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Michael Liddle


Michael Liddle is an Alyawarre man, and currently a Youth and Social Worker in Alice Springs. In the early 1990s he worked for CAAMA as a camera operator and editor on Nganampa Anwernekenhe. He lived on his families’ outstation at Hatches Creek for 3 years, and then was employed at Utopia by the Central Land Council for 7 years.

As a current member of the Central Land Council he has gained invaluable experience on the importance of Aboriginal health, and the importance of maintaining and relearning identity. He works for Desert Knowledge Australia as a project manager & as a part of his role he delivers the ‘Codes 4 Life’ Workshops. These workshops are for aboriginal men and provided a safe and culturally appropriate space to share and receive advice from other aboriginal men about a large range of issues that affect them.

Michael was interviewed at CAAMA in Alice Springs by Nicolas Lee, and Tony Dowmunt in London (via Skype)

“Have we got the energy to keep on going with our identity?” (Interview with full transcript and notes)

00:11 Working on Nganampa – and after

"I'd grown up in an Aboriginal family…"

02:47 The importance of Nganampa

"Nganampa…was a great tool…"

04:30 His current work: Codes 4 Life

"…our whole purpose… is to reset the identity button…"

05:58 Imparja and the importance of education

"The technology to broadcast language, stories and lifestyles is just the best."

08:04 The Intervention

"We needed an intervention, of some sort."

10:07 The Outstations issue

"We have homelands, outstations, and there's a need for them."

11:33 Will traditional culture survive?

"Fifty years is just like that…"

Michael was working at CAAMA when the programme was made, as camera operator and editor on the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series.

You might go out on a Nganampa shoot that’s been pre-planned about 3 weeks before that, and you front up and you find out that someone’s passed away. So you have to leave the community, can’t go out there because they’re having sorry business. And then another time you might go out there and they’re having ceremony, initiation ceremonies where the young fellas go and get initiated into men. So you can’t, women can’t go there, blokes can’t, if you’re not initiated men you can’t go in there…