The Drover's Boy


The Drover's Boy is a ‘hybrid’ blend of music, documentary and drama.

The story is set in the 1920s in outback Australia, and evokes a time when it was illegal for white Australians and Aboriginal people to marry. It was not uncommon for a drover and his Aboriginal wife to pass off their relationship under the guise of her being ‘a drover’s boy’. In subterfuge, she had to bind her breasts, cut her hair and change her name to disguise herself as an Aboriginal boy.

This is one such story, sensitively told, based on a ballad by Australian bush legend and singer-songwriter, Ted Egan. The song, and the film, pay tribute to this form of forbidden union and the significant contribution that Aboriginal women made to the pastoral history of frontier Australia.

The filmmaker, Margaret McHugh, is both a documentary director and a video artist whose work has been honoured at numerous festivals and in exhibitions around Australia and internationally. After studying visual art, photography and filmmaking in Australia, Spain and Scotland, Margaret enrolled at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney and later returned to AFTRS to make The Drover's Boy. The film had its world premiere at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.

Listen to Ted Egan's The Drover's Boy


Katherine Beckett - The Drover's Boy (as Katie Beckett)
Dale March - The Drover
Release dates
2015 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
1 February 2017
G - general
Ronin Films
Ted Egan, Yunyu Ong

Director's website:

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, The Drover's Boy, <>, retrieved 21 September 2020

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