Living Country (2005)

Purchase this title online here.

This is the story of the campaign by Aboriginal people of Central Australia to protect land, animals and dreaming stories at two proposed uranium dump sites. Both proposed sites have aboriginal communities living within 10km of the sites (one is 40km from Alice Springs – one is 100 km).

The film focuses on the Aboriginal people living traditionally on the lands ear-marked for dumping sites.

How do they feel about their homelands becoming a “dump”?

What do they understand about the plans to store uranium?

What do they know about uranium?

And, most importantly, how will this affect their lives, their lands, and the generations to follow?

22-minute documentary
Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series 17
Written and Directed by David Tranter
Languages: English, Arrente.

Steve McCormack (Anmatyerre, Luritja, Western Arrente) lives 5km from Hamilton Downs Youth Camp, towards Alice Springs. The Pearce family lives at the corner of the Stuart and Tanami Highways. Both families live on their homelands surrounding the first proposed uranium storage site 40kms outside of Alice Springs.

At the second proposed site, Alcoota, we’ll talk with the young, up-and-coming leader of the area Jessie (Alyawarre and Eastern Arrente) and his family. Alcoota contains many sacred sites and dreaming stories that travel from north of Utopia and are shared amongst various cultural groups. It’s a place with very complex networks of relationships with surrounding nations; any uranium depositing on this site affects many other people as well as those living directly on the dumping ground.

This film promotes language and culture to show the audience that the land is not ‘useless’ or barren wasteland. We see that the land sustains families; the land feeds and heals. Traditional bush tucker has fed generations, the beautiful landscape supplies medicines, and these traditional homelands hold ceremonial rights, dreaming stories and sacred sites. These lands are homes, not dumps.

DVD available from Ronin Films.

Further clips and teachers notes are available from Australian Screen. If you intend to use this film in the classroom please purchase an educational copy from Ronin Films.

Living Country Press Kit

About The Making of the Film

The making of LIVING COUNTRY was instigated at the request of the Traditional owners of the land where the federal Government had proposed for its Nuclear Dump Facility.

Although at the time of shooting the documentary, there were protests and rallies calling for the Federal Government to withdraw any plans to dump nuclear waste in the Northern Territory, the film’s director, David Tranter decided to focus this documentary on the people and environment that would be directly affected by the dump sites.

What evolved is a breathtakingly beautiful film about ancient traditions and their links to land preservation.



Alison Anderson MLA, Herbert Bloomfield, Donald Mallard, Steve McCormack, Gloria Malbunka, Kenny Tilmouth, Dave Sweeney (Australian Conservation Foundation), Allcoota Community and Were-athere Community.

Writer/Director - David Tranter
Producer - Jacqui North
Cinematographer - Allan Collins ACS
Sound recordist - David Tranter
Editor - Dena Curtis
Music By - Warren Williams

The Nganampa Anwernekenhe Documentary series is produced by CAAMA for Imparja Television