Further Reading

Want to know more?

For a general overview of issues

Utopia is a 1 hr 50 min documentary produced in 2013 by veteran Australian journalist, John Pilger. It investigates white Australia’s treatment of its First Nations’ people over 225 years. He focuses on the practices and attitudes of popular media, big business, police forces and governments.

Ronin Films offer a comprehensive catalogue of films about indigenous Australians.

Charlie’s Country is a 2013 feature film featuring legendary actor David Gulpilil as Charlie, an Aboriginal man struggling to navigate society, especially when he tries to reconnect with the traditional ways of his people. Gulpilil won Best Actor in Un Certain Regard at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Rolf de Heer.

Chapter 1: 1949 Walk Off

Northern Standard, July 1, 1949. Article about the February 1949 Walk Off.

Unmapped Territory: Wage compensation for Indigenous cattle station workers. Australian Indigenous Law Review. Thalia Anthony.

Bruce Simpson, whose voice can be heard in the audio files, was a stockman who worked across the Northern Territory and Queensland. He became a boss drover in 1951.

Other voices that can be heard in the audio files which can be found by searching at the NT Archives Service Oral History Collection here. These voices include:

  • Ted McFarlane was the engineer and windmill repairer at Lake Nash in 1939.
  • Malcolm Thomson was a drover/stockman in the NT during the 1950s and 60s.
  • Reginald McCaffery was a Northern Territory policeman and who established the Territory branch of the Police Association to fight for better working conditions. After the war he became Acting Director of Native Affairs NT.
  • Kath Mahony whose voice isn’t heard on the site but who was the wife of Constable Jack Mahony whose diary entry in the Lake Nash Police Journal documented Banjo’s walk off. Kath lived with Jack and their children out at Lake Nash during the 1940s.

The NT Government has extensive information about the NT pastoral industry including government organisations involved and a comprehensive list of oral history stories from those involved in the industry.

The NT Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture offers a records index from government and non-government organisations, personal archives and oral history records about the Northern Territory pastoral industry.

This site has the National Minimum Awards wage in Australia from 1867.

Video interview with Banjo Morton talking about his early life growing up and his days working as a stockman across SA, NT and Queensland.

Chapter 2: 2009 Walk Off

Monash University information about the Intervention – What is the Northern Territory Intervention?

Australian Human Rights Commission “Native Title Report 2007” which examines legislation provisions that impact the Aboriginal owned and controlled land.

ABC news item about life in the Ampilatwatja Community under The Intervention.

Professor Jon Altman of Deakin University video explaining the history of The Intervention, the ways it was supposed to work and how it has failed. (19 mins).

Clear explanation of the Intervention and what its effects have been by Creative Spirits.

Paddy Gibson’s article “10 Impacts of the NT Intervention”.

Website covering the 2009 Ampilatwatja community Walk Off.

This is the Commonwealth Act which created The Intervention.

Donald Thomson explains why Alyawarr people of Ampilatwatja walked off their community in protest against the intervention.

Article by Susan Allen explains why the residents of Ampilatwatja walked out over housing conditions.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council media release about the Ampilatwatja Walk Off and the gift of the brass bell.

Crikey article written by Bob Gosford about the Ampilatwatja walk off camp.       

You can listen to more voices of Aboriginal people in the AWAYE! program of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National, Elders on the Intervention (16 April 2011).

Political commentator, Phillip Adams, interviews Richard Downs about the Ampilatwatja Protest and The Intervention.

Extended video of the Opening of the Protest House.

Video of the ceremonies/dances performed at the Opening of the Protest House.

Chapter 3: Alyawarra Culture

Information about Kinship and Skin Names from the Central Land Council.

Art from the Artists of Ampilatwatja.

Araluen Arts Centre Cultural Precinct is home to one of the most important collections in the country.

Alyawarra artists designs have gone global on fabrics and wallpapers with the help of Willie Weston.

David Glasgow’s 1974 survey of everyday language, Report on Survey of the Central Northern Territory.

Alyawarr Picture Dictionary available for purchase from Institute for Aboriginal Development (IAD) Press.

Desert Sevenz information on the Australian Hip Hop Directory and on Triple J.

Alyawarra music and art videos on Indigenous Community TV (ICTV).

Information about customary law in Alyawarra society.

Chapter 4: Pre-1940s

A timeline of major events from 1900 to the 1990s regarding Federal intervention in Aboriginal life from the Parliament of Australia.

This Remembering the Mission Days: Stories from the Aborigines’ Inland Mission exhibition concentrates on the mission’s influence over Aboriginal people from 1905 to 1966, as well as the government regulations controlling them during that period.

The University of Newcastle’s timeline of horrific massacres of First Nation people by settlers.

“Remembering the Coniston Massacre 85 years on” is an article by journalist and blogger Derek Barry.

Joanne Luke remembering the Elkedra Station massacre through her personal family story titled “Truth-telling to reimagine our nation(s) histories”.

Australia Day - A Day of Mourning. Protest by the Australian Aborigines League in 1938 on AIATSIS.

The Stolen Generations from the website RacismNoWay offers a range of teaching resources and fact sheets.

The Cubillo 2001 litigation was hailed as the first of many ‘Stolen Generations’ civil actions against the Commonwealth.

The Bringing Them Home Report (April 1997) is the result of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.

Rabbit Proof Fence is a 1h 30min feature film (2002) available on SBS on Demand. Set in 1931, three Aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the outback.

Chapter 5: Homelands Movement

The importance of homelands – an overview by Amnesty International.

In November 2019, Alyawarra people received a lease on land through their 2014 Native Title application. A media release from the Central Land Council.

An explanation of the difference between Land Rights and Native Title on Creative Spirits.

Australians Together offers this explanation of the Mabo Native Title case.

Prime Minister Paul Keating’s speech re Mabo at Redfern (1993) on video.

An explanation of the Aboriginal Land Claims process from Creative Spirits.

Information about pastoral leases and land tenure in the Northern Territory from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

Culture, History, and Health in an Australian Aboriginal Community: The Case of Utopia – an article by Heather Anderson and Emma Kowal.

After Mabo is a 1997 Australian documentary classic that examines the political controversy surrounding Native Title and the Federal Government’s proposed amendments to the Native Title Act. Available on Ronin Films.

Chapter 6: Alywarra Country

Central Land Council biodiversity programs for managing threatened species.

Information about traditional and modern plant use by Alyawarra people.

A description of Alyawarra men making knives at Bendaijerum near MacDonald Downs.

ABC video with information about cultural burns.

Creative Spirits article about aboriginal fire and land management.

Fact sheet for visitors to Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve from the NT Government.

Spinifex artwork by Indjalandji Dhidhuanu/Alyawarr artist and cattlewoman, Shirley Mcnamara, The University of Queensland.

Chapter 7: Alyawarra Legacy

This article on Creative Spirits explores the 1946 pastoral workers’ strike in the Pilbara, WA.

This National Archives site explores the 1966 Aboriginal walk off from Wave Hill (Kalkarindji).

Anthropologist Dianne Bell writes about the Alyawarra walk off from Kurundi Station in 1977.

In July 2011, the Federal Court visited the Indigenous Kurundi stockmen to recognise their Native Title Rights over the Kurundi pastoral lease. This CLC article explains. 

In December 2014, Banjo Morton’s grandson, Ezekial Morton, was the winner of ABC Heywire – an initiative that puts young Australians at the centre of the conversations that shape their communities.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

I Understand