Aboriginal Rules


Aboriginal Rules offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the grassroots Aboriginal football experience that you may have heard about, but never seen before.

Aboriginal Rules follows a year in the life of the Yuendumu Magpies Football Team as they battle it out in the red dirt of the Central Australian Outback. Yuendumu is about 300km north-west from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

The dust, hard knocks and chaos of a bush footy game are all part of the complicated inter-tribal rivalry that is played out when any two teams meet. If you were in Melbourne you’d see a counsellor in a room. In Yuendumu you go hunting and then play a good match of footy.

Aboriginal Rules is an invitation to discover what it means to be a young Warlpiri Warrior fighting for a place in the team, and what it means for the coach to keep the team together, to get players attend training and ultimately to achieve their goal of winning.

Football is the new dreaming that holds the balance in young men’s lives.

Aboriginal Rules was made primarily for Aboriginal people by Aboriginal people in their own voice and on their own terms.

Football is just like a tjukurrpa [Dreaming]. You're owning that dreaming.—Aboriginal elder in Aboriginal Rules

Yuendumu is 350km north-west of Alice Springs. Yuendumu, Central Australia is home to the Yuendumu Magpies Football Team featuring in Aboriginal Rules.


Yuendumu Magpies football team
Sherman Spencer
Carson Brown
Sebastian Watson
Adrian 'Simba' Nelson (coach)
Video/DVD release date
20 October 2007
PG - Parental guidance
Warlpiri Media (You support an Indigenous business with your purchase.)
Big Bear aka Thomas Saylor, available as separate Aboriginal Rules Soundtrack CD

Website: www.aboriginalrules.com

The same producers created the comedy Bush Mechanics.

DVD extra: Japu Japu, a short film featuring Francis Kelly from Bush Mechanics, which is a tongue in cheek fantasy about how footy was introduced to Aboriginal culture by a ball landing in a billabong.

Find a copy of "Aboriginal Rules"

Explore more Aboriginal movies

Aboriginal movie timeline

Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.

Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?

Cite this resource

An appropriate citation for this document is:

www.CreativeSpirits.info, Movies - Aboriginal Rules, retrieved 26 March 2017