the past quarter of a century and has allowed Indigenous voices behind the camera in key creative roles which has helped to develop a strong industry base that has helped to change the portrayal of Indigenous
people out of the negative stereotypes that often pervaded our screens of the nomadic wanderer and the down-trodden drunk into characters that were more three dimensional and realistic on screen.

As the oldest storytellers on this earth, the issue has never been about being able to tell stories, it has more been about the opportunity to tell our stories our way. This pathway has helped to create a solid pathway for Indigenous people with little experience to be supported and
developed on the set of their first films.

Alongside this support, has been the community media associations, such as CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association), PAW Media (Formerly Warlpiri Media) and Goolarri and many more who mostly began as radio stations into communities and some of the larger
organisation moved into filmmaking as well.

From these organisations we have seen the foundation of a healthy documentary works. The documentary She Who Must Be Loved (2018) shows the story of one of the pioneers of CAAMA and the impact and legacy that was created. The Films move around Australia and through time, giving you an insight into contemporary issues that are facing our youth to historical accounts of families trying to keep connected, to
people standing up to be accountable for their country. At the screening of Australian First Nations 3 we see the emergence of the genres that our emerging filmmakers are playing with.”

  • Pauline Clague, Associate Professor, Manager of Cultural Resilience Hub, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research at the University of Technology Sydney