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Rachel Perkins on First Australians

By Sista Girl Productions, 2009 3:54 minutes

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Rachel Perkins often draws inspiration for her films from Indigenous history. As an Indigenous filmmaker, she considers her depiction of the past to be an ‘intervention’ in the dominant white construction of Australia’s history. The seven-part television series First Australians told a truer and more complete story of Australia’s past than most Australians are aware of. In exploring and representing the long and complex story of Indigenous people on the Australian continent, First Australians highlighted their central place in the country’s development as well as the inextricable link between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australian history.

In researching the series, Perkins uncovered the forgotten story of William Barak, a 19th century pioneer of civil rights. When many people watched First Australians, they were disturbed by their ignorance of so many of the events that have shaped Australia’s past, and their sense of themselves as Australians changed. Perkins considers the work that she does in documenting Indigenous history and culture to be very much ‘of its time’ and predicts that in the future Indigenous people will tell their stories very differently.

Collection Blak Wave


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