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DOCUMENTARIES

Production   /  Bill Code

The Lake of Scars

In a corner of Australia there is place of astounding beauty, environmental significance and archaeological wonder.

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Impact areas

ENVIRONMENT

INDIGENOUS

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Bill Code

  • PRODUCER Christian Pazzaglia

Synopsis

DURATION: 80 MINUTES

In a corner of Victoria exists a link to an ancient culture. A place of astounding beauty and rare archaeological and environmental significance, it is being degraded on an annual basis. As the clock ticks, an unlikely partnership could see it saved for future generations. The Lake of Scars is as much a portrait of a hidden facet of history and environment as it is a musing on what reconciliation can look like in Australia. While exploring the beautiful, mysterious scarred trees, middens and stone scatters along these wetlands, we meet the people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who are working against the clock, to preserve and promote what they can. With organic relics at its heart, the film examines the preservation of culture and environment as our protagonists fight for scarred trees to be preserved, for middens and stone scatters to be protected and recognised, for environmental flows of water to be allowed into the seasonal lake, and for a ‘keeping place’ to be built.

Support this project

71.52% funded
  • $30,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $21,455.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • 6

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Donations

Jan Lewis-May $100.00
Catherine Reilly $100.00
marielle prick $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Scarlet's Fund $500.00
$20,555.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Scarred Trees and ‘Living Archaeology’
There’s no other film or popular resource dealing with scarred trees (in particular) and middens in this way. This ‘Living archaeology’ is sadly slowly dying, and often unmarked. It will be a call to action to preserve and mark similar scarred tree sites right across the country.

ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
River red gums are an iconic and crucial ‘keystone’ species but they are at risk as river banks are cleared and they fail to get the water they need. They are threatened by the overuse of water for agriculture and the altering of natural flooding occurrences, as well as climate change. Red gum swamps are fantastic carbon sinks, but they're dying already.

CULTURE
We think this film can have impact as a positive story around cultural evolution as well as being a realistic reconciliation story and a great example of non-Indigenous people doing something tangible and working with Indigenous people on the same project with the same goals.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This film will be a call to action to anyone who cares about valuing Australia’s untold histories, of the interconnectedness of culture, environment and history, and a moving blueprint for reconciliation at the local level.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

This film will be a call to action to anyone who cares about valuing Australia’s untold histories, of the interconnectedness of culture, environment and history, and a moving blueprint for reconciliation at the local level.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have in principal impact partnerships with educational outreachers Cool Australia, with indigenous tech firm NGNY, and educational distributors Ronin Films. We have received support from Eucalypt Australia and the Australian Communities Foundation.

As well as working closely with the Yung Balug clan and clan member Ngarra Murray as cultural advisor, we have engaged a quasi archaeology impact producer, Tory Stenning, an archaeologist with with Comber Consultants who specialises in Indigenous heritage and is working in outreach in the film's promotional stages.

We're also working closely with and being advised by Dr Katharine Catelloti, an ecological researcher and river red gum specialist.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

This film will be a call to action to anyone who cares about valuing Australia’s untold histories, of the interconnectedness of culture, environment and history, and a moving blueprint for reconciliation at the local level.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

When the amount of people who have some awareness of scarred trees and local heritage issues has increased, when discussion about the value of wetlands has too, and when the interconnectedness between culture and environment is on the agenda, we'll know we've done our job!

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