Screen Australia has published a comprehensive guide for all filmmakers working with Indigenous content and communities, titled Pathways & Protocols: a filmmaker’s guide to working with Indigenous people, culture and concepts. There is a downloadable PDF on their website.

Pathways & Protocols is essential reading for ALL filmmakers shooting in Australia – you should read this first before going any further. 

We often hear about projects being developed that include Indigenous content but do not have Indigenous key creatives attached. If this is the case, we strongly recommend that you consider if you are the right person to be telling this story and reflect on the appropriateness of Indigenous representation and treatment of Indigenous cultural heritage material in your project, including any issues regarding cultural integrity, authenticity, and sensitive or sacred material. If you are unsure or do not have the contacts to find this out, then maybe the story isn’t one for you to tell?

It is also important to highlight that before engaging an Indigenous consultant, advisor or assessor, you need to understand that there are fees associated with this type of work and that there must be remuneration of individuals or organisations for the time, knowledge and expertise which is being provided. 

Pathways & Protocols provides a list of contact details for key organisations such as land councils, Indigenous media associations and broadcasters, industry agencies, Indigenous cultural advisors and script consultants, and permit offices. Some of this information is now out of date, but updated details and information can be researched and are publicly available on the internet.