Acts of Heroism


Produced: 2022

Length: 15.34 minutes

Funded by: Telematics Trust

In collaboration with: Federation University

Uncle David Wandin, photograph by Wind & Sky Productions.

Jidah Clark and Yaraan Couzens-Bundle, photograph by Wind & Sky Productions.

Central Victorian bushland, Djab Wurrung Country. Photograph by Wind & Sky Productions.

The Story

This short documentary film explores the history of emergency rescues and assistance in Victoria by Aboriginal people of non-Aboriginal people.

In the 19th and early 20th century Aboriginal Victorians saved lives. They knew how to manage fire and flood in the bush and where to find food in times of scarcity. Despite the devastating impacts of European invasion, Aboriginal people consistently offered help and rescue to colonists.

‘Acts of Heroism’ looks at instances where Aboriginal people took action in emergency situations in Victoria and reflects on the legacy of these shared histories. It includes Indigenous and academic perspectives, with speakers Yaraan Couzens-Bundle, Jidah Clark, Uncle David Wandin, Associate Professor Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Professor Richard Broome and Associate Professor Fred Cahir. Directed by Jary Nemo, produced and written by Lucinda Horrocks and Jary Nemo, the film features the original music of composer Deb Lowah Clark.


Viewers are advised that the film may contain images and names of people who have died.

The film mentions acts of violence and the killing times which may be distressing.

Viewers are also advised they will hear and see words written more than a hundred years ago.

In quoting the words as they were first written the film makers intend no disrespect to peoples past or present.


This short film is a companion to a web-based education portal ‘Aboriginal Heroes of Fire, Food and Flood’ which spatially maps locations and documented instances of Aboriginal heroism to do with fire, flood and food in Victoria and Southeastern Australia from the 1800s to the 1930s.

The project was funded by the Telematics Trust and is a collaboration between Federation University historians, the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University, and Wind & Sky Productions. The film was produced in Ballarat, in regional Victoria, on Wadawurrung Country.

More information at https://www.aboriginalheroesmatter.org.au/

Viewing the film

Not yet released to the public. Coming soon.


Featuring (in order of appearance):
Yaraan Couzens-Bundle, Jidah Clark, Fred Cahir, Richard Broome, David Wandin and Michael-Shawn Fletcher
And the voices of:
Bryn Cahir, Hannah Cahir, Heather Horrocks, Kylee Smith, Tobias Horrocks, William Horrocks, Thomas Brooker
Directed by:
Jary Nemo
Written and produced by:
Lucinda Horrocks and Jary Nemo
Executive producer:
Fred Cahir
Original music:
Deb Lowah Clark
‘Place-we-be’. Composed, recorded and performed by Deb Lowah Clark. Featuring Deb Lowah Clark, Sarah Jane Hall, Bonnie Chew and Tony Lovett. Production support Dave Clark.
Stock content:
Footage courtesy of iStock by Getty Images. ‘Old Prophecy’ by Felipe Adorno Vassao. Courtesy Beat Suite.
Equipment support:
Assisted by a City of Ballarat Creative Inspiration Grant through Creative Ballarat and Regional Arts Victoria.
With thanks to:
Maxine Briggs, Craig Briody, Deb Lowah Clark, Dave Clark, Kirsten Clark, Pete Dahlhaus, Sam Henson, Kathy Horvat, Clare Gervasoni, Geoffrey Lord, Malcolm Sanders, Helen Thompson, Rob Milne, Dan Tout, Anthony Romano, Charley Woolmore, City of Ballarat, Latrobe University, Melbourne University Indigenous Knowledge Institute, Federation University Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI), Regional Arts Victoria, Federation University SMB Library, Royal Historical Society Victoria, State Library Victoria and Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation.
This film has been released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.
Produced in collaboration with:
Federation University Australia
Supported by:
the Telematics Trust
Companion website:
Aboriginal Heroes Matter
Film production and development took place on the lands of the Bunurong, Dja Dja Wurrung, Djab Wurrung, Jardwardjali, Taungurung, Wadawurrung, and Wurundjeri peoples. We acknowledge these Traditional Owners and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.
Copyright with:
Wind & Sky Productions ©2022 unless otherwise acknowledged.




Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG)



Client: Federation University Australia

Produced: 2014

Length: 10.36 minutes

Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG) is a web-based system which collates scientific data on Victoria’s groundwater from many sources in real time and represents it visually on a map. Developed by the Geology department and the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia, the VVG project is not only a revolutionary way to explore groundwater data, it is an innovative and collaborative approach to public data sharing which responds to user needs yet respects the custodians of data. In an era where big data, open public data and high-speed broadband is transforming the way we use and access information, this project has inspired a rethink in policy and research circles on what is possible and provides a practical model of how data custodians can work together. The simple act of representing complex data on a map has sparked spin-off projects in many different disciplines, from history to fire management, and has led to new uses and applications the original planners did not think possible. The project proves that people with passion for their science and its data can work together to achieve great things.

Please Share

The film is free to share, watch, copy, distribute and embed for non-commercial purposes under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND conditions. If you would like to embed the film in your web site, visit the YouTube version of the film and follow the embed instructions under the ‘share’ tab.


Produced by:
Jary Nemo and Lucinda Horrocks
Production Company:
Wind & Sky Productions
Directed and edited by:
Jary Nemo
Executive Producer:
Helen Thompson
Peter Dahlhaus, Helen Thompson, Andrew MacLeod, Brett Miller, Brendan Cossens, Matthew Currell and Kirsten McKenna
Camera and Sound:
Jary Nemo
Research and Interviews:
Lucinda Horrocks
With thanks to:
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water, Norm Suckling, Kirsten McKenna, Hayley Collins and the staff at the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia.
VVG would not be possible without the support of:
The Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation and the School of Science, Information Technology and Engineering at Federation University Australia, the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, the Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management Centre at Australian National University, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, the Geological Survey of Canada at Natural Resources Canada, the National Geoscience Information Infrastructure – Minerals Down Under Flagship at CSIRO, the Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative, Goulburn-Murray Water, Thiess Services Pty Ltd, Senversa Pty Ltd, the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, the Groundwater Systems Research Group at the Queensland University of Technology and the Victorian Mineral Water Committee.
Commissioned by:
Federation University Australia.
Distribution License:
Free to distribute online under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 conditions, all other use requires permission.
Copyright with:
© Federation University Australia and Wind & Sky Productions Pty Ltd 2014.


Natural Resource Management Planning Portal


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The Landcare Groups in the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority region are trialling a planning model which could revolutionise how communities work together to care for our environment.

This short documentary film explores the impact of the Natural Resource Management (NRM) Planning Portal project from the perspectives of key users and researchers.

For nearly thirty years community volunteers in Landcare Groups have been looking after their local environment – cleaning up creeks and wetlands, managing weeds, erosion, salinity, looking after flora and fauna, generally caring about the health of their home.

Landcare Groups form their own local plans and priorities regarding weeds, water, soil health, pests and other categories, and apply for government, corporate or community funding to keep their work going. Together with the larger umbrella organisations the Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), Landcare Groups form a vital part of the network of volunteer and institutional organisations taking care of the land, water and biodiversity of the regions.

The NRM Planning Portal, being piloted in the Corangamite CMA district, enables Landcare networks and their Catchment Management Authority partners to share information about past works and projects and to come up with joint priorities which have the best potential for funding. The Portal centres around the needs of Landcare Networks to develop a Local Catchment Plan and helps them do so by making lots of relevant planning information available to assist in identifying priorities (self determined, eg ‘weeds’, ‘pests’, ‘salinity’, ‘erosion’, for instance ) and presenting these visually on a map. These priorities can be compared with regional, state and national priorities to explore areas of intersection and best matches for funding.


Chris Pitfield, Jen Clarke and Robert Milne
Photographs courtesy of:
The Woady Yaloak Catchment Group
With thanks to:
Evan and Suzanne Lewis, Cam Nicholson, Gavan Mathieson, Peter Dahlhaus, Birgitta Hansen, Helen Thompson, Andrew MacLeod and The Woady Yaloak Catchment Group. The NRM Planning Portal is proudly supported by The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.
Film produced by:
Wind & Sky Productions
Executive Producer (CeRDI):
Helen Thompson
Copyright with:
© CeRDI 2016.