Rach’s Holiday watch list to stay informed on Indigenous Rights 

2023 has been a big year for Indigenous issues in Australia. The result of the Voice referendum was obviously gutting, and that’s probably what 2023 will be remembered for. However, we’re really proud of the YES campaign we ran, the important conversations that were sparked, and the fact that more than six million Australians voted in favour of a constitutionally enshrined Voice.

And there were other wins, too. Just as the year was drawing to a close, the ACT raised the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14. Tasmania also committed to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 with no exceptions by 2029, in the release of their Youth Justice Blueprint. We’ll keep pushing for all states and territories to raise the age to 14 with no carve outs when we return in 2024. We thank you all for your continued support in making this happen. Because kids don’t belong in prisons.

Bring a little knowledge to your holiday ‘banter’

Indigenous rights has been a hot topic this year. So some interesting conversations may be struck around the table at the various functions you attend over the festive period. (Ready for that conversation with your racist relative who voted ‘No’?) With this in mind, we’ve curated a holiday watch list of First Nations films, so that you can arm yourself with the facts. This way, you’ll be ready to raise awareness and bring people along for the fight to support Indigenous rights in Australia.

Amnesty’s Indigenous Rights team has big plans for 2024. This list of movies will help you prepare to come on this journey with us. Enjoy, and expand your knowledge on the issues that affect First Nations communities. Are you up for this end-of-year film challenge?

Must-Watch List

Incarceration Nation

A story of strength and resistance in the face of racism, oppression and systemic injustice against First Nations peoples on their own land.

This is one of the best explanations of how the different structures within our society interplay and negatively impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It shows how they are fed through the justice system from a young age until they ultimately end up in a cycle of recidivism. An important documentary about one of the key issues for Indigenous rights.

Audrey Napanangka

This is a beautiful film about a Warlpiri and Sicilian family navigating life within the colonial systems in Alice Springs.

Audrey works hard to take her family out on Country and share her cultural knowledge, lore and language. In this way, she helps them to be strong when navigating the colonial world.

This film is brilliant in its depiction of intergenerational trauma, forced child removal and exposure to the justice system. We’re shown how all these factors have impacted the social and emotional health outcomes of one family unit. It inspires viewers to think about how these issues have spanned out and impacted First Nations communities across the country.

Keeping Hope

First Nations actor Mark Coles Smith returns home to the Kimberley. There he tries to discover why the area has some of the highest suicide rates in the world.

This film has a beautiful theme of hopeful resilience. It shows the success of Aboriginal-owned and run youth diversion programs in WA such as Yawardani Jan-ga Kimberley Aboriginal Equine Assisted Learning program.

Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky

This is a great watch in the lead up to Invasion Day! Comedian Steven Oliver takes the audience on a journey from Gadigal Country (Sydney) to Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait). He uses his unique sense of humour to explore Australia’s understanding of Captain “Jimmy” James Cook.

These resources are all available to watch for free on SBS On Demand. Click on the film title to watch.

Learn, Support and Act

Whether you’re in the mood for an insightful comedy, serious documentary or a story of hope, this list has something for everyone!

Amnesty’s Indigenous Rights team is keen to get started on the 2024 campaign, and we’ll need your help! Let’s kick off the new year by standing together to challenge the continued imprisonment of kids and support justice reinvestment.

Here’s to a new year of challenging injustice together through people power!

Rach McPhail, Community Engagement Associate Campaigner, Indigenous Rights Team, Amnesty International Australia