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Six Deadly Docos with Deaf and Disabled Rep to Watch This NAIDOC

By July 6, 2023No Comments

By Darcy Hytt

Happy NAIDOC Week, you mob!

At FPDN, we celebrate the diversity of First Nations cultures and histories every day. We are working towards a just and equal future for First Peoples with disability. Our work centres principles of respect, empowerment, inclusion, and access.

This NAIDOC Week, we would like to pay our respects to our d/Deaf and disabled community members. We acknowledge community members past and present, including our Elders and Ancestors. We honour the strength of First Nations storytelling and knowledge transmission. We recognise the power and healing properties of storytelling. We are proud descendants of staunch Mob with disability, whom we look up to and learn from every day.

Here are six documentaries you can watch this NAIDOC Week that feature d/Deaf and disabled First Nations representation. This week, we honour our histories and futures as storytellers and community members.

Cultural warning for First Nations viewers.
The following materials contain the names, images, and/or voices of community members who have died. The materials may also contain distressing and confronting topics, including ableism and racism. Viewer discretion is advised.

#6 Living My Way

‘Living My Way’ is a touching two-part documentary developed as part of FPDN’s Living Our Way project. The project helped Mob with disabilities access information and support around the NDIS.

‘Living My Way’ is a series of yarns with First Peoples with disabilities and their families. It captures the perspectives and self-expressions of an array of disabled Mob. Each interviewee shares their unique definitions and experiences of living their way.

Watch ‘Living My Way’ and ‘Living My Way: Getting Prepared’ on YouTube.

#5 Gurrumul

‘Gurrumul’ traces the life of Yolngu artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. The film documents Gurrumul’s career and deep care for kin, community, and Country.

In the film, Gurrumul navigates the world as a blind Yolngu man with considerable global fame. His experiences highlight tensions between First Nations and colonial measures of achievement. Through this, ‘Gurrumul’ questions the value of western ideas of success.

Watch ‘Gurrumul’ on SBS On Demand or Netflix.

#4 Deaf, Aboriginal and Deadly: Natasha Reid on The Point

‘Deaf, Aboriginal and Deadly’ is a documentary from NITV’s news and current affairs show, The Point. The film follows young Yorta Yorta woman Natasha Reid. Natasha shares her journey of becoming part of the Deaf community in Melbourne.

Natasha’s story speaks to the link between accessibility and cultural empowerment for d/Deaf and disabled Mob. It shows us what is possible when our cultural and access needs are recognised in equal measure.

Watch ‘Deaf, Aboriginal and Deadly’ on YouTube.

#3 Horse Tales

‘Horse Tales’ documents a horse-riding program accessed by young Mob with disability. It takes place on Kelly’s Ranch in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory. The film features interviews with young ones who access the program, and some of the ranch staff who host it.

‘Horse Tales’ is a story of joy and empowerment. It shows our young ones learning about and sharing cultural knowledge and community practices.

Watch ‘Horse Tales’ on YouTube.

#2 Patty Morris: A Deaf Aboriginal Woman from Laura, Cape York

‘Patty Morris’ is a short film told by Patty, co-founder of the Deaf Indigenous Dance Group (DIDG). Patty is a Deaf Kuku Thaypan and Olkolo woman from Laura, Cape York.

Patty takes us on a journey to where she grew up: Jowalbinna, on Western Kuku Yalanji Country. A generous storyteller, Patty highlights the myriad ways Mob can engage with music and culture through dance.

Watch ‘Patty Morris’ on YouTube.

#1 My Brother Vinnie

‘My Brother Vinnie’ is a moving and cheeky account of kinship and love. It portrays the relationship between Arrernte and Arabana brothers Aaron and Vinnie Pedersen.

‘My Brother Vinnie’ discusses how challenging accessing care and support can be. But it also illustrates how First Nations kinship care systems nurture disabled community.

Watch ‘My Brother Vinnie’ on YouTube.