The article by Lindsay Murdoch, three-time Walkley Award winner, spoke about Banjo’s historical walk off as well as the 2009 walk off.
Intrigued by this story, Lara contacted Banjo’s nephew, Richard Morton. He was also keen for Banjo’s story to be told.
A month later, Lara made the trip from Adelaide to Honeymoon Bore and met with Banjo, Richard, Lily (Banjo’s wife) and Angelina (Banjo’s sister). It was the first of many meetings, and soon plans were underway to turn Banjo’s story into a documentary.
In 2011, development funding from SA Film Corporation enabled Lara to visit the Alice Springs Archives. It was there that Lara uncovered the Lake Nash Police Journal and documentation of the 1949 walk off. Through the NT’s leading historian Peter Forrest, Lara discovered that this event was little known. It strengthened her resolve to shine a light on Banjo’s story – a story of courage and justice, and one that mirrors the struggles of so many of Australia’s First Nations people.
Between 2011–2017, Lara visited Ampilatwatja to conduct interviews and record footage. During this time, she strengthened her relationships with the Morton family and the Ampilatwatja community.
In 2019, under the auspices of the Artists of Ampilatwatja, Lara obtained Federal funding through the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program to complete the project – which had evolved into a multimedia website/online documentary.
This website is intended to be a resource available to schools, universities, community groups, historians and the general public, using Banjo’s story to shine a light on many areas that are often overlooked in Australia’s history.
Additionally, Lara hopes this project enhances understanding of Alyawarra history, language and culture and an appreciation for our rich and diverse First Nations people, their language, culture and stories.