Working with Indigenous Content 0

Working with Indigenous Content


Screen Australia has developed a filmmaker’s guide, Pathways & Protocols, to working with Indigenous people, culture and concepts. It provides advice about the ethical and legal issues involved in transferring Indigenous cultural material to the screen. It covers documentary and drama, including short dramas, feature films and television drama. Using real case studies as practical examples, the guide assists and encourages recognition and respect for the images, knowledge and stories of Indigenous people.

The guide also includes contact details for key organisations such as land councils, Indigenous media associations and broadcasters, industry agencies, Indigenous cultural advisors and script consultants, and permit offices.

Pathways & Protocols can be downloaded from the Screen Australia website.

The City of Sydney has also established protocols for consulting and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  These protocols will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the city’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel and community.

You can download a copy of the Protocols below as a PDF document by clicking HERE.

Indigenous Assessment

If your production or development funding application includes indigenous content but no indigenous key creatives, you will need to include in your application your strategy regarding indigenous consultation and consent. It is our expectation that teams in in this situation will have read and will respect the Indigenous Pathways and Protocols.

If your application includes indigenous content but no indigenous key creatives, and is shortlisted, we may also commission an indigenous assessment, where there is no concurrent indigenous assessment undertaken by Screen Australia.

The Indigenous assessment is made against the following criteria:

1. The appropriateness of Indigenous representation and treatment of Indigenous cultural heritage material in the project materials submitted, including any issues regarding cultural integrity, authenticity, and sensitive or sacred material.

2. The adequacy of any plan for Indigenous consultation and consent, taking into account the stage of the project, and the appropriateness of the resources allocated to it.

3. The adequacy of the team’s action taken to date enacting their plan for consultation and consent, or other action taken by the team to date regarding the indigenous content in their project.

4. Ability of the project to implement any plan for consultation and consent and follow the protocols outlined in Screen Australia’s Pathways and Protocols.

5. The potential of the project to contribute to a rich, diverse, and appropriate representation of Indigenous life in NSW screen culture.