During and after colonisation, Aboriginal peoples’ burial places were desecrated in the name of curiosity, science and research.
Aboriginal Ancestors were stolen from their land where they had been placed with care and ceremony, to be housed in metal boxes as specimens or ornaments of curiosity by individuals, families and institutions.
The 1980's saw Aboriginal Ancestors start to return to rest on Country. But the journey is by no means complete and there are many more of our Ancestors still to come home. We can all walk together and help in this essential work.
Returning our Ancestors shares some of this difficult but healing journey. The documentary was made by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, with the contribution of stories from Victorian Traditional Owners and others.
Returning our Ancestors shows us what we can do as a Victorian community to work together for the rightful and respectful return and protection of Aboriginal Ancestors, now and into the future.
The documentary will be accompanied by an education resource kit to help educators and members of the community discuss the film’s content. The kit will specifically talk to the history curriculum in Years 7-8, Years 9-10 and at a primary level in Years 4-6. Additional resources for the broader community will include an information sheet and a free digital version of the seminal text, Power and the Passion : Our Ancestors Return Home by Uncle Jim Berg and Dr Shannon Faulkhead.
The public launch of the documentary will be in the early evening on Saturday 28 March, screened at Federation Square. Save the date. Other events and screenings will occur all over Victoria throughout 2020. More details soon.
If you'd like to host your own event and screening of the documentary for your community, please get in touch.
Contact the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council for more information, screening times and related events.
Reviewed 07 January 2020