The Quandamooka People had already inhabited their homeland of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and Moorgumpin (Moreton Island) for 21,000 years when Captain James Cook first sailed the waters of Quandamooka Bay sighting these islands in 1770. Cook then claimed the eastern coast of the land as terra nullius (land that belongs to no-one), which later became known as Australia. Since colonisation, the controversy of terra nullius has been the main conflict between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.

Dreaming On: The Story of the Quandamooka People is a first time ever to be told documentary film about the Quandamooka Traditional Owners' passion and determination to never relinquish their land and culture. In collaboration with elders, community leaders, and the younger generation of Quandamooka country, filmmaker Marcia Machado provides a narrative with fractions of their personal stories, dreams, and aspirations interwoven with the local "Song Man's" story of creation, ultimately culminating in the realisation of a long awaited victory.

Filmed in the homeland of the Quandamooka People, Dreaming On describes how the Noonucal, Gorempul and Ngugi tribes struggled through years of oppression and segregation to live within their culture and successfully function amongst non-indigenous Australians. Dreaming On captures the heartbreaking story of the injustices suffered by the deprivation of their land rights, their very own bloodline to country.

The Quandamooka People have traditionally relied on the bounty of the sea for much of their food supply and bush tucker for their balanced daily nutritive needs. The Traditional Owners have a deep connection with the land and waters of Quandamooka (Moreton Bay), and are remarkably efficient in the preservation of land and sea resources. They have a broad understanding of their environment and are bound by their traditions in art, song, dance, legends and ceremonies that have allowed their culture to endure.

In an attempt to narrow the gap between their community and the dominant society, the Quandamooka People established their own organisations to assist them to better function in mainstream society and maintain their cultural identity as the Traditional Owners of their homeland.

The Quandamooka Land Council (QLC) was formed in the early 1990's. Following seventeen years of struggle, on the 4th of July 2011, the Native Title Rights of the Quandamooka People was officially recognised by the Federal High Court of Australia. In South East Queensland, the Quandamooka People, are the first Traditional Owners to be recognised as custodians of their homeland.

Dreaming On takes the viewer on an intimate journey, for the first time across the Quandamooka People's history and culture. Through stories passed down from generation to generation, the film brings us to the present trials and achievements of this persistent and dedicated community located on North Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay off the coast of South East Queensland, only fifty minutes away from the capital city of Brisbane, Australia.





This film was made possible with the support of:

The Quandamooka Combined
Aboriginal Organisations Forum