First Australians – Die unbekannte Geschichte von Australien

First Australians

Filmvorführung & DiskussionEnglish version below

Das Berlin Aboriginal Solidarität Netzwerk präsentiert die zweite Episode der preisgekrönten australischen Doku-Serie First Australians von Aboriginal Regisseurin Rachel Perkins und anschließend Diskussion: Episode 2 – Ihren Willen zu überleben (Her will to survive)

Es ist ein Mythos, dass alle Ureinwohner Tasmaniens ausgerottet wurden. Es sollte ihre Widerstandsfähigkeit trotz überwältigender Auswirkungen der Kolonialisierung sein, die im Mythos verkörpert ist. Die Kolonalisierung von Tasmanien, erzählt anhand der Geschichte von Truganini. Anschließend Diskussion.


Synopsis: The land grab moves south to Tasmania. In an effort to protect the real estate prices, it is decided to remove the Tasmanian Aboriginal people from the island. The government enlists Englishmen George Augustus Robinson for the job, who is helped by a young Aboriginal woman Truganini.

It is 1830 and European settlement has begun in Tasmania. Narrator Rachel Perkins sets the scene for the resulting inter-racial tension and violence dubbed the Black War, the harsh world Truganini is born into. This clip introduces her personality and her relationship with George Augustus Robinson.

Together they made an unlikely pair who changed the future of Tasmanian Aboriginals. Historian Professor Marcia Langton of the Yiman-Bidjara Nation, writer Bruce Pascoe of Boonwurrung Heritage, Tasmanian Aboriginal Darlene Mansell, and historian Professor Gordon Briscoe of the Maraduntjara Nation provide their historical interpretation of Truganini’s life and motives.


Curator’s notes

by Sophia Sambono

This clip puts into perspective the perhaps questionable actions of Truganini to help George Augustus Robinson. It is so easy to forget the harshness of life in general in the 1800s, let alone what it was like for Aboriginal people in Tasmania. She and her people experienced so much opposition and violence it is certainly understandable that she would do anything she could to try to make a better life, perhaps explaining why she would work with Robinson to take the remaining Aboriginal population to a mission on a remote island in the Bass Strait.

From Truganini’s statement, taken from diary entries – ‘It was the best thing to do, I hoped we would save all my people that are left’ – it is obvious there were not many options left open to her. Despite the official history of Tasmania being hotly debated, the fact remains that the Aboriginal population was decreasing at an extremely rapid rate, regardless of the reasons. Given the circumstances even now it does seem the best course of action; the plan was just poorly executed.

Engl. OF / 50 Min.


10. September 2015, 20.00 Uhr

Wagendorf Lohmühle

Lohmühlenstrasse 17 (Lohmühlenstrasse Ecke Kiefholzstrasse)

Eintritt frei


Mehr Infos auf



Some critiques:

Not easy TV

Recent research shows that more than six out of 10 Australians have had little or no contact with the nation’s first people and that many adamantly have no interest at all.

In that snarled epic tale, First Australians, Perkins and her writers tried to hold fast to the historical record. It was impossible to avoid completely the transposition of present political sensitivities into the narrative. Often this occurred with sadness, though occasionally anger and long-held political enmities cut through. While brilliantly realised, it was not easy TV.


State by state


An epic documentary series charting the history of Indigenous Australians. The historic photographs were striking, the voiceover moving, and the music haunting. The seven-part series is said to be the ‘most ambitious … undertaken on Indigenous Australia’, and aims to chronicle the ‘birth of contemporary Australia’ from an Indigenous perspective. The producers explored this history through the lives of individuals. The series proceeds chronologically with each episode focussing on a particular state, beginning with the arrival of the British in New South Wales, and ending with Eddie Koiki Mabo’s landmark native title win against Queensland. It unveils the lives of exemplary individuals, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, pieced together through archival documents, illustrations, footage, and the interpretations, stories and memories of historians and descendants.


Operating at the highest-level of national film and TV production

First Australians is a landmark production in this new kind of media intervention, bringing ideas of Indigenous history and identity out of the shadows of their formally marginal position of “special interest programming” into the centre of mainstream cross-platform media. Operating at the highest-level of national film and TV productionFirst Australians is the largest documentary series to be undertaken in Australia to date. It employs the latest strategies and techniques in cross-platform media, including an impressive Internet portal, DVD distribution, an accompanying book, and so on. It also represents a historic production collaboration: for the first time ever, Australian federal and state film agencies (Film Australia, Film Finance Corporation, NSW Film and TV Office) came together with a national television service (SBS) and a leading Indigenous film company (Blackfella Films) to produce a major documentary series about Indigenous history made in consultation with featured Indigenous communities.


Address for purchasing the DVD and viewers’ comments. 



Unbelievable - I have changed my view on Aboriginals completely after watching this insightful DVD. I feel quite frustrated having to learn Australian history through a DVD and

The depths of our history revealed - My daughter and I both deeply humbled. A heart-rending chronicle of the Aboriginal nations stretching coast to coast before white settlement, and the devastating impact settlement had. It tells the good and the bad without bitterness, and opens up the barely known secrets of this whole history.

A Must See! - I still can’t get over how none of my friends or family including myself knew very little if not none of what this DVD set sheds light on. FANTASTIC! I wish more people watched this. Can't believe it's taken this long for me to watch it.

Fantastic - a must-see for every Australian - I watched this recently with my husband and we were both shocked to realise we were taught none of this during our Australian school education!! Shameful.

Highly recommended - I purchased the DVD set for use in class with my students. Most of the students I have shown it to so far have been very interested in the content. A large number of the students have asked me questions related to the DVD and about Aboriginal history in general. I am pleased that this valuable resource hasRead More encouraged students to think about the often forgotten part of Australian history.

The first that many Australians knew about their history - This video should be distributed to ALL Australian schools and made a compulsory part of all Australian children’s education as the end part to their much neglected education. It gives me great heart, in a day and age where the past is best forgotten...But the ABC (or whoever) saw fit to put the truth inRead More writing. Again, it should be mandatory education for all Australian children! I am purchasing two copies of this DVD to round out my two children’s full, but partially uninformed education of the truth.
Thank you ABC.




English version


The Berlin Aboriginal Solidarität Netzwerk presents the second episode of the award winning Australian documentary series First Australians from Aboriginal director Rachel Perkins.


Episode 2 – Her will to survive


It is a myth that the First Australians were eradicated in Tasmania. It should be their resilience, in spite of the overwhelming impact of white settlement, which is embodied in myth. The story of Truganini and the colonisation of Tasmania. Discussion after the screening.


English / 50 Min.

10 September 2015, 8 PM

Wagendorf Lohmühle

Lohmühlenstrasse 17 (at the corner of Lohmühlenstrasse and Kiefholzstrasse)

Free admission


More info on 

Yvonne Bangert

Fon: +49 (0)551 499 06 -14

Fax: +49 (0)551 58 028