His name is David Gulpilil, he is one of the most significant indigenous Elders of our time, and hes been visiting the Northern Rivers, speaking at Southern Cross University as part of Orientation Week and promoting a new film on world peace in which he stars called Think About It.
A legendary actor, accomplished artist and tribal dancer, storyteller and writer, he is the man who has brought to life indigenous culture and language in a way unlike anyone else before him.
His film career has spanned four decades from being plucked from tribal obscurity at 14 to star in the groundbreaking film Walkabout, to starring and co-directing in last years highly acclaimed film, Ten Canoes, at the age of 54.
Along the way he has starred in such diverse films as Rabbit-Proof Fence, Mad Dog Morgan, Crocodile Dundee, Stormboy, The Last Wave, The Tracker and his own life story, One Red Blood.
A reclusive soul who has shunned the media and the limelight for a simple, traditional life with his tribal family, the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land, Uncle David is also involved in launching a new Australia-wide campaign, Australias Living Legends.
His new movie Think About It was filmed and directed by Richard and Wendy Friar of Suffolk Park and is being launched this Saturday in Byron. Mrs Friar says the documentary seeks to spread a global message of peace and through this create positive cultural and social change throughout the world.
She said Australias Living Legends is a related grass roots campaign that she, her husband and Uncle David are launching to enable ordinary Australians to celebrate indigenous culture.
Millions of Australians want to do more to promote healing and to connect with our indigenous people, but they dont know where to start or what would be helpful. This campaign will show people just how easy it is and give practical projects people can support, she said.
Uncle David was welcomed by Elders of the Bundjalung nation shortly after he arrived on the Northern Rivers last week, at a gathering hosted by the Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples at Southern Cross University.
Uncle David said he wanted to help people remember that we are connected to all living things and to each other a connection he feels is slowly being lost.
What is important now is to support the future of our children, to remind them of where they came from, where their ancestors came from, how we are all part of the same stream of life, and how we are all one red blood on this special planet, David said. I want to travel all over Australia until I come back to this same spot at Southern Cross University where I have started, spreading a message of peace and acceptance for everyone, so we can all move forward together and so our children all have a peaceful and happy future to look forward to.
The world-first screening of Think About It is on this Saturday, February 24, at the Byron Community Centre. Theres live indigenous entertainment from 6pm, with the film screening at 7pm. The films directors will be asking the audience for their feedback and advice before the final cut is made for national release. Tickets are $25 and can be booked on 6685 5659. For more information phone Richard Friar on 0405 719 555.
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