A profile of Ernie Dingo, one of Australia’s finest contemporary actors. Ernie rose to fame when he controversially collaborated with Richard Walley to create the first public performance of the “Welcome to Country” ceremony in Perth in 1976, after dancers from the Pacific islands would not perform without one.
As Australia’s National Living Treasure, he promoted the Generation One “Hand Across Australia”, which was a promotion for Indigenous Recognition and Equal Rights.
The film traces his career from his birthplace in the tiny Western Australian town of Mullewa, to Geraldton High school, to working as a sign writer in Perth to a career as a stand up comic, film actor and television personality.
The film includes clips from his plays and films including ‘State of Shock’; ‘Clowning Around’, ‘A Walk through the Hills’, ‘Cowra Breakout’, ‘The Fringe Dwellers’, Crocodile Dundee II’, ‘Until the End of the World’ and ‘Tudawali’ in which his powerful performance as one of Australia’s first Aboriginal actors, Robert Tudawali, earned Dingo the Special Jury Prize at the Banff Television Festival.
The documentary also describes how through his work he has helped Aboriginal children deal with the notion of ‘shame’ and how he broken new ground in the presentation of cultural difference and opened up a greater awareness and understanding of Aboriginal Australia.