In 1949, Banjo Morton and a small handful of Aboriginal stockmen walked off from the vast Lake Nash cattle station, demanding pay in wages instead of rations. While the walk-off was only short lived, their success was etched into history. It’s a part of history that has remained relatively unknown beyond the stories told by Banjo and the others but it was recorded forever in the 1949 Lake Nash Police Journal by Police Constable Jack Mahony. This interactive web documentary looks at the 1949 walk off and what it meant for Banjo and the other stockmen and explores Aboriginal workers rights at that time in history.
Sixty years later, Banjo leads another walk-off. This time from the prescribed community of Ampilatwatja where Banjo says he and his community are being forced to live herded up like "cattle on a cattle station". These two significant events offer an insight into Indigenous Australian history.
This is more than just the story of Banjo’s walk-off in 1949 - an the documentation of a significant part of history. It’s a story about uncovering the past and trying to discover what place the past has in the present. It's also a story about families and connections and about returning pride to a family so that the story of Banjo and the other stockmen will never be forgotten.
Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the Lake Nash Walk Off and the perfect opportunity for the projects release.
This will be an exciting interactive web documentary rich in audio, visual and written material including archival material dating back to 1949. It will provide a significant learning resource not only for the children, young people and community its of Ampilatwatja but for schools, universities and everyone around Australia. Through Banjo's story, it will offer a historical perspective centering around two significant events within 60 years of one another but will also provide an important teaching and learning tool in a contemporary landscape.