Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy [to the] College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.
This thesis examines and compares the careers and creative output of Tracey Moffatt and Rachel Perkins—two Indigenous Australian women film and image makers—particularly focusing on their roles as change-makers, and how they have ‘made a difference’. Through biographical investigation, survey of relevant political, historical and cultural contexts, and close textual analysis of a selection of their works, the thesis addresses the following interrelated, overarching questions: how have these two artists given expression to indigenous subjectivities and stories; and how have they simultaneously re-visioned the dominant narratives of Australian settlement? It concludes that, in their respective creative, critically engaged careers, Moffatt and Perkins have each produced substantial, original and innovative bodies of works that: 1. contribute to the Fourth Cinema movement globally, and the national Indigenous project of self-determination and self-representation; 2. give expression to the lived and inherited experiences of the traumas which have resulted from the processes of colonisation in Australia, traumas associated with myriad forms of loss and violence and injustice, including: sexual violence, dispossession and dislocation, enforced servitude, forced removals of children from Indigenous mothers and families, loss of language and cultural roots; 3. advance various forms of healing and hope, including the reconnection of severed links between generations; the passing on and revitalising of Indigenous stories; the education of younger generations of Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians; 4. pose intersectional feminist critiques of power and privilege, disadvantage and inequality; and finally, 5. confirm their status as authors and leaders in the field of contemporary cinema, media and visual art.
This thesis contains third party copyright material which has been reproduced here with permission. Any further use requires permission of the copyright owner. The thesis author retains all proprietary rights (such as copyright and patent rights) over all other content of this thesis, and has granted La Trobe University permission to reproduce and communicate this version of the thesis. The author has declared that any third party copyright material contained within the thesis made available here is reproduced and communicated with permission. If you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact us with the details.