My Survival As An Aboriginal

As Screened on ABC, NITV(SBS), and BBC Television
49 mins 1979  Rated G

Classic documentary

Digital Restoration by the National Film & Sound Archive.

In 1979, the ground-breaking documentary My Survival as an Aboriginal rocked Australia and the world with its presentation of atrocities and hardships committed against Aboriginal people. Winning prizes internationally, the film was broadcast overseas, shown on the ABC and used widely in Australian education. Today it is featured on the Australian Screen Online website which describes the film as challenging, and says, “Though a call to justice, it is also tempered with beauty, and the audience is allowed to glimpse the private world of the Essie Coffey and the people of Brewarrina, N.S.W. Country and Western songs performed by Coffey are also a rich element of the documentary”.

My Survival as an Aboriginal directed by Essie Coffey, was one of the first Australian films where an Indigenous Australian was able to decide how she and her community would be represented. Through her films, Essie Coffey’s voice reaches across time to continue the ongoing fight for the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Songs include: “Bush Queen” by Essie Coffey and “They Say It’s a Crime” by Dougie Young

Awards include

Sydney Film Festival – Winner Best Documentary & Rouben Mamoulian Award

Cinema du Reel, Paris – First Prize

To see clips from the film go to the Australian Screen Online website here. 

Gary Foley’s Koori website gives more information about Essie Coffey and other indigenous leaders 

More Dougie Young songs here.