Occupation: Native


The Aboriginal story is often buried deep beneath the accepted 247-year Australian historical narrative. It’s not that the Australian story is wrong, it’s just that it’s a wee bit one-sided. Aboriginal filmmaker Trisha Morton-Thomas, bites back at Australian history in this inspired satire.

All was well in Aboriginal Australia. People thrived and life was good, people were happy, and then … all hell broke loose.

Captain James Cook, a hero to most Australians but a thief to Aboriginal people, stole the continent with a British flag. Of course, the Aboriginal people had no idea what Cook was up to. They continued on with their lives, blissfully unaware that their 80,000 year kinship with their lands was about to be tested beyond their worst nightmares.

Aboriginal people fought back against white domination, but numbers and guns were against them. In a long, ugly war, brave men, women and children died in defence of their country, yet the European narrative buried their heroic stand and failed to mention their names and deeds.

And yet the voices of Black Australia would not be quieted. Their spirit and resilience became a contemporary political issue, and the concept of reconciliation became an ideological mantra. Achieving that goal became a political football for decades, and is still getting a good kick around the park today.

Director Morton-Thomas says about Occupation: Native:

"With Occupation: Native I wanted to take that white Australia psyche and bitch slap it with 80,000 years of Aboriginal occupation and the enormous contribution my mob have made to the building of Australia; but good ways. It was important to do it without blame.

"White Australia most definitely has a black history but shovelling guilt at a people who have no control over the actions of their forefathers is counter-productive to fostering good relations. Humour and satire, on the other hand, open people’s minds and allows for a safe reflection on a dark, often cruel aspect, of Australian history."



Trisha Morton-Thomas
Steven Oliver
Ian Meadows
Justin Smith
Jeremy Ambrum
Release dates
2017 - Australia
PG - Parental guidance
Ronin Films
Caitlin Yeo

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, Occupation: Native, <>, retrieved 20 July 2024

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