Title Details

Bill Harney Out Takes

Bill Harney is a successful businessman and respected Aboriginal elder who has made his way in both the white and black communities.
Series : Australian Biography Series 8 | Year : 2001 | Total Duration : 26 Minutes | Producer : Robin Hughes
Director : Robin Hughes |
Tape 1 - Interview Bill Harney about when he was born and link to Wardaman land, his father Old Bill who was non-indigenous, and how his mother Lootie was married to him under Aboriginal law, using his Aboriginal name Yidumduma, Old Bill wanting to keep it secret from the authorities that he had fathered a child with an Aboriginal, half sister Dulcie being taken away by police in 1940 and their reunion in 1954, how the part Aboriginal children were camouflaged with charcoal to look blacker for the welfare authorities, how the welfare were determined to catch him, (Assimilation)particularly a man called Ted Evans, growing up with his mother, learning from the saddlers, life on a property.
Access No. 131629 | 29 mins 21 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 2 - Interview Bill Harney about bush soap and its medicinal qualities, being taught about Aboriginal medicines, healing, remedies, wearing a cock rag as a young man, making spears, grandfather Pluto's method for making a stone axe, mother tongue Wardaman, different Aboriginal dialects, learning English at 12 or 13, being taught to read , write and count by a Scotsman, being separated from women before initiation as young man and learning special laws, learning the lightning song, white people's interference with Aboriginal initiation ceremonies, cutting body to make markings as part of boys' initiation, initiation ceremony with boomerang, circumcision, meaning of red ochre in ceremony, protection from crocodiles, role of older women during initiation ceremonies.
Access No. 131630 | 35 mins 18 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 3 - Interview Bill Harney about beginning to learn white man's ways when he was a stockman, being taught by Aboriginal stepfather Joe Jomonty to be a stockman, being a boss man, advice from white man named Clarrie, working on Willeroo Station owned by Lord Vestey, Wardaman people staying on property, all employed, food coupons, eating bush tucker, hunting for meat, change in Aborigines' diet and effect on health, working life on the property, story about first white settlers coming to district and Aborigines' reaction to seeing first horses and cattle, first getting paid wages for working on the property in 1956.
Access No. 131631 | 35 mins 51 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 4 - Interview Bill Harney about Aboriginal tribal marriage laws, his first wife who was alot older than him, description of marriage ceremony, being married to second wife Ida who later died of a brain tumour, going off to work and taking his two sons by Ida, Roger and Billy, marrying third wife Dixie, being taught to shoot buffalo, story of a crocodile attack on buffalo, story of a buffalo hunt, crocodile hunting and rainbow protection from crocodiles, his time as a mailman, teaching himself motor mechanics, enjoyment of various jobs, timber cutting, and being an axeman
Access No. 131632 | 32 mins 21 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 5 - Interview Bill Harney about memories of wartime (WWII), Japanese bombing, Aborigines in army, attempt at joining army during Korean war, time as a timber cutter for Russ Jones, drinking nip of metho at night for pain, cattle duffing, poddy dodging, rustling , stealing.
Access No. 131633 | 35 mins 55 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 6 - Interview Bill Harney about poisoning of Aborigines with strychnine by some bad white men, story of dealings with crook Wayson Byers, droving, stories about trouble caused for Aborigines by various white men.
Access No. 131634 | 34 mins 28 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 7 - Interview Bill Harney about droving story in 1940s and encounters with Aborigines who had never encountered whites before, work for Duracks in 1957 on boundary muster, and later in 1960s, work for Ord River farmer, going on to be a metalworker, fencing, bush mechanics, marriage to Dixie in 1980, making land claim under new law, starting fencing business, starting tour operation / Aboriginal culture tour, meeting demand for artefacts, fencing for conservation, protection for rock paintings, Aboriginal law and punishment, payback, description of kidney fat man, (boundary watcher), thoughts on mandatory sentencing under white law.
Access No. 131635 | 35 mins 44 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 8 - Interview Bill Harney about encounter with police over a stolen cow, going to court in Darwin and getting off charges, getting on with other people, love for work, decision to stop drinking alcohol, booze, grog, needing a license to drink alcohol, Aborigine drinking habits, publicans giving Aborigines free alcohol to get them used to drinking (1960s), thoughts on solving Aboriginal alcohol problem, need for re-establishment of Aboriginal culture, unbranded Aborigines who have not been initiated, first wages for Aborigines under equal pay law, effect of wages on Aboriginal life.
Access No. 131636 | 29 mins 30 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 9 - Interview Bill Harney about the walk off from Wave Hill Station by all the Aboriginal workers (1960s), award wages for Aborigines, welfare, effects of money on Aboriginal culture, effects of the townships, alcohol and discos, Aboriginal birth customs, his own birth under a paperbark tree, Aboriginal marriage ceremony and custom, death custom, use of red ochre, thoughts on reconciliation and comments on lack of meaning for idea of reconciliation, being part Aboriginal and knowing the ways of white man and Aborigines, thoughts on his personal success, native title, protecting and passing on laws of walking tracks and songlines.
Access No. 131637 | 35 mins | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 10 - Interview Bill Harney about his father Old Bill Harney being shown the Aboriginal tracks, his own Aboriginal name Yidumduma, meaning thunder, observations on changes for Aboriginal people, creation song which is the story in the songlines across the country, meetings with his white father Old Bill Harney, death of his father, death of his mother and plans for taking her back to her country, wanting to be buried in his own spiritual land of Willeroo. 00:11:29:10 Interview location in front of sacred Aboriginal cave paintings, story of the two Lightning Brothers, influence on rainfall, lightning people spiritual owners of the land, dating the rock painting of the lightning people, explanation of the creation song, (sings song), land being owned by Sultan of Brunei and agreement between Aboriginal heritage ownership of pastoral land and leaseholders, stories that are told through dance, art and song, (sings willy wagtail song). 00:28:12:00 Various shots cave paintings, Bill walking through rock formations.
Access No. 131638 | 29 mins 31 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 11 - Various photographs Bill Harney, family, friends, tour guide camp, presentation.
Access No. 131639 | 15 mins 35 secs | Unknown | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 12 - Bill Harney leaning against rock in rock shelter. Interview about meanings of engravings, dating of markings by archaeologists at 10,000 years old, Aboriginal belief that markings were painted over existing ones from time of creation, Aboriginal songs and traditions, songlines. 00:08:02:09 Location footage VS rock engravings and paintings, Bill walking beneath rock shelter, bones. 00:10:20:02 Interview Bill about site of Inglari waterhole, childhood years in the area, influence of missionaries on Aboriginal children who did not have Aboriginal law passed on to them, protection from missionaries for inland Aborigines, living in humpies and eventual use of galvanized materials for homes, Aboriginal workers eating seperately, story of his birth under paperbark tree, fight with shire council over access to burial grounds and importance of Aboriginal burial laws, plans to rebury family members in Willeroo, wanting to be buried in homeland of Willeroo himself, maintaining kindness and respect for others being cause of happiness in his life, ability to live with black and white cultures because of his bloodline.
Access No. 131640 | 32 mins 37 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 13 - Bill Harney sitting on ground underneath tree holding didgeridoo and talking about being taught to play didgeridoo. Plays didgeridoo and sings song, tapping side of didgeridoo with stick. Explains song. VS playing and singing. Various location shots Bill walking in bush, trees, rocks, water.
Access No. 131641 | 11 mins 56 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |