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8 July 2014, 9pm The Secret Country shown on NITV

or click: here

Tuesday 8 July at 9pm
The Secret Country: The secret history of Australia is a historical conspiracy of silence.


Amnesty NSW and the Demand Dignity Network held a free screening of

John Pilger’s seminal documentary

The Secret Country -
The First Australians Fight Back

at the Amnesty International NSW Action Centre,

on Monday, 8 April 2013

Special Guest Speaker:

Sue Gillett, Bankstown Aboriginal Activist & STICS member

Sue Gillett at a screening of "The Secret Country" on Vimeo.



A special message from John Pilger as read out at the screening: please click here

A comparison of statistics mentioned in the doco: please click here

For the flyer: please click here

Reportback by Therese Mortensen, Amnesty International Australia: No more secrets
23 Apr 13: "On Monday 8 April, over 40 people joined us at the NSW Action Centre for a screening of the second film in our Meaningful Movies series, The Secret Country- the First Australians Fight Back. The documentary, by veteran journalist John Pilger, examines the shameful history of the persecution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia, and caused a stir when first released in 1985. ... I was a little worried that a 28-year-old film wouldn't inspire interest or be at all relevant for an audience interested in current human rights issues. It quickly became clear however, that I was wrong."


Further information about the Secret Country:

The Stringer - From Secret Country to Forgotten Peoples - 19 March 2013
...In 1983 world-renowned investigative journalist and documentary maker John Pilger produced ‘The Secret Country.’ In 1985 he said, “The secret history of Australia is a historical conspiracy of silence. Written history has long applied selectivity to what it records, largely ignoring the shameful way that the Aborigines were, and continue to be, treated.” In 2013 we do not continue to have a Secret Country as much as we have Forgotten Peoples. This is not an imputation as much as it is an indictment of our Governments. ...

The video:

The Secret Country: The First Australians Fight Back
Vimeo 1985.

Watch the full documentary:
please click here

The book:

A Secret Country - John Pilger - 1989


Front jacket photographs: "Sunbaker", 1937, Max Dupain, "Aboriginal Behind Bars", Peter Rae/John Fairfax group

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Expatriate journalist and film-maker John Pilger writes about his homeland with life-long affection and a passionately critical eye. In A SECRET COUNTRY he pays tribute to a little known Australia and tells a story of high political drama."

"Pilger is first-rate dissident journalist. tenaciously researched, fiercely argued, both unsparing and patriotic, A SECRET COUNTRY presents a harsh narrative of class, race and power; of the oppression and resistance, the betrayal and amnesia, that lie behind the sunny illusions of the Australian self-image." - Robert Hughes
"A moving account of the abuse of human rights in Australia, all the more valuable because it is written by an Australian writer." - Graham Greene ...

RN Late Night Live - A Secret Country 20 years On - 21 April 2010
To download the audio: please click here
A Secret Country, John Pilger's 'countering' history of Australia, has been in continuous print since it was first published 20 years ago. He talks about what has and hasn't changed about Australia since then. - Australia: The Secret Country - By John Pilger - 28 November 2009
... The previous, openly racist government’s “intervention” into Aboriginal lands in the Northern Territory is being consolidated. In 2007, on the pretext that Aboriginal children were being sexually abused in “unthinkable numbers”, the government of John Howard suspended the Racial Discrimination Act and sent the army and “business managers” to take over black communities.
Within a year, barely reported statistics revealed how bogus it all was. Out of 7433 Aboriginal children examined by doctors, a maximum of four possible cases of sexual abuse were identified. The Australian Crimes Commission found no evidence of paedophile rings. What they found they already knew: poverty and sickness on the scale of Africa and India. ...
The Indigenous affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, has decreed that unless certain communities hand over their precious freehold leases they will be denied basic services. The Northern Territory contains abundant mineral wealth, such as uranium, and has long been eyed by multinationals as a lucrative radioactive waste dump. ...
... the rate of incarceration of black Australians is five times that of South Africa during the last years of apartheid. The state of Western Australia imprisons Aboriginal men at eight times the apartheid figure, an Aussie world record.
On 16 November, a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy appeared in court charged with receiving a Freddo Frog chocolate bar from a friend who had allegedly taken it from a supermarket. The supermarket did not seek prosecution. Only the international headlines forced the police to drop the case. Two thirds of Aboriginal children who have contact with the police are jailed; two thirds of white children are cautioned. A young Aboriginal man was jailed for a year for stealing £12 worth of biscuits and soft drink. ...
While I have been in Australia, Irene Khan, Amnesty’s secretary general, an experienced witness of poverty and discrimination, has been travelling through the vast outback region known as Utopia. The roads are dirt; water trickles from a single standpipe in many communities. She saw children, their eyes streaming and coughs hacking. She met Elsie, who sleeps on a mattress in the desert, yet pays rent to the government. Shocking, she says.
There is currently a liberal clarion call in Australia for a Bill of Rights, and the republican movement is stirring again. These debates are meaningless until white Australia summons the moral and political imagination to offer its first people a genuine treaty, as well as universal land rights and a proper share of the country’s resources. And respect. Only then will this fortunate society earn the respect it so often craves by other means. or

A Secret Country: The Hidden Australia - by John Pilger
This study takes the reader beyond the euphemistic and romantic popular misconceptions of Australia to reveal the often invisible past and the present subterfuge of the country. The author recognizes that since its very beginning the history of white Australia has been shrouded in secrecy and silence. ... After the bicentennial "Celebration of a Nation" the racial and political tragedy of the Aboriginal people, from whom Australia was taken violently 200 years ago, continues. ...