Final week to see Unfinished Business

The statement ‘without stories there is silence’ powerfully captures the essence of this exhibition.

Unfinished Business brings to focus the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are affected by disability through photographs by Belinda Mason and film by Knierim Brothers.

Historically the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples, and the voices of people with disability have been misrepresented, silenced or excluded from documentary histories.

The images and words of this exhibition convey the reality of lives affected by the ongoing historical, social and political impacts of colonialism. The stories represented in the exhibition are not sugar coated. They are raw and honest, attesting to the strength, resilience and power of all participants, and all people with experiences of disability.

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Yamatji man, Marlon Noble with his photograph titled ‘Noble Cause’, Unfinished Business exhibition launch, State Library of Western Australia 12 May 2016.

Photography is a creative expression which is capable of commanding the viewer’s attention. Each photograph has power to open the eyes of the audience, conveying personal stories in an autobiographical way. We have seen this in action, where visitors stop, take time to experience and are visibly moved by the images.

Accessibility is a the core of this exhibition. The Open Access Tours app provides access to additional audio and video material.

Unfinished Business closes 3 June 2016. For more information visit the State Library website.

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Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival, 2009

6th & 7th October 2009 – Cinema Paradiso, Perth
Free Admission

One of Australia’s most popular film festivals invites you to view the world through the eyes of Australian Indigenous filmmakers.

Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival 2009, presented by the Australian Film Commission and Black Screen, is curated by renowned Indigenous filmmakers Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale. Showcasing the talents of Indigenous Australians in the film industry, the films tell the stories of Aboriginal life and experiences, reflecting traditional cultures, the affinity with the land, and the love and the struggles from the past to the present as they intimately share their worlds, their stories, and their humour.

Message Sticks is currently touring nationally and will be screening in WA in October on the following dates:

6 & 7 October, 2009 – Cinema Paradiso, Perth
19 & 20 October, 2009 – Orana Cinema, Geraldton

This is a free event. For film screenings and session times contact the venues or visit to download a program.

If this gives you an apetite for Indigenous films, be sure to have a look at the many Western Australian Indigenous films in the State Library’s collections. These are a wonderful way to learn more about Aboriginal culture and to celebrate these unique stories. You can find films through our online catalogue. Enjoy!

NAIDOC Week, 5-12th July 2009

Every year, NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia to commemorate the history and celebrate the culture and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australians from all works of life are invited to celebrate and continue to take steps towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

What does NAIDOC mean?
NAIDOC originally stood for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. This acronym has gone on to become the name of the week itself. To learn more about the history of NAIDOC Week visit

The theme for 2009 is Honouring Our Elders, Nurturing Our Youth. The theme encourages communities to acknowledge the status of our Elders as leaders and role models for our youth.

Wherever you live, you can take part in NAIDOC celebrations
There will be an official opening ceremony on Sunday 5th July in Wellington Square in East Perth from 12pm to 4pm. To find out what else is happening in your area and how to get involved, visit

The State Library of Western Australia will also be running free tours of the Western Australian Indigenous collections in the Battye Library throughout NAIDOC week from Monday 6th July to Friday 10th July 2009. Bookings are essential – to reserve your place contact us on 9427 3111.

If you can’t make it into the library, why not take a virtual tour of our digitised photographs through the State Library’s catalogue or at Picture Australia.

The State Library of Western Australia also offers specialised guided tours, educational programs and events to support our Indigenous information resources and we welcome your feedback and advice in regards to our Indigenous collections, services and programs. Contact for more information.

Nyungar culture website

The Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association has created a website you can look at which provides information about aboriginal activities and culture in Western Australia.

Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association is an Australian Indigenous Organisation, made up of members of the Nyungar people who are the traditional, recognised people of the south west of Western Australia.

The Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association is named after William Thomas Bennell, whose Nyungar name was Yelakitj – “Man of Good Hearing”. Yelakitj was the story teller – he was the minder of the Nyungar story. His stories are recorded in oral history (available in the State Library of Western Australia), video and book.

PM Apology to the Stolen Generations State Library Capture

The State Library of Western Australia seeks to play a key role in collecting, preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of all Western Australians. Here is a link to our Strategic Directions document should you wish to read more about this.

The Prime Minister’s apology to the stolen generations is a major historical moment and a hoped for turning point for Indigenous communities. The State Library of Western Australia is keen to capture this historic moment in our collections to ensure its memory is preserved for future generations.

We would love to have your help and support in helping to capture this moment, so would please let us know of any materials you have that can be added to such a collection.  The types of things we are looking for are:

  • Ephemera from the day – flyers, email notices, program run down and campaign action materials
  • Personal photos and audio visual images collected on the day
  • Personal accounts of gatherings on the day, the significance of the day and hopes from it
  • Media clips and alerts about the day and commentary about it
  • Websites, blogs and other forums of online communication that refer to the apology

In the positive spirit of reconciliation we look forward to your help in our efforts to record the significance of this day for all Australians.

For more information please email our Specialist on indigenous subjects.