The book & award-winning TV series
Perkins, R. & Langton, M. (eds.) (2010) First Australians Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press
'First Australians is the dramatic story of the collision of two worlds that created contemporary Australia. Told from the perspective of Australia's first people, it vividly brings to life the events that unfolded when the oldest living culture in the world was overrun by the world's greatest empire.
Seven of Australia's leading historians reveal the true stories of individuals-both black and white-caught in an epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in Australia's most transformative period of history.
Their story begins in 1788 in Warrane, now known as Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishman, Governor Phillip, and the kidnapped warrior Bennelong. It ends in 1992 with Koiki Mabo's legal challenge to the foundation of Australia.
By illuminating a handful of extraordinary lives spanning two centuries, First Australians reveals, through their eyes, the events that shaped a new nation.'
Rachel Perkins' Aboriginal heritage (Arrernte/Kalkadoon) has informed her entire filmmaking career. She founded Australia’s premier Indigenous production company Blackfella Films in 1992, and has contributed extensively to the development of Indigenous filmmakers in Australia and, more broadly, to the Australian film and television industry. Rachel has directed four feature films, the telemovie Mabo, and three episodes of the landmark ABC television drama series Redfern Now.
Marcia Langton is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements and engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture and art. As further recognition as one of Australia's most respected Indigenous Academics, in 2017 Professor Marcia Langton is appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne.
'First Australians chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia as never told before, from the perspective of its first people. First Australians explores what unfolds when the oldest living culture in the world is overrun by the world's greatest empire. Over seven episodes this documentary depicts the true stories of individuals - both black and white - caught in an epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in the most transformative period of Australia's history.
The story begins in 1788 in Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishman (Governor Phillip) and a warrior (Bennelong), and ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo's legal challenge to the foundation of Australia. First Australians chronicles the collision of two worlds and the genesis of a new nation.'
First Australians is a 7 Episode Documentary Series (2008), directed by Beck Cole and Rachel Perkins, and produced by Blackfella Films, for SBS.