Old Country New Country


Old Country New Country is the poignant and politically powerful story of Bardi Elder Roy Wiggan passing on to his nephew Albert the traditional aboriginal craft of raft-making. In the process, they travel from their country--the rugged and ancient beauty of the Kimberley region, one of the few remaining wildernesses on the planet--to the once pristine, now industrialised Pilbara to the south.

As Roy instructs Albert in Bardi raft-building, the land of their people is being destroyed by mining developments. To the Bardi people, "country" is not real estate to be bought and sold. It is the essence of their aboriginal being. But, now, Roy and Albert believe that mining “will ‘destroy our lifestyle, our culture."

Roy and Albert’s dialogue in this beautifully-shot piece revolves around not just raft building, but their thoughts on the destructive impact of “new country” industrialisation on their “old country.”

Our job was to look after this country. Our job was to respect this land. It’s in our dreaming. It’s in our songs passed on for thousands of years.

— Albert Wiggan


Albert Wiggan
Roy Wiggan
George Negus (Presenter)
Release dates
8 June 2009 - Australia
G - general

The "new country" is the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia and stands for destruction, development and the "rape of the land". The "old country" stands for sustainability and preservation.

A song cycle holds the essence of the country and runs up and down the Burrup Peninsula.

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Korff, J 2018, Old Country New Country, <>, retrieved 14 June 2024

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