Jarlmadangah – Our dream our reality (2007)

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Situated south of Derby in the West Kimberley Jarlmadangah is a very unique community and is often hailed as ‘a model community’ for many reasons. One is the enterprising nature of two elders, John and Harry Watson.

In October 2007, the members of Jarlmadangah Community celebrated 25 years of a journey of self determination to fulfilment of a dream. 25 Years of building a strong family community based on ideals many communities around Australia have strived for but it seems very much that a recipe of success is in the hands of this community

23 minute documentary
Anwernekenhe Documentary Series 20
Director - Mitch Torres
Languages - Nyikina and Mangala

The community was first formed in 1987. Elders and brothers John and Harry Watson of the Nyikina and Mangala nations were instrumental in the formation of the community. They did so in order to maintain strong families, traditional language, law and culture with the main aim of passing these onto the next generations of younger people of the two nations.

In October 2008, Jarlmadangah hosted the Kimberley Land Council and Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture festival and AGM over a 5 day period to coincide with their own community 25 year celebration. It is on this backdrop that we follow the development through the eyes of our two elder storytellers John and Harry to discover how they have come to where they are today. People from all over the Kimberley travel to Jarlmadangah for this, combining of celebrations with dance, song, hunting, and language at its centre focus for the 5 days.

This story focuses on how Harry and Johnny use their culture to inform people about their strong ties to country, their hopes, dreams and aspirations. The backdrop for the film is the 25 years celebrations with the KLC and KALAA festivities to deliver a documentary that shows strong culture through: dance, art, song, language and business.

Jarlmadangah’s own culture tour: Kimberley Dreamtime Adventure Tours, driven by the best bushman around, Harry, offers fantastic insight into the cultural life of this community by taking visitors into traditional country around Mt Anderson and the Grant Ranges by a combination of Four Wheel Drive and Camel trekking.

Harry helps people to gain a unique insight into the history of the station and community life, we visit exclusive rock-art sites, are amazed by awe inspiring landscape features, try traditional bush foods and medicines, and listen to the stories shared by him and brother John. Harry conducts the tour and provides a commentary provides fascinating details about local geology, land use, and history of his country.

Through the film we are welcomed into a remote indigenous community and have the opportunity gain an insight in to the local way of life pristine and peaceful wilderness escape –where we go well off the beaten track.

Featuring - John and Harry Watson
Director - Mitch Torres
Producers - Liz Warning and Mitch Torres
DOP/Editor - Paul Bell
Sound - Cornel Ozies and Clinton Furstil
Languages - Nyikina and Mangala