The Making of Grandmother's Story

A School of Education seminar presented on October 21st, 2015 by Dr Lorina Baker

Dr Lorina Baker’s is a descendant of the Wangkumara and Muruwari people from northwest NSW, Adnyamathanha (Flinders Rangers SA), the Kooma and Kunja (southwest QLD), and the Barkindji (northwest NSW). Lorina teaches modern Australian history and Family and Community History in Humanties at UNE.
Lorina’s seminar at the School of Education will provide a broad overview of the process of making a short documentary film about the removal of the Wangkumara from their homelands to government stations in northwest NSW. It considers the multiple subjectivities and the impact of perceived positioning on the production. It emphasizes how film as a medium allows family/community access to the ‘data’ and how it complements oral history interviews by privileging Wangkumara voices, stories and experiences. The film also provides an opportunity to ground the narratives in place and captures the interview process. This paper highlights some of the challenges and implications of cultural protocols and ethical guidelines.
The film My Grandmother’s Country draws together the documentary evidence, including archival records and academic research, both written and oral, with family/community members’ stories, memories and experiences. It adds to the literature about Wangkumara culture, history and forced removal in 1938 to the Brewarrina Aboriginal Station, known to the residents as ‘The Mission’ or ‘Old Mission’ and the Wangkumara walk-off in 1941-2.