Palm Island, 2004 – an Aboriginal man dies in police custody. Frustrated by the state response, members of the Palm Island community make a direct challenge to police power. The station is burned down.
Eight years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues.
Beautiful One Day is a theatrical documentary about the irrepressible life and times of Palm Island. Three theatre companies; ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Belvoir and version 1.0, came together in 2011 over a shared sense of outrage at the injustices surrounding the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee.
Prompted by the Palm Island community, Beautiful One Day looks for a way to turn outrage into real understanding and new possibilities.
Through a determined struggle to understand the persistent heavy-handedness of white Australia, Beautiful One Day charts the course of repression, racism and the astonishing resilience of the people who call Palm Island home.
Representing the real voices of the community in this stirring work, Beautiful One Day features Palm Island residents Magdalena Blackley, Kylie Doomadgee (Mulrunji Doomadgee’s niece) and Harry Reuben – as well as Rachael Maza (The Sapphires and ILBIJERRI Theatre Company Artistic Director), who has a family connection to the island.
An antidote to the relentlessly negative media coverage, this work interweaves the stories of Palm Island, the diktats of white Australia and the voices of the community to create something that is honest, joyful and poignant.
Beautiful One Day
Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Season: 26 November – 1 December 2013
Bookings: (03) 9322 3713 or online at: www.artshouse.com.au
For more information, visit: www.artshouse.com.au for details.
Image: Harry Reuben, Rachael Maza, Magdalena Blackley and Kylie Doomadgee by Heidron Lohr