Our Generation Media was birthed in 2010 by Sinem Saban and her husband Damien Curtis whilst making their award winning documentary, Our Generation.
Since then it has grown to become a well known and respected production company that specialises in working in partnership with Indigenous communities to create powerful and educational content.
The core production team is led by Director / Producer Sinem Saban who has multiple skills in directing, writing, producing, photography, filming, editing and teaching. Coupled with this is over 20 years of experience learning, living and working with Indigenous peoples of N.E Arnhem Land.
Yolngu elder, Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM has been working closely with Sinem Saban for over 16 years and holds the important position of Cultural Advisor at Our Generation Media.
Very rarely does Sinem work alone, she will call on her talented network of freelance creatives, depending on the specific requirements, size and location of each job.
This extensive, trialed and tested, talented and trustworthy crew include: award winning camera operators, sound recordists, stills photographers, editors and lighting teams from across Australia. They are a fine mix of female and male, and we try and get Indigenous crew on board whenever appropriate.
As each Indigenous group she works with has their own spokespeople, their own cultural protocols and their own leaders; she calls upon these people and their resources to help her develop the best strategy to do her job.
Director Producer Sinem Saban with Rev Dr Gondarra (Photo Eve Jeffries)
Director / Writer / Producer / Educator
Sinem's foundational passion is civil rights which stemmed from her Year 9 Legal Studies class when she was first taught about Black Deaths in Custody. She holds a BA in Media Studies, Legal Studies and Aboriginal Studies and a High School Teaching Certification. After several years teaching Film and Media Studies at High School she travelled to N.E Arnhem Land to teach in Aboriginal community schools, which is where her passion for Indigenous rights was reinforced.
Inbetween her journey as a high school teacher in the mainstream system and her time working in remote Aboriginal schools, she journeyed to Iraq, Palestine and Israel with musician Michael Franti, to document the human cost of war, for the documentary, 'I Know I'm Not Alone.' Only 27 years old at the time, this experience stepping into a war zone change her life forever.
In 2007, as a response to the NT Intervention and the despair it caused her Yolngu friends and family, she began to film and produce Our Generation. As one of the first Australian documentaries to use 'People Power' and crowd fundraising to harness a grass roots campaign movement in Australia, this film reached cult status amongst the Aboriginal rights movement. It stirred thousands of people to join arms with Aboriginal Australians in the 'Stand For Freedom' campaign which Sinem and her husband also founded. Our Generation then went on to win Best Campaign Film at the London International Documentary Festival in 2011.
Since then Sinem has directed & produced Indigenous suicide awareness videos for Beyond Blue, she has produced over 130 videos for the Young Deadly Free Project - raising awareness of STI's in remote Aboriginal Communities. And she has produced Indigenous legal education videos Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) and Northern Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Services (NAAFLS).
At the beginning of 2019 Sinem finally started production of a long brewing new documentary which will look at the legacy of her old friend, mentor and teacher Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM - one of Australia's most profound Aboriginal civil rights and spiritual leaders in Australia.
Sinem's long term passion for Aboriginal rights and her 20 year connection to communities in N.E Arnhem Land is what makes Our Generation Media a specialist production company with a focus on presenting the voices of Australia's First Peoples.
REV. DR. DJINIYINI GONDARRA
Dr Gondarra was born at Milingimbi, an island off the north-east Arnhem Land coast, in 1945. He was taught to speak, read and write English at the local Mission School by the late Beulah Lowe. His formal dominant culture education and training commenced as a Youth Leader and Sunday School Teacher in the local Methodist Church, followed by the Lay Preacher’s Course at Alcorn College in Brisbane during 1964.
He then returned to Arnhem Land and took up the position of Lay Pastor at Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island. He spent two years (1969-1970) training in christian education with the United Church of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands. He later undertook additional training at the Raronga Theological College, also in PNG.
Dr Gondarra was ordained as a Minister of the Methodist Church in 1976 and was the Parish Minister at Galiwin’ku until early 1983 when he took up a position as Lecturer at Nungalinya Theological College in Darwin. He then became Moderator of the Uniting Church Northern Synod (1985-1987).
Following this, he took up the position of Chief Executive Officer with Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Inc (ARDS) where he worked until his retirement in 2001. Dr Gondarra then became the Chairman of ARDS.
He is also the Chairman of the Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA) (since 1993).
He was awarded an honorary Cultural Doctorate in Literature by the World University of Roundtable, Arizona in 1991 and in 1998 received an Order of Australia Medal.
Dr Gondarra has had a passion for helping people to bridge the cultural divide that exists between Indigenous and other Australians. This has been part of his work within the Methodist and Uniting churches, as an Australian citizen and as a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (1988-2001).
He has also long championed the recognition of Aboriginal Traditional Law as a source of law in Australia.
Dr Gondarra has been actively involved in the business world and operates his own consultancy and small family business with cross cultural communication as his main area of focus and operation.
He is a founding member and Co-Chair of “Mawul Rom”, a program that delivers accredited training in Cross Cultural Mediation, and he continues to actively lobby for the recognition of Aboriginal Traditional Law and governance.
In 2008 he was formally recognised as Djirrkay, (traditional political leader) of the Dhurili Clan Nation.
Dr Gondarra's civil rights activism coupled with his role as a recognised law man and spiritual leader makes him a true visionary for not only his own people but also Indigenous people across Australia.