Movies

How The West Was Lost

Synopsis

On 1 May 1946, 800 Aboriginal station workers walked off sheep stations in the north-west of Western Australia, marking the beginning of a carefully organised strike that was to last for at least three years, but never officially ended.

The strike was more than a demand for better wages and conditions. It was, in the words of Keith Connolly in the Melbourne Herald, 'a well- considered statement by a grievously exploited people, standing up for their rights and dignity'.

In late 1942, a secret congress was organised by Pilbara Elders Dooley Bin Bin and Clancy McKenna, with many of the tribes in Western Australia attending - over a dozen interpreters were present to deal with 23 languages. The meeting, which lasted six weeks, was also attended by a long-time supporter of the desert people, prospector Don McLeod. The congress decided to organise a strike in the Pilbara region in order to demand better wages and conditions, and to draw attention to the treatment generally of Aboriginal people in Western Australia.

A fascinating but rarely mentioned episode in Australian history.

— The Age newspaper

Details

Release dates
1987 - Australia
Rating
G - general
Notes

Dialogues are in Njangamarda, Wanmun, Injibandi and English dialogue, English subtitles

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, How The West Was Lost, <https://creativespirits.info/resources/movies/how-the-west-was-lost>, retrieved 25 October 2020

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