Curator's Cut: 'Buffalo Legends'

Wednesday, 3 October, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Event Details

  • Date
    Wednesday, 3 October, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Location
    Northern Territory Library
  • Cost
Sepia coloured photograph of the Buffalo football team lined up at an angle with their hands resting on the shoulders of the person in front of them

The ‘Buffalo Legends’ were a group of men who knocked down the barriers of racism on the sporting field. On the way they established a way of life based on tolerance, respect and making your own fun whatever obstacles are placed in your path. In the film Buffalo Legends, the descendants of the original legends tell us, with in-your-face humour and candour, how multiculturalism was established in Darwin, long before the word was invented, and why it is still worth fighting for. (53 mins)

Following the screening we will be joined by old Darwin families and members of the football fraternity for a discussion on football and its role in shaping the community on and off the field. 

This is part of the Northern Territory Library’s Curator’s Cut film series, screening rare films from the Library collection followed by a discussion with experts on the subject. 

About the speakers:

Joy Cardona is a Malak Malak woman and the grand-daughter of Reuben Cooper, a pivotal figure in the history of Northern Territory football. Joy played Basketball, Hockey, Cycling, Softball and Aussie Rules in Darwin in her youth. She was the first woman to umpire an Australian Rules game and has worked extensively in the public service. She holds a Degree in Aboriginal Community Management and Development. After Cyclone Tracy, Joy joined the NT Police as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer. She worked with the new NLC (Northern Land Council), and was elected to the Northern Land Council Executive as a Member for Darwin. 

In time, she became the longest reining Goal Umpire for the Northern Territory. Joy has served as Team Manager for the Tiwi Bombers, and is the second woman to be Awarded Life Membership of the AFL NT. 

John Paterson is affiliated with the Ngalakan people from the Roper region. He’s the CEO of AMSANT and was a gun player for the Buffaloes, notching up over 200 games for the club. John has worked labouring in Lajamanu, been a garbologist, and an ATSIC Commissioner. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Science and has held senior management positions in government and Aboriginal community organisations for more than two decades. His interest includes mentoring Indigenous young people, strengthening Indigenous governance structures and gardening. During John’s time on field he was known as ‘The Rock of Gibraltar’. He has until recently been the President of the Buffaloes. 

Aunty Kathy Mills is a well-known Kungarakung/Gurindji community leader, singer, elder and activist. She was the first woman to be elected to the Northern Land Council, and wrote the quintessential Darwin song "Arafura Pearl". She was appointed as a co-commissioner for the NT to the panel of the Stolen Generations Inquiry, which produced the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report and was a major factor in getting the Stolen Generation issue recognised at a national level. Kathy became a strong advocate for services addressing alcohol policy and alcoholism and was a key figure in the establishment of the FORWAARD alcohol rehabilitation centre in Darwin. In 1986, she was named the NAIDOC National and Northern Territory Aboriginal of the Year.

2018 Curator's Cut program
•    Wednesday 19 September - How the West was Lost (part of Darwin International Film Festival)
•    Wednesday 3 October – Buffalo Legends
•    Wednesday 7 November – Country Outcasts and Sunshine Club: Days of Old Darwin
•    Wednesday 5 December – The Search for the Shell Encrusted Toilet Seat

This event is now fully booked. To join the wait list, please email