My Life As I Live It


Portrait of Essie Coffey
Essie Coffey

My Live As I Live It is Essie's second film which returns to her home in 'Dodge City' fifteen years after her first film, My Life As An Aboriginal.

Essie and the A-Team are nominating for the local Shire elections. The film incorporates some of the 1978 footage and characters from the earlier film, showing how life has changed for the Aboriginal community of Brewarrina, in far north-west New South Wales.

My Live As I Live It presents the fascinating contrasts of a society in transition. Some of the kids we met in the earlier film now have families of their own and are involved in education, art and sports. Others are drifting, trying to cope with alcohol and depression. Most significantly, community programs offer the possibility of dignity and self-determination.

Essie shows us the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) making a real difference, providing meaningful work and services to an impoverished remote community. Unusually, this film was originally broadcast on both national public broadcasters, SBS and the ABC.

Essie's family gather in front of a simple wooden house entry.
Essie Coffey's family house in Brewarrina.

Thanks to Martha Ansara for pointing me to this film and providing details and photos.


Release dates
1993 - Australia
G - general
Ballad Films

Essie Coffey also appeared in Phillip Noyce's film Backroads.

She died on January 6, 1998, aged 56.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, My Life As I Live It, <>, retrieved 19 October 2019

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