Guniwaya Ngigu [We Fight]

It was amazing to see Guniwaya Ngigu (WE FIGHT) make its first TV appearance on NITV tonight. It’s the story of how Australia’s First Nations people diverted the world’s media focus away from the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and onto the plight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living under racist laws – not unlike South Africa.

While camped at Musgrave Park, people from around the nation organised peaceful protests through a collective decision-making process. The film was the first documentary to be directed and produced by Indigenous Australians and features many people who dedicated their lives to the cause including Ross Watson (RIP), Maureen Watson (RIP), Gary Foley, Bob Weatherall, Richard Bell and Marcia Langton.

Amazing scenes unfold on Brisbane streets, at the South Brisbane camp, the Greek Club, the old Roma Street Forum (now Emma Miller Place) and at the Nathan QEII Stadium games venue – now the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre.

One night 4ZZZ-FM and FAIRA (Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action) raised approx $30,000 to bail people out. Qld Gov received at least $60,000 in bail payments during the event.

This clip features the beautiful words of Maureen Watson.

Big thanks to Peter Gray who found the only surviving 16mm print, restored it and got it on to NITV.

Jane Grigg

Anyone wanting to see the film can go to the Radical Times Archive web site, scroll down to the section Resources 5 “Indigenous Australia”, and click on tile 3C.

Radical Times Archive
An archival resource focusing on radical activity in Brisbane and Queensland in Australia during the period 1965 to 1980. Here is the film.

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