This series uses the technique of re-enactment to depict the ways of life of Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, prior to the arrival of Europeans, including the methods used to make implements, the uses to which these were put, how they traded and how food was gathered and prepared.

The main characters in the series are a man, his wife and their two children and the series was produced in the hope that it would give future generations of Australians a better understanding of Aboriginal peoples, especially their achievements.

Authentic Aboriginal music forms a background to the series and special efforts were made during the shoot to ensure that no exotic flora was shown.

In each episode the opening sequence is followed by Bill Onus providing specific commentary that serves to frame the action. At the end of each episode, Onus reflects on what has been shown and anticipates the next episode.

The series was used extensively in 2001 in a series for upper primary school children, called Our History.

Episode 1: Making stone axe

Episode 2: Trading

Episode 3: Bark canoe

Episode 4: Boomerang

Episode 5: Hunting an emu

Episode 6: Women gathering food

Episode 7: Hunting a kangaroo

Episode 8: Fishing

Episode 9: Mutton birds

Episode 10: Walkabout

Episode 11: Shellfish

Episode 12: Turtle fishing


Bill Onus - presenter
John Morgan - narrator

Alcheringa is a prize-winning ABC television program which was initially broadcast weekly.

Frank Few is an American-born director who also made some of the first wildlife or nature documentaries in Australia, while host Bill Onus is a Yorta Yorta man. The

cast members were all Aboriginal.

Watch now

Note: Film might not be available at all suppliers.

Find "Alcheringa" on DVD or BluRay

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through some of the below links.

Browse Aboriginal film suppliers and distributors

Explore more Aboriginal movies

Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.

Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, Alcheringa, <>, retrieved 9 July 2020

Knowledge is better when your friends know too.
Whom can you help today?

"Sharing knowledge is the fuel to your growth engine." — Unknown

Join more than 3,669 Smart Owls who know more!