Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR101101 Australia Celebrates Philippine Indigenous Month


The Australian Embassy will participate in a series of film screenings from 1-31 October at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Auditorium in Intramuros, Manila as part of NCCA’s ‘Dayaw Festival: Indigenous Peoples Month 2010’.

The event, organised by NCCA Sub Commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts and Ugnayang Pang-agham Tao, Inc will gather ethno linguistic groups in the Philippines to participate in cultural exchanges and presentations that underscore significant aspects of their way of life, culture and tradition.

“The festival is an excellent opportunity to highlight the rich and vibrant culture of the Philippines’ Indigenous peoples. It also underlines one of the similarities between Australia and the Philippines, both having Indigenous cultures that form a vital part of our national identity,” Ambassador Rod Smith said.

The Embassy will feature six Australian Indigenous short films from the Australian National Film and Sound Archive’s Black Screen Collection. These include The Djarn Djarns, a story of friendship between four boys and the responsibility they feel for their culture; My Brother Vinnie, which explores the touching relationship of Australian actor Aaron Pedersen and his younger sibling who has mild intellectual disabilities; and Footy The La Perouse Way, a story of how a small Aboriginal community in Sydney embraced their cultural differences through football.

Other films include Island Fettlers, the story of Torres Strait Islander men who made the epic journey to Western Australia in the late 1960s to build railways and their journey back to their homeland; Footprints in the Sand, a sad love story of Warri & Yatungka - an Aboriginal Romeo and Juliet - and the uplifting story of their survival and rescue; and Crocodile Dreaming, a modern day, supernatural myth about two estranged brothers who are brought together through the spirit of their mother.

The Embassy will also screen The Dreaming, a series of animated films based on Australian Aboriginal storytelling (oral histories) that have been maintained as a body of knowledge for over 40,000 years and a documentary on the apology issued by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to the Stolen Generations on 13 February 2008.

Australians celebrate their Indigenous heritage with the annual observance of National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week in July to honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It also highlights Australia’s support for other Indigenous cultures, including in the Philippines.

Australian assistance to Philippine Indigenous peoples has helped improve education with the implementation of indigenised curriculum in 185 schools in Mindanao, benefiting more than 34,000 children. Since 2006, the DAP has provided approximately Php4 million to programs which contribute to Indigenous peoples’ welfare and income-generating capacity.

For more information on the film screenings and other activities under the ‘Dayaw Festival: Indigenous Peoples Month 2010’, visit the NCCA website at