A Changing Race


The 1964 black-and-white documentary A Changing Race interviews Aboriginal people about their life in Central Australia including their experience of racial discrimination.

For the first time in Australian television history, Aboriginal people are given the opportunity to express themselves and discuss all their problems, which they feel have prevented them from taking their rightful place in Australian society.

In his introduction, Aboriginal musician, Jimmy Little explains that some of the people in this documentary are inarticulate and shy, unused to talking to white people, much less a camera.

The film includes a look at the lives of Aboriginal people from central Australia who achieved success in the non-Aboriginal world, through work or sports. As role models, these people present a pathway for others in gaining a foothold in the dominant society.

A successful young Aboriginal man living in the city advocates for Aboriginal people to maintain their unique cultural identity as they make the transition into the non-Indigenous world. The film ends with Jimmy Little – who also introduces the documentary with a song about the struggles of his people – explaining ‘there is still much to be done’.

This important film canvases the opinions of Aboriginal people in Central Australia in the early 1960s and presents their open and frank critique of the dominant society’s treatment of their people. A Changing Race holds national heritage significance as part of a filmed record of Aboriginal peoples in Central Australia which spans over a century.


Jimmy Little - Himself (introducer)
Release dates
26 August 1964 - Australia

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, A Changing Race, <>, retrieved 18 October 2019

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