Connection To Country
'Connection to Country' follows a group of Indigenous people from the Pilbara as they battle to preserve Australia's unique cultural heritage from the ravages of a booming mining industry. In the heart of Western Australia, the Burrup Peninsula hosts the largest concentration of rock art in the world; a dramatic, ancient landscape so sacred that some parts shouldn't be looked upon at all except by Traditional Owners. Waves of industrialisation and development threaten sites all over the Pilbara. The Burrup has become home to salt mines, iron ore port facilities and one of Australia’s largest gas plants. But the people of the Pilbara, forever connected to their country, forever responsible, are fighting back. Documenting the rock art, recording their sacred sites and battling to get their unique cultural heritage recorded, recognised and celebrated.
The Spirit of the Country. The spirit of the land is alive and well and feels, hears and sees what is happening to it. The spirit also knows when its children aren’t visiting her and practicing their birth rites out on country, to heal and be free. Frank and Ricky Smith are Ngarluma brothers from the eastern boundary. They are restless about wanting to document, teach and share. They are not against mining but are against destruction and dispossession of important places that need to be protected for the good of everyone, black and white. Reg Sambo is Ricky and Frank’s elder brother. He is a cultural person who came up with his family in what was at times a hard station life, but like Ricky and Frank was really, truly, daily connected to country until the pastoralists no longer hired Aboriginal workers. Patrick Churnside is in his early 30s. Recently elected to the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee, a group that advises the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. He is a responsible family man, a creative spirit like Tyson, who works with kids to keep them learning culture, and he also works in mining.
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