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25 years of Indigenous screen stories

Indigenous screen industry veterans and emerging artists came together on Thursday 30 August at Carriageworks, Redfern to celebrate 25 years of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department.

Warwick Thornton, Leah Purcell, Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Tasia Zalar, Ivan Sen, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell, Rachel Perkins, Meyne Wyatt, Rarriwuy Hick, Uncle Jack Charles, Megan Wilding, Elaine Crombie and Dylan River, Head of the Indigenous Department Penny Smallacombe, and former Heads of the Department including Wal Saunders, Sally Riley, and Erica Glynn were among those on hand to mark the anniversary.

Speaking at the media call in the morning, actor Shari Sebbens said, "Today is a lovely reminder that we are not a phase, we are not a fad, we are not a niche market. We are here in every community in every way and we're not going anywhere."

While Camera d'Or-winning director Warwick Thornton added, "I've been given everything that I've ever needed to actually survive as an Aboriginal person through the Indigenous Department because I've needed to tell stories."

Warwick's son and accomplished filmmaker in his own right, Dylan River, was the last speaker at the event that night, finishing up proceedings with these words, "We'll know the job's done when First Nations stories are truly central to the stories that the Australian nation tells about itself."