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Owen Hughes, Paul Roberts, Darryl Kickett, Michael O’Rourke and Jan Turner). Image courtesy of Ros Walker.

The Indigenous Communities Stories (ICS) project has celebrated a phenomenal milestone with the 100th story since it’s 2008 inception in production last week.

ICS is the recording of Indigenous Elders from across Western Australia telling the stories of their accomplishments and reflect on their lives and culture, providing a unique opportunity for Indigenous filmmakers and communities to film and archive these remarkable Indigenous persons for the nation to share.

The program has been managed by the Film and Television Institute (FTI) who have ensured that each of the 100 stories got produced, coordinating arrangements in all corners of the State and provided emerging filmmakers with opportunities in factual documentary filmmaking.

Devina McPherson, Screenwest Indigenous Program Manager, has been the ICS Production Manager and then producer for ICS over the last seven years while with FTI.  She recognises the importance the program for the Indigenous community.

“Capturing and celebrating these Elders’ stories and communities before they are lost forever has been so vital.  It has been an honour and privilege to be involved in this program. I’d like to thank all the brave Story Owners who have shared their life stories, personal achievements and community history with the ICS team, and trusted us to capture their stories. I hope that the future generations will continue to capture Indigenous stories on film.”

Yumba Darryl Kickett’s story marked number 100 to go into production with a six-day shoot which took the ICS team down to Roelands in the South West, a mission that once housed around 500 children of the Stolen Generation, but now operates as a place of education and healing.

Kickett, recognised as the National NAIDOC Person of the Year in 2013, is a humble man who through the introduction of Red Dust Healing to Western Australia, is helping others to find their own connection to culture, family, health and respect.

He is a respected Elder who after a personal transformation from poor circumstances where he was racially vilified, is now hands on in community development and facilitating change.  Kickett helps others break the cycle of drugs, alcohol, imprisonment, violence and suicide by healing the spirit.

As with each ICS, there are numerous interviews with others in the community to share in the storytelling, resulting in a dynamic and captivating film.

The story owners retain rights to all the footage recorded and are able to re-purpose their story for educational purposes, broadcast, or other documentary films.

The 100 stories have explored varied facets of Indigenous history and culture including Stolen Generation, art, music, desert and town stories across different languages and locations in Western Australia.

ICS is currently supported by Screenwest, Lotterywest, the Healing Foundation and the Western Australia Museum.

On behalf of all the supporters, Screenwest would like to thank FTI, all the storytellers, participants, ICS managers, producers and crew over the last nine years who have helped deliver the series.

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Posted 09 August

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