Shoalhaven City Council are pleased to announce the unveiling of a four-minute short film, titled ‘Walking on Country’, which explores personal narratives of connection to country by local individual Aboriginal community members. The film was made possible through a partnership with NSW Government through the Heritage Near Me program and a local Aboriginal community group of collaborators.
The local Aboriginal community collaborators group provided cultural advice and direction in the design and development of the storyline, which cultivates and celebrates Aboriginal culture. The collaborators identified a group of seven local Aboriginal community members to be featured in the short film.
Filmed in the Shoalhaven and capturing stunning local scenery, ‘Walking on Country’ captures the unique experience of what connection to country means to these individual Aboriginal community members. The video highlights a strong message that cultural heritage is a vital element of Aboriginal people’s identity, spiritual beliefs and affinity to the cultural landscape. This short film celebrates the cultural vibrancy and rich heritage of the film participants who share their ‘living culture’ with us. Country is who we are past, present, and future.
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley was delighted to see the beautiful and emotive portrayal of local Aboriginal community members, showcasing the importance of their connection to culture.
“Walking on Country provides an education of both traditional, modern and contemporary Aboriginal culture and is a means for understanding and harmony in our region. It highlights the vibrancy of Aboriginal culture in the Shoalhaven,” said Mayor Findley.
‘Walking on Country’ perfectly complements 2020’s NAIDOC theme, ‘Always was and Always will be’.
The short film will be showcased in the Shoalhaven Visitor Centre and Council foyers. The film will also feature on Council’s corporate and tourism social media and websites.
Ms Pauline McKenzie, Executive Director Heritage NSW said, “The NSW Government is proud to support this project which celebrates the richness of Aboriginal cultural heritage and the local communities who continue to protect this heritage for future generations.”
Uncle Noel Butler, one of the community members featured in the short film says, “…Aboriginal culture should belong to all Australians. By sharing our knowledge of this land, we can continue the longest living culture known to humans. We need to have a different value of the land and we can do it together; we can do it side by side.”
Walking on Country Featured Participants are: