Deborah Mailman discusses Rabbit-Proof Fence
Rhoda Roberts interview Deborah Mailman on Deadly Sounds, a one-hour program produced by Vibe Australia and distributed nationally to over 200 stations every week through the Community Radio Network and National Indigenous Radio Service satellites.
In this clip, they discuss Mailman's role in the Australian feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002), which tells the story of the Stolen Generations through the eyes of 3 Aboriginal girls who are forcibly taken from their families in 1931 to be trained as domestic servants as part of an official Australian government policy.
In the interview Mailman says she didn't hesitate to play a small part in the film because of the importance of the subject matter. Roberts says that while the role was small, it poignantly reveals the abuse from the station owner in the film.
Roberts is a member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul and Gidabul clans of Northern NSW and South East Queensland, and her interest in the subject matter of the film is easily sensed in the tone of her voice.
Roberts also undoubtedly knows Mailman personally so it feels more like we are eavesdropping on a casual conversation rather than a formal interview. This makes for a very effective interview format.
Unfortunately there are sound issues with Roberts in the broadcast studio and Mailman interviewed via telephone. An in-studio interview would have given the conversation a greater sense of immediacy and drawn us further into their discussion.
Notes by Stephen Groenewegen and Adam Blackshaw