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Development   /  James Brough

The Last Song: The Number Two Story

The Pilbara lore man known as “Number Two”, recounts his life as a cultural singer, stockman and leader in the community


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR James Brough

  • PRODUCER Mal Brough



Stephen Stewart known throughout the Pilbara region of Western Australia as Number Two is the head lore man and senior Elder of the Ngarla traditional owner group.

We follow his life from his birth on Pardoo station at the end of the first world war, he describes early life living on the station with songs retelling the events of hardships and massacres of indigenous people living on stations across the Pilbara.

His life dedicated to culture is entwined with incredible moments in Australian history. Enlisted and relocated to Broome during World War 2 to fight alongside other young indigenous man, a decorated jockey and top stockman across Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Number Two’s cultural knowledge has been the cornerstone for many Pilbara language groups to reinstate their lost culture through Number Two’s re-education of stories and songs which he shares back to the group’s younger generations.

He is the last remaining cultural singer of the Pilbara region, a vault of knowledge for the entire region as he sings of the cultural boundaries, the hunting and dancing grounds. He sings to the snake and the spirits as he keeps his country and people safe.

Support this project

6.67% funded
  • $300,000.00

  • $20,020.00

  • February 2021

  • 2

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Anonymous $20.00
Terry McMahon $20,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The last song will be a realistic reflection of what life has been like for an indigenous man living in Australia for the last hundred years. The film will capture and preserve the aboriginal song lines and stories that would be lost with the passing of Number 2. In doing this it will hopefully assist young indigenous men to re-engage with their traditions and respect for the culture.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The film aims to be both a resource for indigenous youth with a strong role model for leadership and family values within the community. It also is directed and focused heavily with a mission to raise awareness, understanding and respect for indigenous culture and history.


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

A greater understanding for every Australian of what life has been like for an indigenous man, the challenges faced, the opportunities given, the achievements and the unwavering dedications to family culture. In a time we find ourselves feeling more isolated and more indifferent to others, this film would hope to open the audiences eyes to the similarities in values and life that our indigenous Australian's share with wider public.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The film aims to open the average viewers eyes to a largely ignored or outspoken way of life for much of indigenous Australia. It highlights the differences and challenges of continuing to live with strong cultural morals through times of repression, the film hopes to achieve a common ground for the viewer so they can relate to much of the same parallels whilst still appreciating the difference and the adversities an Aboriginal man has faced for a century.


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


Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

I hope it just improves awareness and begins to help curb the views of many Australians to what life has been like and is like for indigenous Australians.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

A huge indicator for success would be to see other films and opportunities to create more films on senior or unique indigenous Australians who currently don't have a voice to share their knowledge and their experiences with the wider public. It would go along way to start curbing the general publics perception of life for indigenous Australia. It may be the start to better inform the wider Australian communities conversations on indigenous issues and to change the national narrative on media coverage of indigenous issues.