Sharing and preserving culture on Nyikina Country

October 26, 2021

Annie Nayina Milgin holding a microphone
Woonyoomboo the Night Heron is a three-part film that tells the story of the major Creation Ancestor for the Nyikina people (of the West Kimberley region in Western Australia). The story shows how and where Woonyoomboo lived and travelled, and how he brought the Nyikina world into being.

For over ten years the SharingStories Foundation worked collaboratively with the Nyikina community to create the film and multi-touch books that interpret the Woonyoomboo story through a rich combination of artwork, animation, sound design, songs, drone and video footage, and photographs.

During this time, senior Nykina custodians Annie Nayina Milgin and Darraga Watson travelled on Country exploring the Woonyoomboo story through language, song, dance and art in communities and classrooms across the region.

Produced in language and English, Woonyoomboo the Night Heron is an important cultural and language resource for Nyikina communities filled with teachings about Country, law, and ceremony. It also provides deep insights for the broader community.

A CBF Content Grant provided funding for adding language and subtitles, as well as editing and sound mastering for the film. The grant also included funding for 165.5 hours of language mentoring with two Nyikina women.

The film was launched in late 2020 in Derby with over 100 people attending who all agreed it was a great celebration for all Nyikina people.

“We’re here to celebrate the wisdom and the magic that Aunty Annie has carried for the last 20 years. It’s so important. This is about creating a good spirit for the young people. Thank you Aunty Annie. Your love, your wisdom, your teaching, and your sharing has made this something. That’s not just for the Kimberleys. This is for the world.” – feedback from an attendee at the film launch.

Watch the Woonyoomboo the Night Heron  trailer >

Photo: Senior Nyikina Custodian, Annie Nayina Milgin with MC and Nyikina Custodian Cyril Archer at the Woonyoomboo community celebration.

About our grants

We run two Content and Development & Operations grant rounds each year, usually in January and July.  You can check when our next grant round is open on the key dates page.

Quick Response Grants are also available outside our grant rounds for community media organisations that are experiencing emergencies.

To hear the latest updates about our grants subscribe to our enewsletter, Broadcast, and follow us on Facebook.