Indigenous servicemen and women lecture in Melbourne

Emma Schmidt Oakleigh-Monash Leader 21 April 2010

Richard Frankland
Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Aboriginal filmmaker and activist Richard Frankland will deliver this year's Sir John Monash Community Lecture.

The first Aboriginal director to win an AFI award, Frankland has written, directed and produced more than 50 video, film and documentary projects, and is passionate about educating Australians about Aboriginal history.

He will speak about indigenous servicemen and women during next week's lecture at the Monash Gallery of Art.

Frankland is a Gunditjmara man, raised in south-west Victoria, and worked as a soldier, fisherman and field officer during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

His short film, Harry's War, is about the struggles that his uncle and other indigenous soldiers faced on the Kokoda track in World War II.

Frankland said he believed film was a good medium for education as well as entertainment.

"(You can) inform people, basically it's a good way to get people to open doors and have a look at things they might not have looked at before," Frankland said.

As well as finishing a novel, writing a research paper and making a film, Frankland is also making an album, working on a mini-series, and spends time working with youth.

He encouraged people to see learning about our indigenous culture as exciting, rather than difficult.

"It's not necessarily a tedious task, it's an enjoyable task," Frankland said.

"Shaping the identity of a nation is hard work, but it's rewarding work, and we should be grateful for the opportunity."

The free lecture will be held 6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday, April 28, at the Monash Gallery of Art, Ferntree Gully Rd, Wheelers Hill.
RSVP by this Friday to 9518 3636