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The Wiradjuri filmmaker making waves in New York City

Emma Ruben -

Manahatta (New York City) is a long way from Wiradjuri Country but that hasn't stopped filmmaker Bronte Gosper from remembering what her identity means to her.

A Monash and an American Australian Association scholar, Gosper landed in New York City to complete an oral history Masters at Columbia University. As part of her masters, she's making a documentary recording the histories of Aboriginal activism in Australia.

The Wiradjuri woman said she wanted to make this documentary after she noticed the lack of stories being told from the point of view of Aboriginal women.

"I wanted to record the histories and stories of Indigenous female activists who've worked to empower their communities, particularly in the years fro1980 to 2005," she said.

"Political and legal structures across Australia have been so hard to penetrate for Indigenous I think these are stories that don't often get as much media attention in Australia.

"But they're really important to tell through the eyes of women who were there and who have gone about making really consistent change for their communities and on a national level."

Gosper's inspiration came from her time as a political intern.

"I interned for the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt a few years ago and produced a report on the issues facing Indigenous women across Australia," she said.

"And I was exposed to a documentary as one of the first things that I was given as research into these issues, and I just saw how much people responded to documentaries as a way of telling stories and as a way of creating change.

"During that project, I just found so much richness and so much diversity across the nation and so much that needed to be told and I wanted to record these stories and note them down before they get lost."

Gosper is currently working on her thesis and the documentary from Manahatta while she finishes her masters.

For her, being so far from home has allowed her to iterate her knowledge of Aboriginality to those in her NYC community.

She said it's been an interesting experience trying to explain Indigenous Australia so far from home.

"There's not a huge amount of knowledge around Indigeneity or the nuances around Indigeneity in the US from what I've seen," she said.

"I've had a lot more teaching moments I suppose and I've been able to share my knowledge of Aboriginality in Australia with a lot more people where they truly know nothing about it.

"So it's made me really have to clarify in my own head, what it is to be Indigenous Australian if that can even be clarified."

Gosper has currently returned to Australia to develop more of her documentary on Country before returning to Manahatta in the new year.


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