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Top 10 things to know

  1. All land in Australia is First Nations land.
  2. When working in Australia, filmmakers need to understand and respect that Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples are the traditional owners of the land. They have been connected to and caring for the land for over 60,000 years.
  3. First Nations peoples have cultural responsibilities and rights in relation to the land of which they are the traditional owners. This knowledge becomes critical for filmmakers who wish to film in Western Australia, particularly in regional or remote areas.
  4. There are hundreds of different Aboriginal groups within Australia, each with their own distinctive language, customs and lore.
  5. Establishing who the local traditional owners are prior to filming and creating a working relationship with them, will assist greatly in knowing what areas are sacred and what the appropriate protocols are for access or filming.
  6. “No stories about us, without us.”
  7. If your project contains First Nations content, concepts or cultural elements, it is absolutely essential that you have First Nations filmmakers or consultants on your team. If you don’t, are you the right person to be telling this story?
  8. You should identify Indigenous elements as early as possible to ensure you implement the correct filmmaking protocols throughout the life of your project.
  9. If you are filming on First Nations lands controlled by the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) or vested in the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority (AAPA), you will need to obtain a permit through the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.
  10. Screenwest requires that all funding applicants comply with protocols related to the treatment of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights (ICIP), which refers to the rights that Indigenous people have to protect their traditional arts and culture.

For more information on First Nations Content, People, Consultation, Consent, Collaboration, Location Permits and more, see the below which contains helpful links and resources.

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Acknowledgement of Country



We acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which the Screenwest office is located.


Screenwest acknowledges and pays respect to all Traditional Owners of Country across the State of Western Australia and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, spiritual beliefs and relationship to land and waters and acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the people living today. We extend this respect to all Indigenous language groups.