Sacred memories

A FILM detailing the fight by Aboriginal communities to stop mining on their country will get a free screening in Perth tomorrow (Sunday, February 24).

The 1980 documentary On Sacred Ground documents the Noonkanbah land rights movement, when the Yungngora people protested the drilling for oil on sacred sites.

Noonkanbah is a station in the far north of WA, and it already had a politically-charged history.

In 1971 Aboriginal workers walked off the site after becoming fed up with their pay and conditions.

The federal government bought up the land and returned it to traditional owners in 1976.

Shortly afterward the area caught the interest of mining company Amax who wanted to drill for oil.

The traditional owners opposed mining on their spiritually significant land and protested, and the Charles Court government assigned hundreds of police as corporate bodyguards to escort the mining rigs.

Yungngora man Ribnga Green Snr narrated and presented the film, and he’ll be giving an introductory talk at the Perth screening at the Perth Cultural Centre big screen.

It’s free and starts at 5.30pm.

by DAVID BELL

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