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In the heart of Western Australia, the Burrup Peninsula hosts the largest concentration of rock art in the world; a dramatic, ancient landscape so sacred that some parts shouldn’t be looked upon at all except by Traditional Owners. Waves of industrialization and development threaten sites all over the Pilbara. The Burrup has become home to salt mines, iron ore port facilities and one of Australia’s largest gas plants. But the people of the Pilbara, forever connected to their country, forever responsible, are fighting back. Documenting the rock art, recording their sacred sites and battling to get their unique cultural heritage recorded, recognized and celebrated.

Watch the trailer

Production Information

Writer & Director

Tyson Mowarin


Robin Marais

Executive Producers

John Moore

Key Cast

Tyson Mowarin

Reg Sambo

Frank Smith

Ricky Smith

Jean Churnside

Patrick Churnside


Torstein Dyrting

Key Locations


Location Sound

Glenn Martin


Cris Broadhurst

Lindi Harrison

Executive Producers

John Moore

The importance of Burrup Peninsula

“When we first started working on the documentary, first time, I felt ‘I had better not do this’”

“I felt shame. But its not shame, its good to do it because you are leaving it for your people, your stories. I got used to it because I liked it and I though ‘don’t be ashamed’ you there putting it to your people, talking about land and whatever stories. I had my people in mind when I was talking.”

– Frank Smith, Key Subject

Photo credit Robyn Marais
Frank Smith, Ricky Smith, and Tyson after the interview near Ngurrawaana community, Millstream National Park
Photo credit Glenn Martin
Robyn Marais getting sprayed by some local children

Always was, always will be

“Connection to Country is a kind of justice film”

“and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the issue to the extent i could be. Personally, I’m also the beneficiary of the unstinting support of NITV, and our production is also much obliged to our other financers, Screen Australia, Screenwest and Lotterywest, ABC Commercial and Tindale Rd Investments.

– Robyn Marais, Producer

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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.