The Stingray Sisters is a three-part online documentary series that tells the heartwarming, inspirational story of the beautiful and magnetic Eather girls, Noni, Alice and Grace.
This series provides a timely and telling insight into life in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory. Their humour and shared family madness brings joy, while their struggle to protect and preserve their precious home and culture draws tears.
In a society that often undervalues the experiences of Indigenous people, these saltwater women find strength and joy in their connection to country.
Born to a Kunibídji woman from Maningrida, in Arnhem Land, and a white father from Tasmania, the three Stingray Sisters have always lived in two worlds. Dividing their time between Brisbane and Maningrida, they are uniquely placed to understand two very different perspectives on Australian life.
“I’m grateful for my Aboriginality. I think of how hard it can be for a lot of Indigenous people who have lost their language, their dance, their identity” says Noni.
The sisters are now in their twenties and have decided to base themselves in Maningrida permanently. They are poised to become leaders in their community, following in their mother’s footsteps.
“Alice, Grace and I have taken on responsibility in a lot of areas within the Maningrida community” says Noni. “Not so much through obligation, but because we have a voice in both worlds. It makes it easier for us to be able to express what a lot of people are feeling and thinking”.
In 2016, their leadership in Maningrida has never been more important as Arnhem Land is facing one of its biggest challenges. The current Adam Giles government has further opened the Territory to unconventional forms of mining.
“We are caretakers,” says Alice. “I can’t imagine having oil rigs out there, roads coming in and out. That’s what I don’t want. That’s what mob here don’t want.”
Yarn, a Melbourne-based documentary production company, has produced the three-part series. Financed through crowd-funding and grants, Stingray Sisters has been a labour of love for the founders of Yarn – director Katrina Channells, a childhood friend of the sisters, and producer Bridget O’Shea.