The First Place The Last Place

In May 2016 the Australian Federal Government shortlisted a site near Hookina Waterhole in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges as the site for Australia's first nuclear waste dump. The Ikara-Flinders ranges formed 540 million years ago and is a place of great natural beauty. The Ikara-Flinders ranges is also the First Place of the Australian Aboriginal Adnyamathanha people and significant archaeological and cultural sites. The story of the impact and the hazards of the dump is told through the eyes of local Aboriginal Elder Regina McKenzie.

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  • Phillip Storer
  • Phillip Storer
  • Megan Clark
  • Phillip Storer
  • Regina McKenzie
    Key Cast
  • Phillip Storer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    700 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Fleurieu Film Festival
    McLaren Vale
    February 11, 2017
    Winner Best Documentary
  • IFF Ekotopfilm - Envirofilm
    Selected for Screening
  • International Uranium Film Festival
    October 14, 2017
    Semi Finalist
  • G2 Green Earth Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 21, 2017
    Semi Finalist
  • Sydney Indie Film Festival
  • Green Screen Environmental Film Festival (T&T)
    Port of Spain
    Trinidad and Tobago
    November 2, 2017
    Caribbean Premiere
Director Biography - Phillip Storer

Phill Storer graduated from Flinders University with Honours in Cinema Studies and American Studies in 1996. Having spent over 25 years with the Australian Public Service Phill decided to return to Flinders University in 2015 as a mature aged student to undertake his Masters Degree in Screen Production which he completed in November 2016. Considering his first film was made in Super 8 it has been steep and rewarding learning curve. Phill was the Producer, Director, Co-Writer and Principal Editor on his film ‘The First Place The Last Place’ and hopes to further his career in editing but is open to all aspects of screen production. Phill lives on the Fleurieu coast in South Australia.

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Director Statement

In May 2016, the Federal Government shortlisted a site in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges in South Australia for Australia’s first Nuclear Waste dump. The Ikara-Flinders Ranges was formed over 540 million years ago in South Australia and is a place of great natural beauty. This short documentary The First Place The Last Place considers the hazards and the impact of a nuclear waste dump on the local aboriginal Adnyamathanha people and all of the community through the eyes of local Elder Regina McKenzie. The proposed site is approximately 1 kilometre from the Hookina Springs waterhole (above), a significant women’s place of healing, and adjacent to the Yappala Indigenous Protected Area near Hawker.

The film attempts to represent the opposition to the proposed NWF focussing primarily on opposition relating to historical, spiritual, environmental and cultural concerns.
I selected this documentary subject due to the natural beauty and filmic qualities of the area. I have had an affinity for the Flinders Ranges since camping there as a young child with family and later as a young adult and now with my own family. I also wanted to follow the story of the opposition to the siting of the Nuclear Waste Facility. There are many arguments against a waste facility being sited nearby and the strident opposition of the local Adnyamathanha is explored
The project came about through my concern that the local traditional owners are potentially being ignored. I have a lot of respect for aboriginal culture and history and their place in this country. I made this documentary to highlight the importance for people who care to retain a ‘clear space’ to continue their traditions on the country. The proposed NWF will impose a scar on an area of great beauty and one of spiritual significance to the traditional owners.
Regina McKenzie, the central character, was presented with the joint 2016 Australian Conservation Foundation Peter Rawlinson Award for Environmental Justice for her work protecting Country from the proposed SA nuclear waste dump. “The area is Adnyamathanha land,” says Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Regina McKenzie, who lives at Yappala Station, which adjoins the area nominated for the nuclear waste dump. “It is arngurla yarta (spiritual land). The proposed dumpsite contains thousands of Aboriginal artefacts. Our ancestors are buried there. We don’t want a nuclear waste dump here on our country and worry that if the waste comes here it will harm our environment and muda (our lore, creation).”

Ms McKenzie is also a member of Viliwarina Yura, the corporation that was granted the Yappala Indigenous Protected Area, land neighbouring the proposed waste site in 2000. In 2015 Regina was also awarded the SA Premier’s Natural Resource Management Award in the category of ‘Aboriginal Leadership − Female’ for working to protect the land and establishing cultural heritage listed storylines in the area that is now threatened with a nuclear waste dump.