Frank Djara is a Pitjantjatjara man who was born and grew up on his homelands; Areyonga in Central Australia. Today, he is an elder of his community with a debilitating illness, diabetes. Using 21st century technology, he willingly shares his life story. Frank tells of his community childhood, his radical work as an aboriginal men’s STD/AIDS educator, and his own experiences with a serious illness.
Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series 16
Writer/Director - Robyn Nardoo
Producers - Beck Cole / Citt Williams
Language - Pitjantjatjara
Frank Djara's Story
Frank Djara is a Pitjantjatjara man that moved around his country free like a bird. While growing up on his community Frank saw two ways of life, the mainstream way and the cultural way.
Living most of his life on communities, Frank saw that his people were becoming sick in a way they have never previously been. White people were the only ones that were working and looking after his people. As Frank became an elder in his community the people respected him and listened to what he had to say.
Having this respect, he wanted to help the white people and his people to solve the problem that came into his community. Frank started working with the Northern Territory Health by spreading the word about STD’s in his people’s language.
After many of years travelling and teaching the sickness of STDs to his people, Frank became sick with another sickness called Diabetes. Not knowing about diabetes Frank continued everyday life as he knew it.
Diabetes is like a time bomb waiting. Frank now knows what diabetes is able to do to you, if you don’t understand it or look after yourself. Over the last 7 years Frank has been through all the stages of the Diabetes, which resulted in getting both legs amputated from the knee down.
We speak to him about the problem that Aboriginal people have with having the sickness called Diabetes. Because it just doesn’t affect you as a person, it affects your whole family and friends, and also your lifestyle.
DVD available from the Ronin Films.
Imaginative Film Festival – Vancouver 2004
Imparja TV 2003
Queensland Mens Health Conference 2004
Produced 2003 for Imparja Television