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Streaming video

Title Sisters, Pearls And Mission Girls / Director: Batty, David
Published Australia : NITV, 2002
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (56 min. 5 sec.) ; 337634711 bytes
Summary *Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following program may contain images and voices of deceased persons*From the time I was twelve years old I knew I wanted to be a Sister of St John of God and work with lepers and the Aborigines..." Sister Francis Dunne.From the green meadows of Ireland they travelled half a world away to a dry desert by an aquamarine sea. It was 1907 and they were the Sisters of St John of God, a pioneering group of young Irish nuns, and their destination was Broome - pearling boomtown, cultural melting pot and one of Australia's wildest and most infamous outposts.Barely of adult age when they set out on their quest to civilise the "natives" of the North West of Australia, the nuns have now lived and worked amongst the Aboriginal people of the Kimberley for nearly 100 years. Like many 20th century tales, theirs is a story of religious faith, cultural imperialism, commercial exploitation and political incompetence.In 1907, Broome was a wealthy town strictly divided by race and class. At the bottom of the social ladder were the Aborigines who had been described to the Sisters as "naked savages". They had no understanding of these people and even less of this inhospitable and dangerous landscape that would become their home for life.Today, thanks to rare archival footage, re-enactments and contemporary anecdotes, we catch a glimpse of this extraordinary "Wild West" town and these incredible nuns. Part Australian, part Asian, Broome grew prosperous on the pearling industry and indentured labour, suffered natural disasters, the spread of leprosy and the forced removal of Aboriginal children.We meet 85-year-old Sister Francis Dunne (now deceased) who spent her entire adult life in the Kimberley, working as a nurse in Beagle Bay, Balgo and the Derby leprosarium; sprightly Sister Bernadette O'Connor who has just celebrated 60 years as a nun; and Sister Pat Rhatigan, born and bred in the Kimberleys, who has devoted her career to establishing educational institutions and opportunities for Aboriginal students in the region.This one-hour documentary tells an epic story through the eyes of the Sisters - what they encountered, what they achieved and their attempts today to reconcile the part they played in the troubled and complex history of the region. The shared experiences of the Aborigines and the Sisters create a compelling story of loss, determination and survival.PRODUCTION DETAILS: A Rebel Films production. Producer Jeni McMahon, director David Batty, executive producer for ABC TV Brian McKenzie
Event Broadcast 2012-03-18 at 20:30:00
Notes Classification: PG
Subject Catholic Church.
Sisters of St. John of God.
Nuns -- Psychology.
Nuns -- Social conditions.
Aboriginal Australians, Treatment of.
Western Australia -- Kimberley.
Form Streaming video
Author Batty, David, director
McMahon, Jeni, cast