Wik Vs Queensland: The day Wik won the battle but lost the war.

Wik Vs Queensland 

The day Wik won the battle but lost the war.

This Sunday 8 July at 8.30pm, Wik vs Queensland has its television premiere on NITV as one of the channel’s NAIDOC week flagship programs. 

Screen Queensland is proud to support the filmmakers behind

Wik Vs Queensland and helping to bring this story to the screen.

Wik vs Queensland tells the story of the Wik Peoples of Cape York and their native title claim in the High Court of Australia. The documentary forensically tracks the lead up to the historic High Court decision in December 1996, and the dramatic cultural and political fallout that followed.

Writer/Director Dean Gibson, Producer Helen Morrison and Executive Producer Trish Lake received a standing ovation for their documentary feature film at the 2018 Sydney Film Festival with an audience of 1,700 people.

Set against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous times in Australia’s history, the documentary offers a unique Indigenous perspective on those momentous events.

Descendants of the courageous Wik leaders involved in the case, Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung (Granddaughter of Wik claimant Jean George), Maree Kalkeeyorta (Sister of Wik claimant Gladys Tybingooompa), Keri Tamwoy (Daughter of Wik claimant Alison Woolla), Janine Chevathun (Daughter of Wik claimant Norma Chevathun) and Phyllis Yunkaporta (Daughter of Wik Claimant Frances Yunkaporta), reflect on the very personal toll the battle took on their families and community.

Joining the Wik voice are notable Aboriginal leaders of that moment in history, Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton AM, Senator Pat Dodson, Frankie Deemal and Peter Yu.  Alongside the legal team of Walter Sofronoff QC, James Fitzgerald, Philip Hunter and Adrian Duffy QC, are interviews with media icon Kerry O’Brien, Koori Mail past editor Todd Condie, and renowned anthropologist Peter Sutton.

Delicately woven around the interviews are exclusive archive clips from the Lew Griffiths Minamothu Library, providing a firsthand view of this turbulent time through rare, and/or never-before screened footage.

Wik vs Queensland is produced by Bacon Factory Films, Bent3Land Productions and Freshwater Pictures.  It was commissioned by NITV with principal production funding from Screen Australia and in association with Screen Queensland.

Wik vs Queensland screens 8:30pm Sunday 8 July on NITV (Channel 34)

and on SBS On Demand from Monday 9 July




Dean Gibson – Writer and Director

Dean Gibson is an Aboriginal filmmaker with more than 10 years’ experience in creating, writing, directing, editing and producing. His work has screened on ABC1, ABC3, SBS and NITV and includes children’s television, documentary and drama. He is a creative, passionate and experienced filmmaker, who believes in the power of stories waiting to be told.

Helen Morrison – Producer

Helen Morrison, has produced or production managed over 60 hours of broadcast television including content for broadcast on ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, NITV and even Sesame Street’s The Recyclables. In 2014 Helen co-created The Production Line with Dean Gibson a mentoring and filmmaking program for emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen storytellers.

Trish Lake – Executive Producer

Independent Producer and former ABC Television journalist, Trish Lake’s credits include The EulogyEarly Winter – winner of the prestigious “Venice Days Award” at the 2015 Venice Film Festival; FrackmanShow Me The MagicMy AmericaThe Burning SeasonRare Chicken Rescue and the feature films Gettin’ Square and Subdivision.

Trish is also an Adjunct Fellow at Griffith University in Brisbane where she leads a mentor program for emerging producers at Griffith Film School, and where she is also doing post-graduate research.