Directed by the passion, wisdom and life experience of one of Australia's most profound Indigenous Civil Rights leaders, Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM.
With over 15 years experience creating award-winning human rights, awareness and advocacy content for Indigenous Australians, Our Generation Media partners with Rev. Dr Gondarra to create inspiring awareness raising and thoroughly educational resources which will have accredited lesson plans for all high school teachers to use in their classrooms.
A minimum of 8 x 20 minute short films with accompanying lesson plans will replace a full length film, and will be completed over the next 12 months.
This is a NON PROFIT project, all of the resources will be made freely available for all to access, learn from and share.
With this new format, the budget we require to complete the website and the segments is significantly less than producing a full length film. We hope you can help us push the fundraising drive.
BACKGROUND STORY & CONTENT
Director of Our Generation Media Sinem Saban, first met Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra when she was living and working as a school teacher on Elcho Island in 2007. Dr. Gondarra featured heavily in her cult-status Indigenous rights documentary, Our Generation, which won 'Best Campaign Film' at the London International Documentary Festival in 2011. Their friendship and mutual respect for each other has grown stronger ever since.
Almost 10 years after Our Generation, Sinem sat with a camera once again with Dr. Gondarra in March 2019 and interviewed him over 4 days while Cyclone Trevor poured torrential rain on the earth outside. Deep in his elderhood, wise from decades of life experience and frail from ongoing health battles, the 12+ hours of interview footage with Dr Gondarra has become the backbone of this project.
Ms. Saban says, ‘Dr Gondarra gently places people in their heart space, and without divisiveness, has a great power of shedding light on things that are gravely unjust.’
Inspired by his own personal heroes Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Gondarra speaks profoundly about change needing to come from the way we view the world, the environment, the spirit world and each other. He questions the colonial paradigm and asks audiences to consider another way of thinking, seeing, and believing that is not led by power, greed, capitalism and destruction.
With 20+ years of experience as a Reverend ordained in the Uniting Church and many more as a practising Christian, he speaks about his horrific realisation about the role of Christianity in the destruction of Indigenous cultures around the world. His take on religion and spirituality is refreshing, inclusive and deeply important for this age.
Always thinking inclusively of the entire Yolngu Nation and not just his own clan, Dr Gondarra is an inspiration for the unification of Indigenous voices when it comes to discussion with the dominant world. He speaks about the destructive power of dividing and conquering people, and how the separation amongst ourselves is a distraction from the bigger issues that enslave us.
Dr Gondarra speaks proudly about Yolngu culture and law, correcting all of the wrongs documented by historians and anthropologists that have led to the many misrepresentations by governments, the arts and media. Here he confirms that Yolngu were natural farmers, traders, business people and environmental scientists who knew how to hold society in cohesion and balance with the natural environment. Refusing words such as 'Dreaming,' 'Lore' and 'Hunter Gatherer' to describe Yolngu culture and law, he sets many records straight.
Of significant importance, he speaks in awe of Yolngu women and of their highly revered role in their law and culture, opening the space for the Ganambarr sisters to share the creation story of the Djank'wuy Sisters.
Supporting and elaborating on Dr Gondarra’s words, are profiles of other Yolngu who help illustrate the complexity of living in two worlds. They share their feelings, their struggles and their unyielding connection to their law and culture.
Some of these people include; Baykali Ganambarr (Actor and Performer), Marcus Mungul Lacey (Teacher and Ranger), Lowurrpa Yunupingu (Single Mother) and Siena Ganambarr-Stubbs.
Luku Ngarra affirms that assimilation is not the solution to Australia’s racial issues. Instead, it asks non-Indigenous Australians to consider stepping out of their own dominant ideology, to see the Yolngu world for what it truly is – profoundly wise, deeply complex and undisputedly important. And with that, to grant it the place it deserves in Australia, as a gift to be acknowledged, included and respected.
Dr Gondarra’s dream is for the Yolngu Nation to engage in diplomatic dialogue with the Australian Government around a Treaty, with the intention of correcting the rights of Australia’s history and paving the road toward justice and empowerment for his people.
Ms. Saban’s dream is to make inspiring resources that will uphold Dr. Gondarra’s legacy as well as create more truth-telling educational resources for classrooms, lounge rooms and beyond.