2002, 6 x 26 Minutes
Progress of any kind is hard won. It requires determination and spirit, especially when trying to break through entrenched attitudes and systems. Everyday Brave profiles Indigenous Australians who have fought daily battles against discrimination, apathy and ignorance to make a real difference.
They come from across the country - bush and city, mission and coastal town. Highly regarded within their own communities, they have remained largely unknown to the mainstream...until now. Although their achievements spread across the fields of arts, commerce, education, health and politics, all these people are defined by their unwavering commitment to Australia’s Indigenous peoples and the promotion of Indigenous rights, culture and identity.
In six half-hour episodes, a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous filmmakers introduces us to some remarkable individuals. Each has made a significant contribution to society at large and to their people in particular. Their stories tell of lives marked by long struggles and hardship, lightened by joy and humour. In this series, they recall their beginnings, ambitions, frustrations and the changes they have helped create. They share with us their unique perspectives and their ideas for the future.
SALTWATER BLUESMAN – UNCLE KIDDO TAYLOR Uncle Kiddo plays chromatic harp. He's one of the fathers of the "Broome Sound". His life story reflects the wild side of this West Australian town, the hard and dangerous work in the pearling industry, the history of exploitation and segregation but also the strong sense of community. His music reflects Broome's unique cultural mix of Aboriginal, Japanese, Malay, Filipino, Indonesian, Chinese and European people. It's a sweet-sad sound that's likely to bring a tear to your eye. It's also made Uncle Kiddo a vital and positive force in the lives of younger generations.
MISTAKE CREEK – STEVEN CRAIG Steven Craig manages a highly successful cattle station for its traditional owners, the Mistake Creek community. Situated on the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the property has earned a reputation for its cattle and is proudly self-sufficient. Steven's wife Jo-Anne and children play a significant part in the life of the station, but it hasn't always been that way. While Steven was drawn to the bush, the rest of the family couldn't cope with the isolation and often chose to remain in town. The situation almost tore them apart. They've struggled to keep the marriage and family together but at Mistake Creek they've built a new way of life. Mistake Creek is an example of how dreams can be fulfilled - with commitment, dedication and sheer hard work.
MEDIA NOMADS – THE THAIDAY BROTHERS When Bill and Mick Thaiday grew up on Palm Island in the 1950s, it was radio that took their minds away from the strict regime imposed by the Aboriginal Protection Act. Later, it would also free them from the grip of alcohol addiction and start them on a journey that's lasted almost 20 years. Together they have travelled like a couple of nomads, developing Aboriginal radio stations in the remote areas of Australia. Their aim is to give a voice to Aboriginal people where their parents and grandparents had none.
JETJA NAI MEDICAL MOB – NAOMI MAYERS Naomi Mayers joined the Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney's Redfern in 1972. Starting out as a secretary, she has been its Chief Executive Officer for many years. Highly respected in Australia and overseas for her expertise and commitment to Aboriginal health, she has been the driving force behind many other inner-city community development projects. It's taken great strength of character and political focus to achieve all that she has - something Naomi attributes to her roots on the old Cummeragunja mission.
FOR WHO I AM – BONITA MABO Many people know of Bonita Mabo, widow of the late Eddie Mabo, and the historic native title claim they successfully fought on behalf of his Torres Strait Islander people. Few realise that Bonita is an Australian of South Sea Islander and Aboriginal descent, or how, through decades of work for Indigenous rights, she raised ten children, often single-handedly. Since her husband's death, Bonita has a new campaign - recognition for her own people. In this program, she looks back over decades of struggle and commitment, and speaks of the pride she takes in sharing her heritage with her grandchildren and the wider community.
STRANGER IN MY SKIN – RAY COTTI Ray Cotti was born to Aboriginal parents but adopted at a young age by a Swiss German family in Sydney. Growing up in a European culture, he thought of himself as white. Then at the age of eight, Ray was removed from his adoptive family and, after living in a series of institutions, placed in foster care. By the time he was in his teens, confusion about his identity was taking a devastating toll. This is a portrait of a young man on a journey of self-discovery, searching for his origins. Now an active member of an Indigenous community with a family of his own, he has found a sense of belonging. His journey is far from over but Ray Cotti is finally at home in his own skin.
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Macumba Media Enterprises and CAAMA Productions. Produced with the support and assistance of ScreenWest, the Lotteries Commission of Western Australia, the National Council for the Centenary of Federation and the Australia Council and in association with the NSW Film and Television Office, PFTC and SBS Independent. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Producers: Rod Freedman (Series Producer); Jeff Bruer, Priscilla Collins, Rod Freedman (Episode Producers)
Directors: Allan Collins, Donna Ives, Darlene Johnson, Danielle Maclean, Catriona McKenzie, Mitch Torres
Total Running Time: 156 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Indigenous Studies; Politics; Gender Studies; English K-10 Cultural perspectives - Insights into Aboriginal experiences in Australia; TESOL; Legal Studies; Law and Justice; Community Health; Music; SOSE/HSIE; Media Studies; Work Studies.