In honour of NAIDOC Week 2020 the Brisbane campus of SAE Institute is hosting a free screening of award-winning documentary, Zach’s Ceremony.

A critically acclaimed feature documentary, Zach’s Ceremony will also be freely available online on Thursday.

Exploring concepts of manhood, the documentary follows its subject Zachariah Doomadgee as he walks in two worlds: contemporary and ancient.

Thursday’s screening will also see a Q&A session with Zach’s Ceremony Director Alec Doomadgee and Impact Producer Barbara Taylor.

A storyteller and activist, Doomadgee is a proud Waanyi, Garawa and Gangalidda man from Doomadgee in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

He said Zach’s Ceremony confronts big issues.

“I just knew that this story had to be told. Lateral violence, the Treaty conversations, the racism conversation, when I was in the middle of it all, I wasn’t picking and choosing what topic to address—all these topics were hitting me every day,” he said.

“Even after Zach went through Ceremony, he didn’t come out the other end as Superman or as Ghandi with all the solutions to problems. He just became a young man that has the opportunity to make a life for himself.”

Zach’s Ceremony shows the love and power of culture.

“Doomadgee has had a bad history of culture trying to be stamped out by missionaries it was important for me to speak about the truth behind our mob’s struggle and also to show that there is good in our culture,” he said.

When asked about a scene that hits home for him, Doomadgee spoke about Zach and Aunty Jenny Munro sharing Ceremony at the sovereign tent embassy in Redfern.

“To me, culture is a living, breathing thing. It is adapting to the world around it, and when he gets that Ceremony happen there with Aunty Jenny, it is as important and as strong and as real as what happens to him out bush,” he said.

“Our culture, our lore, our Ceremony is a living, breathing thing and it adapts to the society, the concrete, the houses—whatever is around it.”

“You can never ever disconnect from it; all you have to do is stamp that ground and sing that song and it’s up and running.”

SAE General Manager Matt Evans spoke of his excitement for the screening.

“We’re not only honoured to host the screening of Zach’s Ceremony, an important film that highlights a powerful message during NAIDOC Week, but also to welcome back one of our alumni,” he said.

“We’re incredibly proud of Barbara’s achievements and are looking forward to welcoming her and Alec to campus as they share this inspiring piece of work with current students and the broader community.”

Zach’s Ceremony is scheduled to show at the Brisbane SAE Campus on Thursday from 2pm – 4pm.

For tickets, visit: https://www.eventbrite.de/e/zachs-ceremony-tickets-126916607991.

By Rachael Knowles