Servant or Slave


During the time of the Stolen Generations, thousands upon thousands of Aboriginal girls were taken from their families and pressed into domestic servitude by the Australian government. They were supposedly employed as servants, but with total control over their movements, wages and living conditions, their lives all too frequently became an inescapable cycle of abuse, rape and enslavement, with consequences that echo powerfully to this day.

Recounting the stories of five of these women – Rita, Violet and the three Wenberg sisters – Servant or Slave is a commanding piece of first-person testimony to a dark and unacknowledged corner of Australian history.

Shot with admirable craft and humanity by documentarian Steven McGregor, Servant or Slave is a work of great sadness and urgency, bringing to forceful life the human tragedy of Australia's Aboriginal history in the unadorned words of those who lived it.

Australia’s history of slavery has been laid bare by a powerful documentary.




Valerie Linow - Herself
Adelaide Wenberg - Herself
Rita Wenberg - Herself
Violet West - Herself
Rita Wright - Herself
Cheyenne Cruse - Cootamundra Girl
Shianne Wright - Cootamundra Girl
Dubs Yunupingu - Cootamundra Girl
Release dates
1 August 2016 - Australia
M - Mature
George Papanicolaou

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, Servant or Slave, <>, retrieved 25 July 2024

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