It was bitterly cold as people made their way to the Dendy Theatre on Thursday night, but on arrival, the glowing lights, tantalising aroma of popcorn and buzzing atmosphere promised an exciting evening of entertainment.

And what a night it was!

A crowd of Bridge Housing tenants, staff and special guests gathered for an exclusive screening of Leah Purcell’s ground-breaking film, The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson.

Held to honour National Reconciliation Week, this screening was an opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal culture and achievements, while shining a light on Australia’s troubled history. It was also a great opportunity for a group of Australians from diverse backgrounds to come together and reflect on how we can all work towards achieving true reconciliation: building respectful, inclusive relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the wider community.  

The night kicked off with a beautiful Welcome to Country by Melissa Russell-Combo, and an introduction to the film by writer, director and star, Leah Purcell herself.

After the screening, CEO Rebecca Pinkstone interviewed Leah about her inspiration and thoughts on making the film, and the audience had an opportunity to participate in a Q&A session. Leah generously shared personal stories and special insights to the story development process.

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme of ‘Be Brave. Make Change.’ was beautifully reflected in Leah’s work, which is a modern adaptation of Henry Lawson’s classic short story, reimagined through an Aboriginal and female lens. Covering themes of racism, domestic violence, and identity, it’s a bold and sometimes confronting tale. It challenges the audience to face not only historical wrongs, but consider current realities. How much has changed?

Special thanks to Bridge staffers Melissa Russell-Combo, Koolyn Gordon and the Communities team for organising such an incredible event.

Always was and
always will be

Bridge Housing acknowledges that the land we live and work on always was and always will be Aboriginal land.