Deborah Mailman and Cathy Freeman in Going Bush: Nabarlek

Deborah Mailman and Cathy Freeman in Going Bush: Nabarlek
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Access fees

In 2006, two of the country's best-known and loved personalities, actor Deborah Mailman and Olympian Cathy Freeman, set out to meet remote Aboriginal communities from Broome to Arnhem Land.

They wanted to discover what life is like for people living there and to hear stories of their ancestors. Their trip was documented by Lonely Planet TV in the 4-part series Going Bush.

In this excerpt from episode 4, the two women reach a small remote community in Arnhem Land, the Manmoyi Outstation. They join Aboriginal band Nabarlek in their recording studio and then speak to some of the Elders in the community. 

Mailman and Freeman slot into the band with ease and the footage of Nabarlek playing one of their songs in the recording studio is a great reminder of the depth of talent and artistry that can be found in these remote parts of the country. 

We also see how the women have a natural rapport with the community Elders. From a viewer perspective, it feels almost like the cameras are eavesdropping on a private conversation as the Elders explain how they influence the band. 

This clip provides a sense of just how small and close-knit many of these communities are and how the younger generation look to their Elders for help in keeping their culture alive through storytelling and music.

The camera also manages to capture how comfortable Mailman and Freeman have become, not only with each other along the journey, but with meeting new communities and families who lead vastly different lives to them.