A FILM BY GLENDA HAMBLY
Donydji is a remote, traditional Indigenous Homeland in North-East Arnhem Land/or the far north of Australia. The film charts the community's transition from nomadic life to the digital age, from the 1960's to the present day. It shows the importance and value of Homelands in maintaining culture and wellbeing.
Today, Donydji is blessed in many ways. It is peaceful, drug and alcohol free, but no Homeland is an island. Through the prism of one community, the vexatious questions of mining interests, corrosive government policy and the precarious future of Indigenous Homelands are explored.
The film also tells a remarkable story of cross-cultural co-operation. In 1974, Dr Neville White, a genetic anthropologist, went to Donydji to research a Ph.D. In effect, he has never left. Forty-five years of photographs, film and video taken by Dr White provide a powerful intimate portrait of his friendship with one of the Donydji families across three generations. In the early 2000's, Dr White gave up his university position to focus on community development. With money provided by philanthropy, he drew in his Vietnam Veteran mates to work with the young men of Donydji to build modern homes, a school and workshop.
Homeland Story is a moving portrait of a small community facing the ultimate challenge: how to maintain their Donydji Homeland and preserve their vibrant culture.