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An Unhealthy Government Experiment [electronic resource]: Western Australia, 1897 to 1937

Special Broadcasting Service (Australia)
Video; Computer Resource; Online Video; Online
"Everyone appreciates the government's protection," wrote Gladys Gilligan in 1930 of the work camp where she and other biracial children were taken after being snatched from their homes. Her account was written at the behest of Aborigine Protector A. O. Neville and differs sharply from the heart-wrenching testimony provided by Stolen Generations survivors for this film. Gilligan rebelled against her role as "model Aborigine" but Neville kept a stranglehold on her life. Jandamurra was also caught between two worlds. Born on a cattle station, he went on to lead an insurrection against the ranchers. The First Australians' continued struggle, especially against the forced assimilation of the Stolen Generations, is recounted in this documentary. With Gilligan's son, Phillip Prosser; historian Howard Pedersen; and others.
Release Date
Run Time
50 min.
9 & up
  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on May 22, 2013.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
Variant Title
Western Australia, 1897 to 1937
First Australians: The Untold Story
First Australians
  • Aboriginal Resistance in Australia (1:15)
  • Jandamurra Torn Between Worlds (1:00)
  • Jandamurra's Upbringing (1:53)
  • The Killing Times (3:17)
  • Jandamurra's Jail Sentence (0:49)
  • Aboriginal Women (1:08)
  • Jandamarra and Bill Richardson (1:28)
  • Jandamarra Captures Aborigines (1:33)
  • Jandamarra (1:44)
  • War on Aborigines (2:50)
  • Half-Cast Children (1:45)
  • Gladys Gilligan (3:05)
  • Neville (1:34)
  • Children Taken Away (2:21)
  • Gladys Gilligan's Letter (1:56)
  • Life at Settlements (2:31)
  • Sister Kate's (2:03)
  • Neville's Attitude Toward Gldays (1:48)
  • Gladys Runs Away (2:00)
  • Gladys's Baby (1:47)
  • Mary Bennett (3:03)
  • Public Complicity (1:45)
  • Gladys Gilligan's Marriage and Death (1:57)
  • Treatment of Aborigine Children (2:46)
  • Australians Government Apologizes (2:19)
  • Credits: An Unhealthy Government Experiment: Western Australia, 1897 to 1937
  • First Australians (1:29)
New York, N.Y. : Films Media Group, [2013], c2007.
Publisher no.
  • 52686 Films Media Group
  • 52681s Films Media Group
Access Restriction
Access requires authentication through Films on Demand.
1 streaming video file (50 min.) : sd., col.
Mode of access: Internet.
System requirements: FOD playback platform.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View