We follow Melbourne based musician Allara Briggs Pattison, a Yorta Yorta woman, on her journey to connect with her identity, her family and her culture. Allara feels disconnected from her Aboriginal heritage and decides to dedicate time to understanding where she comes from. She educates herself on the detrimental impacts of systemic racial policies, and her courage and ability to articulate her people's history becomes powerful. Along her journey, Allara learns about the Yorta Yorta’s unprecedented fight for Native Title and is astonished by a newspaper article from December, 2002 titled ‘Once again, Yorta Yorta told they don’t exist’. After long discussions with her grandfather and uncle and spending time out bush, Allara returns to Melbourne to unravel the events of the Native Title claim. She meets solicitor, Peter Seidel, who represented the Yorta Yorta people throughout the claim. He reveals the unjust result that hinged on a ‘Frozen in time view of Aboriginality’. Allara immediately challenges this perception and decides to meet with other family members to discuss contemporary cultural practice. During this time, Allara begins working at the State Library Victoria as the Koori Research Officer where she learns even more about the history of Victorian Aboriginal people and begins to teach others how to access archives to research their own family history. As Allara finds her place within her own Aboriginal community, she immerses herself in protests to stop changes to the Native Title Act that would weaken the Act and the voices of Traditional Owners. As Allara comes to the end of a long journey making this documentary, she chooses to focus her energy on establishing her career as an influential musician and fundamentally, a Yorta Yorta woman who strives to use her voice to continue strengthening the bonds between her family, culture and country. Featuring: Allara Briggs Pattison, Uncle Don Briggs, Uncle Boydie (Uncle Alf Turner), Sue Briggs, Karen Briggs, John Briggs, Marinda Pattison, Peter Seidel, Suzie Russell.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
As independent film makers we are always looking for support and guidance, particularly when we can find assistance from a foundation whose values align with ours. We are focussed on setting an example encourage positive social change. The philosophy behind our work is to develop a groundbreaking and thought provoking film that purposefully touches on topics that are often uncomfortable to digest, but are equally as important. Through this work, we intend to expand social comfort barriers and provide avenues for greater and more meaningful reconciliation. Allara has bravely revealed her personal journey to share how important it is to feel proud of one’s identity and always continue to build on family and community relationships. The journey of connection, family history and cultural heritage is an important one that also affects non Indigenous people who may have questions about their heritage in Australia, or may be looking for their ancestral history. The film recommends achievable changes to support reconciliation as a nation wide movement.