Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours


Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries

First Supervisor

Dr Dennis Wood


Indigenous identity can only be located within . a framework of historical dislocation from where white notions of assimilation are shattered. Therefore Indigeneity can only be defined in relation to the black experience within colonialism's hegemonic structures. I will argue this by looking at constructions of Indigenous Australians in the feature film Radiance (1998) directed by Rachel Perkins, and the documentary Sissy (2000) directed by Debbie Carmody (previously known as Debbie Gittins), which was made as part of this thesis. This raises questions: What is the black experience and the process of black survival within colonialism's hegemonic structures? How does the discourse of Indigenous identity disfigure white notions of lndigeneity? To what extent does the discourse pluralize Indigenous identities, and how are filmmakers who are Indigenous representing that? How do non-Indigenous filmmakers and theorists break free from iron girded outdated notions of white superiority?