Pecan Summer Film Screening at Riverlinks WestSide

By Laura Briggs

Shepparton Riverlinks has partnered with Short Black Opera to present a film screening commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Cummeragunja walk-off.

The award-winning film Pecan Summer, written and composed by Yorta Yorta woman Deborah Cheetham, tells the story of the 1939 exodus of the Yorta Yorta people from Cummeragunja station.

The walk-off saw 200 Aboriginal men, women and children cross the Dhungala (Murray River) in defiance of their persecutors.

Pecan Summer tells of the consequences of the walk-off, culminating with its final scene in Federation Square on Apology Day 2008.

‘‘Pecan Summer is an opera for the 21st century, a contemporary opera for indigenous Australians, a story for all Australians,’’ Ms Cheetham said.

The screening will be accompanied by live performances by Short Black Opera, the Dhungala Children’s Choir and Ms Cheetham herself.

Riverlinks performing arts and conventions manager Ken Cameron was delighted to be hosting the screening.

‘‘We are happy to be screening Pecan Summer as the story is so important to the local community,’’ Mr Cameron said.

‘‘We are excited to watch the film but also to hear live performances by Deborah Cheetham and the Dhungala choir.’’

Dhungala Children’s Choir celebrate its 10th anniversary this year and funds raised from ticket sales will support its first overseas performance tour.

The Pecan Summer film screening will be held at Riverlinks WestSide on Tuesday, February 5, at 1pm and 7pm.

Tickets can be purchased online at riverlinksvenues.com.au or through the Riverlinks box office, phone 58329511.