FILM AUSTRALIA COLLECTION

Title Details

Bill Harney

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 |
WS Bill Harney sitting under gum tree tapping side of didgeridoo and chanting. MCU Bill in Akubra hat chanting. Super. MCU Bill playing didgeridoo. Aboriginal cave painting. Bill walks past looking at artwork. Interview Bill Harney talking about meaning of lightning and thunder in the country.
Access No. 131642 | 58 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Still b&w portrait photograph Bill Harney's father, Bill who was a non- indigenous man. Interview Bill Harney talking about parents looking after him for a couple of years before his father had to leave and not wanting people to know he was his son.
Access No. 131643 | 30 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Still b&w photograph two white men sitting in squat position next to three seated Aboriginal men. Detail of photo Bill Harney's father, Old Bill, with two Aboriginals. Interview Bill Harney talking about being told to deny who his father was. B&W photo Old Bill leaning against post as he talks with Aboriginal man. Interview Bill about father sneaking provisions to his mother.
Access No. 131644 | 34 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © Northern Territory Library and Information Services | Colour |
Still b&w photograph Bill Harney's older sister Dulcie wearing shorts and bikini top, 1940s. Interview Bill Harney talking about how the Aboriginal children used to camouflage themselves with charcoal when the welfare came around to take them away (2001).
Access No. 131645 | 28 secs | 1940s | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Still b&w photograph group of Aboriginal children. Detail of photo pan across children's faces.
Access No. 131646 | 22 secs | Unknown | NT, Australia | © Northern Territory University | B&W |
Still b&w photograph WS Aboriginal women walking along carrying baskets, trees in B/G. Interview Bill Harney talking about activities of Aboriginal women in Wardaman tribe he grew up in.
Access No. 131647 | 18 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © Wardaman Aboriginal Corporation | Colour |
Archival b&w footage young Aboriginal boy with blond hair picking berries, bush plums, bush grapes. WS naked children clambering over rocks. Man leaving ration store. Two men looking at axe. Boy wearing cock rag joins other children sitting around in sand. Interview Bill Harney talking about how Aboriginals did not use much of the welfare rations as they lived off the land. Archival b&w footage Aboriginal men as hunters with spears bringing dead kangaroo into camp. Children grab onto kangaroo.
Access No. 131648 | 1 min | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Interview Bill Harney talking about learning to speak English at age 12 or 13. Still b&w photograph two Aboriginal boys holding dead animal, possibly kangaroo. Detail photo boy in hat. Interview Bill about being taught to read and write English by a Scotsman.
Access No. 131649 | 55 secs | Various | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Archival b&w footage WS Aboriginal men from Wardaman tribe sitting under trees playing music. MS men tapping instruments. CU hands mixing bush turkey feathers and white ochre. Interview Bill Harney talking about his initiation.
Access No. 131650 | 20 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Still b&w photograph Aboriginal women, naked and posing in a row.
Access No. 131651 | 8 secs | Unknown | Australia | © Northern Territory University | B&W |
Archival b&w footage Aboriginal boy having face paint applied. VS boy having white dots painted on his body. Interview Bill Harney talking about songs taught to boys in preparation for initiation. Archival b&w footage Aboriginal boys in body paint walking in line through frame. Interview Bill about lightning song, 2001. Archival colour footage tribal initiation marks. Interview Bill , 2001, about being cut with stone knife which doesn't hurt as a steel one does.
Access No. 131652 | 1 min 19 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Still b&w photograph Aboriginal man with initiation marks holding spear.
Access No. 131653 | 7 secs | Unknown | Australia | © Northern Territory University | B&W |
Archival b&w footage river or waterhole. Tilt up from lilies on clear water's surface to LS Aboriginal children playing in water. MS Aboriginal child swimming with face in water up to eyes. Interview Bill Harney talking about initiation in spiritual place in river, water. Archival b&w footage children swimming and playing in river. Aboriginal boy on horseback rounding up cattle with older stockman. Aboriginal stockmen on horseback chasing steer on misty morning. WS herd of cattle and VS stockmen working. Cattle being driven into stockyard.
Access No. 131654 | 1 min 35 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Interview Bill Harney talking about Aboriginal marriage laws. Archival b&w footage Aboriginal man sitting with children in camp, pan left to woman with young children. MWS two men sitting with spears outside humpy as two young children watch on, MS children sitting by dish on ground. Interview Bill talking about family links. Archival b&w footage Aboriginal man walking towards camp. Interview Bill about marriage to first wife who died.
Access No. 131655 | 1 min 19 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Still b&w photograph Bill Harney with sons Roderick and Billy Boy. Detail photo CU Roderick. Detail photo CU Billy Boy. Interview Bill Harney, 2001, talking about second wife Ida who knew much about Aboriginal law. Still colour photo Bill sitting against rock. Interview Bill about Ida's death from brain tumour.
Access No. 131656 | 42 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Archival b&w footage Aboriginal stockmen climbing over fence into stockyard with cattle. VS young men working with cattle in yard, one with cigarette in mouth. Interview Bill Harney, 2001, talking about working on property with his boys.
Access No. 131657 | 24 secs | 1960s, 2000s, | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Still colour photograph Bill Harney with third wife Dixie on their wedding day, Dixie with frangipani in hair.
Access No. 131658 | 8 secs | 1960s | Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Archival b&w footage silhouette of rider on bucking brumby, rodeo style. Interview Bill Harney talking about being a cattleman, 2001.
Access No. 131659 | 19 secs | Various | Australia | © ABC Television | Colour |
Archival b&w footage Aboriginal stockmen riding through bush with wild horses, brumbies. Group of Aboriginal women in white dresses around campfire. Man folding up buffalo hide and two men carrying hide slung over wooden pole. Lone buffalo standing in scrub / bush. Man shooting at buffalo with rifle and LS hunter and buffalo running off. Interview Bill Harney talking about incident on buffalo shoot, 2001.
Access No. 131660 | 1 min 19 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Archival b&w footage lake with birds in flight overhead. Pan creek in bush. Crocodile in water. VS crocodile on grass. Interview Bill Harney talking about hunting saltwater crocodiles.
Access No. 131661 | 36 secs | Various | Australia | © Film World | Colour |
Still b&w photograph group of men hanging up two huge saltwater crocodiles. Interview Bill Harney talking about having no fear of crocodiles because of rainbow protection, 2001.
Access No. 131662 | 17 secs | 2000s | Australia | © Northern Territory University | Colour |
Archival b&w footage three Aboriginal children paddling float on river , creek, viewed from bank. Interview Bill Harney talking about timber getting in tablelands. Archival b&w footage Aboriginal men working at timber mill. Pan from large shed to workers and flatbed truck among logs. Interview Bill , 2001, about being advised to drink a nip of methylated spirits, metho at night to relieve pain from timber cutting.
Access No. 131663 | 58 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Still b&w photograph rustic homestead with high-pitched tin roof. Detail of photo pan across lady standing on veranda with trees in F/G.
Access No. 131664 | 12 secs | Unknown | NT, Australia | © Northern Territory University | B&W |
Still b&w photograph group of Aboriginal children sitting on sandy ground in middle of campsite with huts, humpies in B/G. B&W photo Aboriginal man with spear squatting outside hut. Interview Bill Harney talking about Aborigines receiving provisions from settlers.
Access No. 131665 | 31 secs | Various | Australia | © Wardaman Aboriginal Corporation | Colour |
Archival b&w footage tilt from outback windmill to group of Aboriginals sitting on ground, woman spinning with stick. CU spinning yarn to young woman's face. Interview Bill Harney talking about welfare funding.
Access No. 131666 | 22 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Archival b&w footage large group of Aboriginal children laughing and smiling. White woman holding baby as it sits on window sill. Interview Bill Harney talking about money being given to Aboriginal people.
Access No. 131667 | 11 secs | Various | Australia | © National Film and Sound Archive | Colour |
Archival b&w footage Aboriginal women with dog sitting at campsite. Children and dog outside hut. Woman with canvas spread out over her lap. Pan across humpies, huts and washing line to man sitting and watching campsite. Interview Bill Harney talking about alcohol problem for Aboriginals.
Access No. 131668 | 48 secs | Various | Australia | © ABC Television | Colour |
Archival colour footage sacred Aboriginal site. Zoom to rock formations and Aboriginal paintings on rock wall. Interview Bill Harney talking about court case for land rights. Location footage Bill Harney walking through bush, stopping at big tree. CU pan Aboriginal rock art, painting of human figures of two lightning brothers. Bill talking as he sits in front of rock painting of lightning brothers. Archival colour footage rock drawing of the frog lady. Location footage VS paintings of lightning people. Bill leaning on rock. CU's carved markings on rock. Archival colour footage WS pan across panoramic orange outback valley.
Access No. 131669 | 2 mins 21 secs | Various | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Interview Bill Harney talking about having a fencing business and a good head for figures. Archival colour footage 4WD pulling up at camp ground. Bill Harneys sign on side door. Pan of camp site. Interview Bill about setting up his cultural tour operation. Archival colour footage 4WD driving along dirt track in bushland and lake / river. Interview Bill about getting on with people in business.
Access No. 131670 | 1 min 37 secs | Various | NT, Australia | © Northern Territory Government | Colour |
Still colour photograph tourists sitting around campfire at camp site, tour bus in B/G. Interview Bill Harney talking about offering help to others while running his tour operation. Colour photo Bill Harney with a bearded Aboriginal man standing in forest. Detail photo Bill in hat. Interview Bill about need to stay active and giving up booze, alcohol.
Access No. 131671 | 1 min 5 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Still b&w photograph Katherine, high shot showing wide dirt street with early motor cars parked and row of houses. B&W photo dirt road intersection in Katherine, houses in B/G. B&W photo Katherine Hotel. Super. Interview Bill Harney talking about Aborigines being introduced to alcohol.
Access No. 131672 | 41 secs | 2000s | NT, Australia | © Katherine Historical Society | Colour |
Archival b&w footage Aboriginal people sitting on bench in street drinking alcohol. View from behind Aborigines sitting against wire fence on footpath. Early model car drives past. Interview Bill Harney talking about solving alcohol abuse problem with Aboriginals and sending them back to their own land.
Access No. 131673 | 15 secs | Various | Australia | © ABC Television | Colour |
Still b&w photograph Bill Harney sitting with his family, wife Dixie and five children. Detail photo pan of Dixie and Bill with young sons. Colour photo pan from woman in hat to two young Aboriginal boys (twins). Interview Bill Harney talking about Aboriginal children not being initiated, known as being unbranded, and need for tribal law council.
Access No. 131674 | 41 secs | Various | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |
Still b&w photograph pan from white man to Bill holding framed picture / document. Interview Bill about thoughts on reconciliation. B&W photo Bill leaning against tree. Interview Bill Harney talking about sacred Aboriginal law, 2001. Colour photo young Aboriginal man sitting against rock paintings in sacred cave. Pan up Aboriginal painting of lightning brothers. Interview Bill agreeing that he has been bringing together the two sides, black and white, all his life. Fade to black. Location footage behind credits Bill walking through rocks, VS rock paintings. Bill with didgeridoo.
Access No. 131675 | 2 mins 16 secs | Various | NT, Australia | © Bill Harney | Colour |