Damon Gameau’s latest documentary, Regenerating Australia, has captured the perceptive First Nations voice of Anaiwan academic and entrepreneur Rose Lovelock, an alumnus of Settlement Services International’s (SSI) Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative.
Ms Lovelock is the Director of the Armidale and Regional Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place and has conducted research programs and presented throughout Australia on Aboriginal history and contemporary issues facing Aboriginal communities.
She has worked to build relationships between communities by improving access and participation for the wider community to the many forms of Aboriginal arts and ceremonies presented through the Centre.
Over the course of four months, Ms Lovelock was interviewed for Regenerating Australia, which follows on from Mr Gameau’s previous work, 2040. The film is set on New Year’s Eve 2029, and takes the form of a news bulletin looking back at the decade ‘that could be’.
Themes explored include a green economy, vibrant communities, transport, renewable energy, and the impacts on landscapes from programs utilising First Nations knowledge.
Ms Lovelock reflected on the latter theme when interviewed recently as part of the launch of SSI’s own Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“We’d had to maintain the land in a sensible state for millennia,” Ms Lovelock said.
“My dream for the future is to be a substantial leader for others, and to have an opportunity to talk about cultural knowledge, and inform people in a really respectful way to achieve better outcomes for our communities, for our groups, for us.”
Regenerating Australia premiered in Sydney and Melbourne on March 4 and 6, with Mr Gameau now embarking on a nationwide series of special Q&A events. SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the film was an important work that outlined a vision for a future where big challenges could be solved by bold solutions.
“I attended the premiere of Regenerating Australia and was privileged to hear and see Rose Lovelock speak about her cultural experiences and what they mean for all of us, now and for the future,” Ms Roumeliotis said.
“Regenerating Australia captures the thoughts of a broad array of extraordinary thinkers about the possibilities of our near future, and it is heartening to see prominence given to Rose, a First Nations leader and Ignite alumnus.”
Funded by SSI, Ignite Small Business Start-ups facilitates business creation for a diverse range of people, with a focus on those from vulnerable communities, including those of First Nations and refugee and migrant backgrounds, who are keen to establish a small business or expand an existing one.
Ms Lovelock said of the Ignite program: “As an Aboriginal woman, the journey to entrepreneurship gives me an opportunity for independence, and gives my family a view to the future. I can be a person who is self-determined and self-managed.
“It's a form of freedom because it allows those who have been marginalised in this country to be part of the growth of it. That's something we haven't had an opportunity to do. “If you're developing your entrepreneurship journey, consider engaging SSI’s Ignite. The things that spring from this initiative are so great.”
For more information about SSI’s Ignite, visit: www.ssi.org.au/services/employment/ignite
For more information about Regenerating Australia, visit: www.regeneratingaustralia.com
The film will be screened next week in regional Armidale, register here: https://events.humanitix.com/regenerating-australia-armidale