Indigenous Students Making Headlines

Walking the talk by Aretha Briggs at SIFF

Open Channel Graduate Aretha Briggs’ Film “Walking the talk” will screen at SIFF on Friday 23rd May at 2.30pm (Free) in Ballarat followed by a conversation with filmmaker Aretha and Neil Boyack.

In Walking the talk (Aus, 2014) 14 mins/exempt Aretha Briggs explores the survival and fostering of the Yorta Yorta language, people and her grandmother in this touching debut. Neil Boyack takes part in discussion with Aretha after the screening.

SIFF stands for “Survival, Inspiration, Endurance” and the 2014 Film Festival runs 21 – 23 May at the Mechanics Institute (location: 117 Stuart Street, Ballarat) (Click here for festival program)

Yarnin’ Initiative in Latrobe Valley Express

Young Indigenous Koorie Filmmakers have recorded film interviews with community elders in an initiative covered by the Latrobe Valley Express.

Learning skills through planning, shooting and editing their documentaries, the students work also benefits future generations through the preservation of historical real life stories.


“What began as a conversation between Open Channel tutor Rebecca McLean and respected northern Victorian ‘multi-clan’ elder Bobby Nicholls in 2011, the yarnin’ initiative has continued to attract community support and funding to allow the continued archiving of Koorie elder stories across the state.

“This came about from a fear the community was losing some of their elders, and so often their stories were going with them because a lot of their stories would go untold,” Ms McLean said.

“While there’s a lot of well known land rights activists out there, it’s often the people that you don’t ever hear about who are the quiet achievers.”

Kicking off in Shepparton in 2012, the initiative has since staged filming in Koorie communities in Warrnambool and Swan Hill before heading to Morwell this year.

“Everywhere you go the stories are different, which is one of the focuses of yarnin’, to capture the diversity of Koorie communities which have all had their own histories of struggle.”

The Kurnai students are currently undergoing the laborious task of editing their footage, ahead of a planned community presentation in the coming months.

“The kids are now clicking on to those connections and who they are; it all falls into place and then they want to know more as to how they are connected to the world, which gives a sense of identity for them,” Ms McLean said”

Read the full article here or download the pdf: Sharin’ a great yarn or two | Latrobe Valley Express

See our Yarnin’ page here