Rebel With a Cause

REBEL WITH A CAUSE (4 X 51 minutes documentary series)

Commissioned by National Indigenous Television (NITV), this series hones in on the political dimension of the personal, showcasing the unparalleled efforts of four First Nations trailblazers who altered the course of Australian history. Interweaving never-before-seen archival material with interviews with loved ones and peers, Rebel With a Cause dives into the philosophies that guided these four figures – “Don’t hate; educate”, “I’m going out with my gloves on”, “I’m a token for no man” and “Are you going to be an honourable ancestor?” – to present an inspirational, vital account of First Nations–led change-making.

Senator Neville Bonner, a Jagera Elder, was the first Indigenous person elected to Parliament, serving 12 years across four federal governments. Former teacher and barrister Pat O’Shane, a Kuku Yalanji woman, became Australia’s first Aboriginal magistrate – a position she held from 1986 until 2013. Birri Gubba Gungalu radio host Tiga Bayles ruled the airwaves, presenting Sydney’s Radio Redfern and establishing the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association and the National Indigenous Radio Service. And Noonuccal poet, conservationist and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal was the first Aboriginal person to publish a book of verse.

Completed and aired on NITV 2023

Trailer -

  • Douglas Watkin
  • S.F Tusa
  • Jill Robinson
  • EJ Garrett
  • Citt Williams
  • Pat O'Shane
    Key Cast
  • Neville Bonner
    Key Cast
  • Oodgeroo Noonuccal
    Key Cast
  • Tiga Bayles
    Key Cast
  • Dena Curtis
    Executive Producer and Creator
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 4 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
    Pro Res 422
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Melbourne International Film Festival
    August 9, 2023
    World Premiere
    Nominated for First Nations creative award
Director Biography - Douglas Watkin, S.F Tusa, Jill Robinson, EJ Garrett

Director - Pat O’Shane episode
Jill Robinson is a Bundjalung woman from northern New South Wales based on the Gold Coast, Queensland. In her final year at Queensland University of Technology Jill directed the award winning short ‘Don’t Call Me Beautiful’ which has been screened both nationally and internationally. She has worked on several 'Our Stories Our Way' shorts for NITV, as well as ‘Love and Monsters’ and ‘Swimming for Gold’. In 2021 Jill complete the Indigenous Producers Program. She also recently completed ‘Sista’s in Mining’ for NITV's Curious initiative 2022. Jill currently works at Brisbane Indigenous Media Association as a producer / director. me/nm9661427

Director - Neville Bonner episode
As a filmmaker and storyteller, Douglas has produced short and long- form documentaries, television series, feature documentaries, animation and immersive art experiences. Working in the film and television industry for over 25 years, he has series produced and directed multiple series for ABC, SBS and NITV, his dramas screening at festivals around the world. His award-winning feature documentary ELLA, celebrated Indigenous Ballerina Ella Havelka. THIN BLACK LINE featured as a VR experience in the 2018 Adelaide Biennial and was also showcased at AIDC 2018.
Douglas’ latest feature documentary ALICK & ALBERT follows the friendship of acclaimed artist Alick Tipoti and (H.S.H) Prince Albert II of Monaco. Douglas was Content Director for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program at Screen Queensland 2017-21 /nm4667311

Director - Oodgeroo Noonuccal episode
Sio is a Film director, Artist, Painter and Sculpture having held multiple Gallery exhibitions (RESONANCE, ECHO OF TRUTH). Sio has written & directed short dramas (ETERNAL, NIAS MELANCHOLY, A SAMOAN TALE) documentaries (ELEMENTS: DAUAN ISLAND, MOOROOBOOL, POLICE MEDIA), music videos (MAU POWER, OISTABOI) and won multiple film awards along the way. Sio’s film works have touched on themes of modern/post- modern - Indigenous culture, colonialism, intergenerational trauma, identity and belonging. Sio has spent most of his life in FNQ (Yalanji Tribal lands) and his early childhood in the South Island of New Zealand (Ngai Tahu Tribal lands). Sio’s culture is from Polynesian and Badu Island bloodlines. me/nm3263044

Director - Tiga Bayles episode
EJ is a producer, director, videographer, editor and writer. He has produced, directed and written documentaries for broadcast and has performed the role of Video Journalist. EJ currently owns and operates JETZAK PTY LTD, that produces media content and campaigns for on-line and broadcast. He is a Darumbal man from the coastal lands of Central Qld and his mother is from the Wulli Wulli people of the Burnett region. EJ Garrett is a multi-skilled individual with experience covering community engagement, media and communication. EJ is a story teller that brings integrity to each story he produces. me/nm10023103

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Director Statement

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