A woman is looking into the distance as she holds an oar while sitting in a boat. A man behind her in the boat is also holding an oar, and wearing a large straw hat. The boat is in a river surrounded by a green, bushy area.
The Last Daughter (2023) Gravity Films Pty Ltd

HRAFF and Hardie Grant Presents

The Last Daughter

Director intro (pre-recorded) by Brenda Matthews

Brenda Matthews, Nathaniel Schmidt | Australia | 2022 | PG

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General Admission





Sun 7 May 2023

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Healing is hidden in the past.

At Campbelltown train station in 1973, a young Aboriginal girl was handed over to her hopeful new white foster parents. One day, her parents were forced to give her back to the family she was originally taken from.

For the first time, Brenda Matthews speaks about her experience as a child of the Stolen Generation. Decades on, she feels disconnected from both halves of her life. The traumas of her past refuse to rest quietly buried, so she goes searching for the foster family with whom she had lost all contact. Along the way she uncovers long-buried secrets, government lies, and the possibility for deeper connections to family and culture.

The Last Daughter is a powerful and inspiring documentary about Brenda's journey to unearth the truth in her past, and reconcile the two sides of her family.

This film features a pre-recorded introduction from director Brenda Matthews.

Presented by


WINNER: Audience Award Best Documentary – Adelaide Film Festival

About the Directors

Brenda Matthews is a proud Wiradjuri woman living with her husband Mark, in Bundjalung Country, Queensland. Since 2012 they've been hosting cultural camps together, taking teenagers on Country. Brenda is a mother, a grandmother, a poet, a writer, a speaker and an emerging film director, making her feature film debut with The Last Daughter (2022), a documentary about Brenda's life. As part of her journey, Brenda penned her first book, also titled The Last Daughter, which she's currently editing with Text Publishing. Having trained with Karen Thomas, a renowned speaking coach, Brenda shares her story through public speaking, booking engagements across the education and corporate sectors.

Nathaniel Schmidt is an Australian/American director based in Adelaide, South Australia. He spent six years in Minneapolis, Minnesota filming a series of stories about midwestern life in a six-month winter climate. From there, he directed the award-winning short documentary Ice Ball (2021) with renowned Polar Explorer, Will Steger, which won Best Documentary Short at Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival 2021, before premiering on Short of the Week, and being selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. Since returning to Australia in 2017, Nathaniel has been co-directing his first feature documentary, The Last Daughter, with Wiradjuri storyteller, Brenda Matthews.

Format: DCP
Language: English
Runtime: 87 mins

Event duration

87 mins




Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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