Nathan May

My name is Nathan May, I was born in Darwin NT  and I’m part of the Arabunna clan.  Liz Thompson rang me and asked me to come down for an experience with SSF, once I got the call up I was excited and happy, I got lots of new experiences in animation and sound,  I’d never done it before, normally I’m in the studio. This has been the first time I’ve done  community work , in an Aboriginal community. I’ve been to many but  doing a community project with a story, I haven’t done that before… I’ve met a lot of amazing people and  I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of family through this work.  I experienced a lot of new things, connecting with  the sharingstories crew, the community as well, its been amazing experience…


I think that it’s important for young people to learn about culture, the kind of impact it has, I was born in Darwin and culture thru my grandfathers side is a bit lost… my grandfathers country was somewhere in Daly River and we was a long way from that community and I never got to learn a lot of my culture. I think it’s very important for young indigenous kids to know their stories, to know where they come from. …we don’t want to lose the stories of our language and culture and that’s happening a lot now.


I’ve never worked with organic sounds and played around with them like I have during the SharingStories programs, normally I’m doing instrumental and vocals , it’s different to what I usually do it’s a new skill that I need…it’s a top skill to have the stuff that the other facilitators have taught me and will add to what I can do in my own music and career. I’d love to do more facilitating in community. I’m stuck in studio all day when I’m producing music, being out in community you got to be sociable, you got to have good communication, know how to work with kids.


A lot of the kids  are very engaged, because they want to learn this stuff and learn their stories and tell their stories through animation and sound, they work hard, especially the younger boys, they huddle around me and see what I’m  doing as I’m another indigenous male and they look at someone like that and think ‘hey this guy is working as a facilitator and media producer and musician, maybe I can do it too’. The kids have really engaged with me… I connected really well, it makes me really sad when I have to leave, I really want to keep connecting with these kids and working with SharingStories…The kids caught onto our stuff and they want to keep the story going and their culture strong.

I’m here with Nyikina Mangala Elder Darraga Watson and other SharingStories facilitators on Nyikina Country working with the community to document the story of Woonyoomboo.

Helping young people from Jarlmadangah Community record stories on Country being shared by senior Nyikina custodian Annie Nayina Milgin.

This is a photo of me and Darraga Watson, senior Nyikina Mangala Custodian, everyone is getting ready to do the Walangari Dance at Jarlmadangah Community.

The whole crew at the end of the Jarlmadangah program in the West Kimberley. One of the greatest 2 weeks I’ve ever had working with Sharing Stories and the community to create an iBook.


His wide range of abilities makes Nathan ideal for the work he is doing with Sharing Stories. His input into the Yulu’s Coal project with the Adnyamathanha Community enabled him to utilise and develop the creative and technical aspects of his skills and work done on this project gained Nathan formal credit in the Performance, Technical and Music Industry courses of his studies. That the Sharing Stories connection has also enabled Nathan to explore and develop cultural and family connections is most pleasing to see. Continued mentoring of Nathan’s creative and technical capabilities and his cultural interests and connections through his work with Sharing Stories will be of enormous benefit to Nathan personally and professionally and to Sharing Stories in the future and to the cultural preservation and development aspects of the wider Indigenous community.

Douglas Petherick,
Lecturer, Course Co-ordinator. Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM). Adelaide University.

Christine Motatj Garawirrtja

My name is Christine Motatj Garawirrtja and I’m from the Gupapuyŋu clan and I live on Elcho Island. I’m interested in making a career in film and multi media and have been working with the Aboriginal Resource & Development Services (ARDS) and Strong Traditions on Galiwinku . During the Wägilak Project that I went on with SharingStories Foundation, we went to a lot of different Homelands recording the songs and stories from Roy Wunupingu and the Wägilak Clan, they were different to Galiwinku Homelands where I live, we don’t have the Wägilak Clan in Galiwinku. I learnt a lot about history, how the Wägilak connect to one another and how they are connected to me. I learnt about a different techniques and how to use two different steadicam rigs that allowed us to take long shots and move freely with the camera.  I learnt something about the idea of single shot cinema from the cameraman that was working on the project and different ways of making films which was interesting. I’d really like to come and join with SharingStories again, it’s meinmak , it’s good, to get away and learn new things about different culture and different ways of approaching film making. It’s good for me to build my skills for the future.

Filming with the ‘Orbit’ while the ladies are collecting white paint for the Gandjalala bunggul at Dhupuwamirri.

Leonard and I filming while Roy Wunupingu is telling stories at the river at Dhupuwamirri, this is a very important place and Roy taught us all about the stories that belong to it.

Everybody who took part in the Wägilak Project journey gathered together on the last day at the Goyder River where Roy had passed on important stories.

Swimming in the beautiful hot springs at Weemol. We stayed here for two days recording the bunggul (dance) and manikay (songline) that belong to this place with the Wägilak mob.

The Aboriginal Resource & Development Service (ARDS) is very pleased to have established a relationship with the Sharing Stories Foundation (SSF) for film projects in the north east Arnhem Land region.


As an Indigenous organisation with 40 years experience working in region, ARDS recognises the high value and importance of the songline and story documentation that the Sharing Stories Foundation (SSF) does and the respectful approach they take in working with traditional owners and Indigenous Knowledge.

ARDS was thrilled to have the opportunity to support a recent SSF project through engagement of one of our emerging camera operators  
Christine Motatj Garawirrtja to join SSF on the Wägilak Project film shoot. This provided SFF with an assistant camera operator and provided ARDS with the opportunity for a young employee to gain further skills development and mentoring on the job, undertaking important cultural film work to ensure that these stories and songlines are documented for future generations.


ARDS recognises that particularly within the current context of limited resources and funding available for important cultural maintenance and preservation as well as community media initiatives, partnerships such as this emerging one between ARDS and SSF are vital to ensuring the best outcomes for the Indigenous communities involved. 

ARDS looks forward to further developing this relationship and hopes that more opportunities arise for the mentoring and development of Indigenous film makers in remote communities.

Gaia Osborne Manager Multimedia Productions. Aboriginal Resource & Development Service Yolṉu Radio.