History and memory in Ngunnawal country, and the making of Jedda

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    In the 1940s and fifties, wealthy woolgrowers in and around the rural southern New South Wales town of Yass gave generously to Charles Chauvel to enable the making of Jedda (1955). These same farmers employed members of the local Ngunnawal community in domestic and rural labour. The issues of segregation, assimilation, child removal and Aboriginal employment that are represented in Jedda resonate in the histories of communities in this region. When the film was released some watched it at a glamorous official opening in Sydney while others attended the local, segregated cinema. This article places oral history accounts of seeing Jedda (at the time of its release) alongside the archive, to explore the nature of the intersections and segregations that shaped relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents of this area. It also explores the complex subject positions articulated in these memories that attempt to come to terms with personal histories of segregation in an era of revisionist histories and reconciliation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-178
    Number of pages14
    JournalStudies in Australasian Cinema
    Issue number2+3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • Assimilation
    • Child removal
    • Cinema segregation
    • Domestic service
    • Jedda
    • Memory
    • Yass


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