My Spirit is Black


My Spirit is Black is a production of the ABC about Matthew Doyle's discovery of his Aboriginality when he was 11. He is a descendant of the Muruwari people from the Lightning Ridge area of NSW and grew up in Southern Sydney on Dharawal land.

This discovery greatly influenced his decision to seek a career with the prestigious Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT) so he could learn more about his heritage. After completing a three year course hre returned to AIDT to become a founding member of their professional company, where he worked on several productions.

In the film we watch Matthew learn the didgeridoo and dance in the early days of NAISDA (National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association). At this time Matthew was the youngest student at NAISDA, alongside the likes of Raymond Blanco, Russell Page, Gary Lang, Jasmin Gulash, Marilyn Miller and Bernadette Walong - all taught by a black American, Carole Johnson.

Mathew now feels that he has gained priceless knowledge of the oldest culture in the world and expresses the hope that more young Aboriginal people will also try to learn more about their own Aboriginality.


Release dates
19 September 1986 - Australia

Matthew went on to become a freelance dancer, didgeridoo player and musical composer (with over 14 commercial CDs to his credit).

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, My Spirit is Black, <>, retrieved 12 May 2021

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