Brewarrina Fish Traps Documentary

A meeting was held at the NSW Department of Education offices with members from Aboriginal Education, Technology department and Information and Online Services to brief Audience Productions on all the various elements for this project. This project was a collaboration between the Aboriginal Education department and the Technology department, so it was important that both their requirements were represented during the shoot and in the final product. The idea was to highlight primary students being taught to use a 360-degree camera at an Aboriginal cultural heritage site. It was important to cover the technological aspects as well as the site. As we were travelling to an Aboriginal community in Brewarrina, we were also briefed on cultural specifics in order to respect social practices.
Branyi Bayann Niiringal (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow)

Ancient and Future Filmed

The shoot would include interviews with the students, teachers and Aboriginal elders, and cover classroom activities, boardroom meetings, activities at the Brewarrina Fish Traps, Aboriginal sites and the town. This meant working out the best equipment to capture all the different elements to best tell this story. We recognised a drone would be important to show the distance between the school and the cultural location. The drone would also show the Brewarrina Fish Traps in an interesting and dynamic way and capture the students and teachers using the technology at the location as well.

Multiple cameras would be needed for the interviews to allow us more editing freedom as well as to capture students in class learning about the technology and on location for their practical aspect of using the technology at the Aboriginal heritage site.

Co-ordinating travel to a remote area with all our film equipment was the next step in the process. We needed a vehicle appropriate for outback conditions, which would fit all our filming equipment and personal luggage. We had to book local accommodation for four days that was close to the shooting location as well as flights in and out of the closest airport. Organising excess baggage was also necessary as some film equipment is oversized and overweight for the smaller aircraft that travel to Dubbo.

Once on location, we introduced ourselves to the teachers and students so they would feel comfortable with us filming on their school grounds.

We documented each section in the process chronologically as this made the most sense to show the students learning about the technology in class, then applying that theory and know-how in the outside world, at the Fish Traps.

The interviews were conducted after the activities to gain the best insight into the experiences of the students, the teachers and the Aboriginal elders.

"The Project aimed to improve students’ understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal cultures and practices and guides students and teachers through the process of answering the question – How can we use technology to respectfully and authentically share Aboriginal sites of significance with the wider community? During all of these challenges Audience Productions willingly managed all challenges in a professional manner by being flexible in accommodating the needs required from us. Also none of us had seen the sites to be filmed - Audience Productions went above and beyond expectations to assist in sourcing out suitable material to film and places to film at. Ashleigh Hanley and his team were extremely friendly and supportive in all suggestions given to them. The video was above and beyond my expectations, showcasing the project, and the aim of the project was evident from the start to the finish of the completed video.”
Vicki Bowen
Aboriginal Education and Wellbeing Officer
Aboriginal Education and Communities Directorate