Walking with Ghosts


William Cooper, a pioneering Aboriginal rights activist, was the first Australian to lodge a protest with the German Embassy against Kristallnacht, and in doing so, brokered a link between his own struggle for human rights and the genocidal persecution against the Jews in Europe.

While media texts about William Cooper have been written, the family feels little connection to these representations due to a lack of consultation and inclusion.

For this narrative to be accepted in media form by William Cooper’s family and Jewish community members there will need to be practices which encourage feelings of ownership and involvement so that a synergy of efforts is once again achieved and shared with broader Australian audiences.

(Quote from Koora)
"When you throw a stone in the river you watch a ripple grow. My Uncle William, walking through that street, he was the rock that was thrown in amongst the Murray River and the ripple has just become Australia. So it’s just a matter of who keeps the legacy alive, and how they keep it alive, and how they carry the partnership on"

This project is a culmination of many different areas of interest; questions around the right ways to support Indigenous media and culture taking into account a colonialist history of representation, Communication uses towards community development (I've previously considered this in Asian contexts) post colonialism, history (particularly oral history) and of course, documentary production.

My honours project is not necessarily about a career or a pathway to a job, its more about challenging myself, pushing my comfort zone and producing something of significance for and with the Cooper family and for all Victorians to be able to celebrate our inspiring Indigenous pioneers through this story.