ACMI Conversations ACMI & Typecast Entertainment Present

The Decolonising of Aboriginal Representation on our Screens

Scroll to content

Decolonising the Australian film industry and how First Nations people want to be portrayed are the current debates with Aboriginal and Torres Strait actors, directors and producers. Join our host Leila Gurruwiwi (from Marngrook Football Show) along with guest panelists; award winning author Uncle Bruce Pascoe, playwright and filmmaker Tracey Rigney  and academic Crystal McKinnon in a provocative discussion on Aboriginal identity and the Australian film and television industry. Our panelists will explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been showcased within the industry  and what needs to be achieved by Indigenous film and television practitioners to take control of their identity.

This event has been co-produced by Tony Briggs and Damienne Pradier for Typecast Entertainment.

About the Speakers

Leila Gurruwiwi is a proud Yolngu woman originally from Galiwinku on Elcho Island in North East Arnhem land. Growing up most of her life in Bendigo, Victoria; Leila finished year 12 in Melbourne and 6 months after finishing her VCE was thrown into the deep end when The Marngrook Footy Show was commissioned by NITV to begin as a television show in 2017. Since then Leila has been a regular member of the Marngrook Footy Show family, presenting the news, injury report, interviewing current and former Indigenous and non-Indigenous footballers as well as having a women’s tipping segment called “Tiddas Tips”, in the past two years Leila has been a regular panellist alongside Gilbert McAdam, Grant Hansen and Shelley Ware. Leila has also dabbled in acting in shows including KAGE’s “Team of Life”, ABC’s “Secret River” and ABC’s “Glitch”. Leila has emceed a number of events in Victoria and interstate and is also a cultural awareness speaker in schools across Melbourne and is currently working part time as the Indigenous Support Worker at the Pavilion School in East Preston where she helps create a culturally safe space for Indigenous students to study and create passion for the Indigenous culture in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and staff alike. Leila is also an ambassador for Hope for Health and ASRC. 

Crystal McKinnon is a Yamatji woman and is currently working at RMIT as a Vice Chancellor's Indigenous Research Fellow, where she sits within the Social Change Enabling Capability Platform (ECP) and an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Project named: Indigenous Leaders: Lawful Relations from Encounter to Treaty. The Discovery Indigenous project looks at lawful encounters between the State and Aboriginal communities of Victoria as historic sovereign practices that may inform current Treaty practices. Her work has looked at concepts of Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous resistance through the use of the creative arts, including music and literature. Crystal is the co-editor of History, Power and Text: Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies (UTS ePress, 2014), and her work has been published in several books and journals, including Making Settler Colonial Space: Perspectives on Race, Place and Identity (Palgrave, 2010), the Alternative Law Journal, and Biography.

Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong, Yuin and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. His book Fog a Dox won the Young Adult category of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. His most recent book is Dark Emu: Black Seeds: agriculture or accident, which won the NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award in 2016.

Tracey Rigney is a Wotjobaluk and Ngarrindjeri woman from Victoria and South Australia with a love of storytelling from her Grandfather and family. She is constantly inspired and driven to tell stories from her people and culture. Studying a Creative Arts Degree at the University of Melbourne, she has dabbled in the arts over the past 16 years. She is a storyteller: a published playwright and filmmaker (writer/director). Her theatre credits include Belonging (Ilbijerri/Playbox Production Melbourne 2002), How Blak R U? (Next Wave Festival Production Melbourne 2002) and Hidden (Courthouse Youth Arts Centre Geelong 2003/4). Her film, Endangered, is a half-hour documentary, one of five films in the Loved Up series, which screened on SBS in 2006. It has appeared in the Message Sticks Festival at the Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne International Film Festival 2005 (where she received a highly commended emerging filmmaker honourable mention), and various other film festivals, nationally and internationally. Tracey previously worked as coordinator of the Indigenous Program for the Carclew Youth Arts in Adelaide. Her first short drama, Dodger’s Heart, which she directed, was screened on the indigenous channel NITV. Her Directing credits include A Chance Affair  2018, Man Real   2105, The Sapphires – Director’s Attachment - Feature Film- Goal Post Pictures - 2012, Abalone 2012 and Endangered 2005. Her writing credits include The Warriors 2017, Man Real 2015, 8MMM Aboriginal Radio 2015 and Endangered 2005.  She is currently developing a play called Slow Awakening, among other exciting film and theatre projects.