Byron Shire resident and filmmaker/director Sinem Saban says she witnessed first hand the third-world situation in the Northern Territory over 10 years ago when she first visited remote Aboriginal communities as a school teacher.
‘After the 2007 Intervention was announced by the Howard government,’ Ms Saban says, ‘I was compelled to make the film’.
Aboriginal elder Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, along with a live performance by musician Xavier Rudd, will feature at a screening of Our Generation at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Sunday November 20.
Our Generation was voted Best Campaign Film at the London International Documentary Festival. It traces the NT Intervention and subsequent human rights violations against Aboriginal Australians.
The film presents a picture of shameful neglect by mainstream Australia, claiming that nothing has been done on the issue of child abuse. Instead the Intervention has been used as a guise to compulsorily acquire land for resource exploitation.
‘Nothing in the legislation talks about the children,’ says Ms Saban. ‘So what is the legislation really about?
‘In its defence, the governments say that they require long leases to provide medical facilities, schools and housing. However the locals say access to such services are a basic human right that all Australians enjoy.
Why should they have to give up their land for basic citizenship rights?
‘This is a bombshell journey into Australia that many Australians are unaware of. Even the United Nations has condemned these racist policies.’
Dr Gondarra, a senior Yolngu law man, has travelled the world raising awareness of the ongoing struggle of Aboriginal people in Australia.
He says the action required is to ‘work with us, to put our heads to gather and fight the system’.
Launched in 2010, this will be the first time the film has been screened locally. Our Generation screens at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on November 20.