Message Stick - Macumba: Outside Looking In
John Macumba was born with cerebral Palsy in the remote central desert of the Pitjanjatjara Lands. His first memory is seeing himself in a waterhole when tied to his mothers back in a shawl and she knelt down to drink and he fell out into the water.
While he was little the women could carry him on their backs. Once he got bigger and could keep up he was given up to care and was eventually fostered to a white family in Adelaide. His foster father was a conscientious objector and a highly principled man from which Macumba says he learnt his ability to persevere against the odds.
When John became a man he returned to the desert and went through initiation before moving to Alice Springs where he founded the first Aboriginal media organisation CAAMA. His vision then included initiating Ummewarra Media in Port Augusta and he became the inaugural Chair of the Aboriginal Media Policy body NAIBA.
John now runs his own production company Macumba Media and has just produced a 6 part half hour series for SBS TV. Last year he graduated with an MA in Communications. He says that if someone like him can obtain a Masters then there's no reason why any young aboriginal person can't achieve it. John is a charismatic character with a razor wit and a winning smile.
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