Roe­bourne fea­tures in re­search film

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Court­ney Fowler

A film about Abo­rig­i­nal par­ent­ing pro­duced as a re­sult of re­search funded by the Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil into the health and well­be­ing of women and chil­dren in Roe­bourne was screened at Mur­doch Univer­sity for the first time ear­lier this month.

Since 2011, Pro­fes­sor Rhonda Mar­riott and her Abo­rig­i­nal Health and Well­be­ing TripleWrap Re­search Team have worked with the Yind­jibarndi and Ngar­luma peo­ple and lo­cal agen­cies to cre­ate peri­na­tal health pro­grams in Roe­bourne.

As a re­sult, Pro­fes­sor Mar­riott and her team worked with Lorraine Cop­pin from the Ju­luwarlu Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion and Roe­bourne film maker Tan­giora Hi­naki to pro­duce Moth­er­ing: Valu­ing Ngaarda Ways.

The doc­u­men­tary-style film in­volved more than 60 Yind­jibarndi and Ngar­luma Abo­rig­i­nal moth­ers, grand­moth­ers, fathers, grand­fa­thers and young girls.

It ex­plored the sig­nif­i­cance of cul­ture and fam­ily to par­ent­ing and grandparenting in a re­gional com­mu­nity, and the men­tal health and well­be­ing of Abo­rig­i­nal moth­ers and grand­moth­ers.

Pro­fes­sor Mar­riott said they were ex­cited to launch the film at Mur­doch Univer­sity and share it with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity mem­bers and ser­vices. “We have se­lected the week of the Na­tional Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Chil­dren’s Day for the launch of the film,” she said.

“This year’s theme is help­ing our kids stand tall and feel con­nected and proud in cul­ture, so what bet­ter week for us to launch our film and to celebrate the sim­i­lar­i­ties of di­verse Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures for strong fam­i­lies.”

The film screen­ing was at­tended by in­vited Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity mem­bers from Roe­bourne Jane and Pansy Cheedy, Noon­gar el­ders from Perth, ser­vice providers and re­searchers from the pro­ject.

Yind­jibarndi el­der Jane Cheedy said she felt over­whelmed with pride when she watched the doc­u­men­tary for the first time.

“It was great to see the young women go out bush and be taught the old ways and tra­di­tions dur­ing preg­nancy,” she said.

“It’s good to mix the tra­di­tional ways with the new ways, to make young Abo­rig­i­nal mums and dads stronger in them­selves.”

“It needs to be the two par­ents work­ing to­gether to rear their chil­dren … hope­fully this ex­pe­ri­ence will help them feel more con­fi­dent to do that.”

The screen­ing was fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion, in­clud­ing ques­tions from the au­di­ence, on the strengths of cul­ture and Abo­rig­i­nal fam­i­lies and how ser­vices can bet­ter sup­port fam­i­lies in par­ent­ing.

Film maker Tan­giora Hi­naki said it was good to see the film stim­u­late dis­cus­sion around the im­por­tance of fam­ily roles in Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture.

“The au­di­ence was in awe of the film and were amazed by these sto­ries and cul­tural tra­di­tions of bush life,” she said.

“The film is cur­rently be­ing pitched to NITV to air for the na­tion and world to see.

“It’s a proud mo­ment for my­self. I am so blessed to have this con­nec­tion with the lo­cal peo­ple in Roe­bourne.”

Pro­fes­sor Mar­riot said DVD copies of the film have been dis­trib­uted to ed­u­ca­tional and health ser­vices in other Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties.

A fi­nal re­port on the pro­ject, fea­tur­ing key find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions will be made public later in the year.

Pic­tures: Tan­giora Hi­naki

Lorraine Cop­pin from the Ju­luwarlu Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion on coun­try with lo­cal youth for the Moth­er­ing: Valu­ing Ngaarda Ways doc­u­men­tary.

Pansy Cheedy (cen­tre) per­form­ing a smok­ing cer­e­mony in Roe­bourne.

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