Forgotten People and the legacy of Uncle Bill Onus
with special guest Tiriki Onus
For the August instalment of our First Nations Film Club, we look at a documentary produced by the Aborigines Advancement League in 1967 – the year Aboriginal Peoples were finally recognised by Australian federal law.
Forgotten People features two South-Eastern Aboriginal rights stalwarts – Yorta Yorta & Wiradjuri man Bill Onus and Yorta Yorta man Sir Pastor Doug Nicholls. The short, nine-minute film gives us a glimpse into the past work of Uncle Bill and Uncle Doug, and the disadvantaged and distressing conditions of Aboriginal Peoples in Melbourne, at Rumbalara (near Shepparton, Victoria), Robinvale (northwest Victoria) and Dareton (southwest NSW) in the late 1960s.
After our screening, we'll yarn to Uncle Bill's grandson Yorta Yorta man Tiriki Onus to glean his thoughts on Forgotten People and other such historic representations of our mob, to get an insight into how he's reclaimed these antiquated, and often problematic, representations in his new documentary Ablaze which he co-wrote and co-directed with Alec Morgan.
We thank and acknowledge both the Onus and Nicholls Family for their support with the screening of Forgotten People.
About our host
Bryan Andy is a Yorta Yorta man from Cummeragunja, NSW. He is a freelance writer, arts advocate and the current convenor of OutBlack – Victoria's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and Queer mob.
Join the club
You will need to be a member of the First Nations Film Club to attend this session. By becoming a member of the Club, you'll also get a range of ACMI member benefits.
First Nations Film Club
Watch films from ACMI's collection and beyond, looking back on the trailblazing storytellers and seminal works that have paved the way for First Peoples stories on screen.
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Community Code of Conduct
Everyone participating in an ACMI First Nations Film Club event — including, but not limited to the meets, clubs and talks — is required to agree to the following code of conduct. This includes all attendees, speakers, performers, patrons, and volunteers.
ACMI First Nations Film Club will enforce this code during its events and throughout the year. We expect cooperation from everyone to ensure a safe, diverse, and welcoming environment.
The condensed version
ACMI is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.
Sexist, racist, discriminatory, or harassing language and imagery is not appropriate in the ACMI First Nations Film Club community, in person or online. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event and premises, as well as all future events without a refund at the discretion of ACMI.
The less condensed version
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
Exception: discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language, or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria:
— It is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists — It is presented in a respectful manner — Attendees are respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand.
This exception specifically does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are required to comply immediately.
If a participant engages in any of the aforementioned behaviour, ACMI may take any action they deem appropriate, from warning the offender to immediately expelling the offender with no refund.
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All reports will be handled in the strictest confidence.