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form y separately published work icon Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series series - publisher   film/TV  
Issue Details: First known date: 1987... 1987 Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Over 192 episodes have been produced since 1987, with the series' primary aim being the maintenance of Aboriginal languages and culture. Nganampa Anwernekenhe is broadcast in Aboriginal languages, and is the only Aboriginal language program produced by and broadcast to Aboriginal people. The series is subtitled so that it is accessible to people who do not speak the Indigenous languages used in each program.

'Early episodes focused on traditional law and culture stories and many of these are no longer available for public viewing. Social issues including women's welfare, health management and language change became central after about 5 years, followed in subsequent series by individual meditations on different Aboriginal identities.' Contemporary historical accounts have come to prominence in the early 2000s (Lisa Stefanoff, 'CAAMA: From the Heart,' p.19).

All programs selected for inclusion in the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series must meet the CAAMA critieria. Included is the requirement that each show must:

    • contain 50% traditional and 50% mixed and regionally spread content;
    • be 90% indigenous language with English subtitles; and
    • have an indigenous Australian in the key creative roles, which include writer, director, cinematographer, and sound recordist.
Among the shows produced since 1987 are 'Bush Tucker is Everywhere' (ca. 1987), 'Benny and the Dreamers' (1992), 'Tennant Creek - Sacred Dances' (1999), 'Teddy Briscoe' (2000), 'Smoking the Baby' (2001), 'Dog Dreaming' (2001), 'Beyond Sorry' (2003), 'Karli Jalangu - Boomerang Today' (2004), 'Crook Hat and Camphoo' (2005), 'The Art of Healing' (2005), and 'Wirrangul Women: Always Have, Always Will' (2006).


  • 'Nganampa Anwernekenhe' means 'ours' in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte languages.

  • The Nganampa Anwernekenhe series has served as a training ground for numerous indigenous film makers from Central Australia, including Erica Glynn, Warwick Thornton, Beck Cole, Allan Collins, Mitch Torres, Danielle McLean, Rachel Perkins, and Priscilla Collins and David Tranter, to name a few.

  • Further details can be accessed through the CAAMA website - see Nganampa Anwernekenhe homepage.


form y separately published work icon Alyawarre Country Priscilla Collins CAAMA Productions , 2001 Z1574119 2001 single work film/TV 'A documentary about how, in January 1889, cattle arrived in the Frew River area, and changed the lives of the local Indigenous peoples forever.' Source: (Sighted:12/04/2009)
form y separately published work icon Benny and the Dreamers Fionna Douglas , Ivo Burum (director), Alice Springs : CAAMA Productions , 1992 Z1919641 1992 single work film/TV 'A small group of Pintupi living in west Central Australia today can remember their first meeting with a white man, their first impressions of the white man's world and their expectations of what the white world had to offer.

Benny and The Dreamers reveals for the first time on film the Australian Aboriginal peoples' version of their first contact with white culture which was to change their traditional way of life forever. For some it was a terrifying experience, for others a fascinating view of a world which made little sense. But for all Aboriginal people, white contact brought the end of a nomadic way of life which had lasted for at least 40,000 years.

In Benny and The Dreamers , Benny Tjapaljarri and other Pintupi elders tell their stories of life before and after "whitefellas". Through the use of rare archival footage, their journey is recreated from the central western deserts to their transformation from traditional nomad in a hunter gatherer society to sedentary consumer of white flour and sugar.

Through dramatic retelling of the stories, this film weaves its way into the nightmare of assimilation that became Papunya, the killing fields of alcohol, to the eventual rejection of European life and the return of Aboriginal land at Kintore.' (Source: Ronin Films website
Alice Springs : CAAMA Productions , 1992
form y separately published work icon Five Short Films From the National Indigenous Documentary Fund 1997 8862518 1997 selected work film/TV

This set of 5 short films is compiled onto one DVD

form y separately published work icon Night Patrol Night Patrol (Manga Wardingki Patu) Pat Fiske , Pat Fiske (director), Valerie Martin (director), 1997 8862785 1997 single work film/TV Indigenous story 'The story of the heroic struggle of the all female night patrol at Yuendumn in the Tanami desert.' (Source: Screen Australia website) 1997
form y separately published work icon Bonita Mabo : For Who I Am Danielle Maclean , Danielle Maclean (director), 2001 8863853 2001 single work film/TV

'This is Bonita Mabo’s personal Journey. A Journey that starts with the life she shared with Eddie Mabo and his fight for Native Title. But her story does not finish there, Bonita is even more determined to fight again. The fight for the recognition of her South Sea Islander people.' (Source: CAAMA website)

form y separately published work icon Snake Dreaming Jessica Ah Chee , CAAMA Productions , 2002 Z1520175 2002 single work film/TV

'A short drama written and performed by Indigenous children about the Stolen Generations. Snake Dreaming is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Associaation (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means 'ours' in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrente languages, and the series aims to contribute to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.' (Film synopsis)

CAAMA Productions , 2002
form y separately published work icon Beyond Sorry David Selvarajah Vadiveloo , David Selvarajah Vadiveloo (director), 2003 8863654 2003 single work film/TV

'Zita Wallace was taken from her Arrernte family at the age of eight. When she returned to her traditional community 43 years later she was rejected and labelled “a white devil”.'

'Aggie Abbott, an Arrernte woman and also a “half-caste”, was hidden from the Aboriginal Protector at the same time Zita was taken. Today she still has her law, her language and her culture but lives in abject poverty.'

'This is the remarkable tale of two women who have forged a new friendship and are taking the debate of the stolen generation “beyond sorry”.' (Source: CAAMA website)

form y separately published work icon Case 442 Case 442 – A Son’s Journey to Find His Mother Mitch Torres , 2005 8864079 2005 single work film/TV

'Frank Byrne began his search for his mother 60 years ago. The journey is nearly over, as he has found Maudie in a pauper's grave, and must have the remains exhumed and returned back to her country. But Frank faces a new journey, as putting his mother to rest opens new discoveries about his own identity. ' (Source: Screen Australia)

form y separately published work icon Bungalung Tricia Morton-Thomas , Tricia Morton-Thomas (director), Patsy Briscoe , Jane Briscoe , CAAMA Productions , 2007 Z1584142 2007 single work film/TV

'Around a camp fire, two young Anmatjere elders, Patsy and Jane Briscoe, sing and tell the epic dreaming story of two young men, forced into action when a clan of demon cannibals devour their entire tribe, and kidnap women: a journey into the supernatural, a scary aspect of dreamtime storytelling designed to ensure the safety of Aboriginal children and enhance their spiritual intuition.' Sourced: (Sighted 04/05/2009)

CAAMA Productions , 2007
form y separately published work icon Tnorala : Baby Falling Herman Malbunka , Mavis Malbunka , Alice Springs : CAAMA Productions , 2007 Z1584315 2007 single work film/TV

'Tnorala is the Aboriginal name for Gosse's Bluff, a dramatic meteorite impact crater set in a vast plain 175km west of Alice Springs. This significant dreaming site for Western Arrernte people is steeped in mystery and tragedy. The story of its creation and the events that occurred there are narrated to the camera by Aunty Mavis Malbunka, one of the traditional story-tellers for the place. Legend says that while stars danced in the Milky Way, a child fell to earth and was lost to its parents, the morning and evening stars, who still search for their baby to this day. Today, ancestors of Tnorala's traditional owners are remembered and honoured by their descendants and visitors that are drawn to this stunning and eerie landscape.' (Source: Ronin Films website

Alice Springs : CAAMA Productions , 2007
form y separately published work icon Karlu Karlu : Devil's Marbles 2009 10173819 2009 single work film/TV

'Karlu Karlu is a quiet, reflective film by an outstanding CAAMA team: David Tranter as director, and Warwick Thornton (director of the award-winning feature, Samson and Delilah) as cinematographer.'

'On 28 October 2008, the government handed back ownership of Karlu Karlu to its traditional owners, after a 28-year campaign by Lesley Blackhat Foster and others. Karlu Karlu, otherwise known as the Devils Marbles, is an area of huge boulders with great spiritual and historical significance, 114km south of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.'

'As an Elder with responsibility for the land, Lesley Foster tells Dreamtime stories of Karlu Karlu, and recalls how the area used to be a meeting place for many tribes, with many languages, all of whom shared responsibility for the place.'

'He also reflects on the long campaign to win back ownership of the area from the government, as well as the return of one significant boulder which had been removed to mark the grave of Dr John Flynn, the founder of the Flying Doctor Service. Archival photographs and beautifully filmed landscapes enrich the stories.'

'His story-telling ends with his thoughts about the importance of teaching the younger generation about their responsibilities as eventual owners of the land.' (Source: Ronin Films website)

form y separately published work icon Artists of Ali Curung Robyn Nardoo (director), Shane Mulcahy (director), 2009 8862130 2009 single work film/TV

'Opened in 2008, the Arlpwe Arts Centre and Gallery, in the town of Ali Curung, 350 km north of Alice Springs, provides a focus for the work of a diverse range of Indigenous artists.'

'Artists such as Anita Dickson, May Nampijinpa Wilson, Judy Nampijinpa Long, Valerie Nakamarra Nelson and artefact maker Joe Bird, talk about their work as an expression of their link to their Country. Their art also represents a means whereby they can teach younger people in their community about Country, and also take their stories to a wider public.'

'This delightful film shows the work of these artists, as they talk about their aspirations, intermingled with the dancing and ceremonies that marked the opening of the Arts Centre.' (Source: Ronin Films website)

form y separately published work icon Tales from the Daly : Nauiyu Nambiyu Steven McGregor (director), 2010 8861267 2010 single work film/TV

'In the Monsoon season, the Daly River region is lashed by savage storms which bring the landscape and river to life. Legend says it is the Sugar Glider traveling across the sky mischievously moving the clouds around, which brings the rain. But amidst the tropical beauty lies danger.'

'Stories about the monsoons and the river have been told to children for generations, to teach them to have respect for the bush and to be wary of its dangers. The Wabuymem is one of these stories.'

'The Wabuymem is a little grey spirit that lives in the banyan tree, lying in wait for curious children. The spirit stalks the children and lures them away from their families into the tangled mass of the banyan tree, never to be seen again. Wungung is one such boy who strays away from his grandparents while hunting. His fate is sealed when he disturbs the little grey spirit in the banyan tree …'

'This reconstruction of Wangung’s story evocatively captures the full power and visual richness of the stormy wet season. The filmmaker, Steve McGregor, has been making films in the Daly River region for 15 years and has been associated with the area through his wife who comes from the region.'

form y separately published work icon Nyirr-Marie Mitch Torres (director), 2010 8861880 2010 single work film/TV life story

'A strong Miriwoong woman, Evelyn Hall (Nyirr-Marie), who died in late 2009, was a senior elder in women’s law in the Miriwoong region and a staunch advocate for Indigenous land rights for her community.'

'It was Evelyn’s strong desire for her story to be told and gave special clearance for this documentary to be shown three months after her remains were returned to Country.'

'The film documents Evelyn’s final return to her Country – by helicopter and by four-wheel drive. She knew that she was not well enough to make the trip again, to walk and live on her Country. As part of her journey, and the record she wanted to leave for her family and future generations, she recounts two Dreaming stories – the Barramundi story and the Two Pigeons story – and visits a site of ancient rock paintings. In her family cave, where her ancestors are buried, she leaves her own hand-print alongside those of younger members of her family and the image of her Snake Dreaming.' (Source: Ronin Films website)

form y separately published work icon Crookhat and the Kulunada 2010 9067274 2010 single work film/TV life story

'We listen to their stories as they prepare their camp: stories rich in knowledge of the place and its history. They tell both the Dreamtime stories of the Rainbow Serpent, Kulunada, which lived in the waterhole, and also the violent past of the white settlement of the area.'

'The ruins of a white homestead beside the waterhole evoke stories of the white man’s clash with the Kulunada, and also the shooting of an Aboriginal stockman by the station manager.'

'As Crookhat tells the stories, he is corrected and prompted by the others. As Tranter explains, “the reason we have a narrator and a witness to tell the story is so the story is told the right way.”' (Source: Ronin Films website)

form y separately published work icon Keepers of the Story : Jandamarra Banjo Worrumarra , George Brooking , Dillon Andrews , Selena Middleton , Danny Marr , 2010 9067420 2010 single work film/TV Indigenous story

'Keeping the story of Jandamarra alive sits in the hands of a few key people within the Bunuba nation. Since the passing of a key story-holder, old Banjo Woorunmurra, other senior people like George Brooking, Dillon Andrews, Selena Middleton and actor and singer, Danny Marr (all of whom appear in this documentary), have played an important role in the preservation of this historical saga and the passing of it on to all Australians.'

'The story-keepers believe that the spirit of Jandamarra is still alive and present in their community. They want to see him turn from a local Bunuba hero into a figure as famous as Ned Kelly and who can become a source of national pride. Filmmaker Mitch Torres, herself a Bunuba woman with a close association to Jandamarra’s story, is part of that process of taking the story to a wider audience. She is seen at work on a new feature-length TV documentary about Jandamarra and talks at length about her responsibility to the community in making the film – how the community not only owns the story itself but needs to own the process of making the film, to ensure that the story-telling is correct and consistent with Bunuba aspirations.' (Source: Ronin Films website)


Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1987

Works about this Work

CAAMA : From the Heart Lisa Stefanoff , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: RealTime , June-July no. 67 2005; (p. 19)
A review of A Tribute to CAAMA, screened at the 52nd Sydney Film Festival, State Theatre and Dendy Opera Quays, June 12-16 2005.
CAAMA : From the Heart Lisa Stefanoff , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: RealTime , June-July no. 67 2005; (p. 19)
A review of A Tribute to CAAMA, screened at the 52nd Sydney Film Festival, State Theatre and Dendy Opera Quays, June 12-16 2005.
Last amended 18 Nov 2015 15:07:44