A Love Letter to the North (2019)

This experimental ethnographic film is a visual essay to accompany my doctoral research about connections to land in Cape York Peninsula, far north-east Australia. It is equal parts an ode to the people and landscape that worked their way into my psyche through homemade biscuits/stoic cattle/salt pans/red dirt/bushfire sunsets and to the slow work of ethnographic research. Using the non-narrative style of sensory ethnography, this film explores some of the ways that people use and care for country through the two recurring themes of cattle and fire. Both cattle and fire are, I think, good to think with. Cattle and fire are both non-human agents who shape and mediate all-too-human relationships, as well as relationships between people and landscapes. In some ways they point to the complicated histories of intercultural relationships in Cape York, and to the contested visions for the future of the region.

This film was made on Lama Lama, Kuku Thaypan, Olkola and Guugu Yimithirr country. The soundtrack is by Richard&Linda (Hannah Reardon-Smith and Liam Flenady) and features a song by G2G.


Screener available on request.



shown as part of Gathering Geographies at Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, NSW


Watch This Space walk-in cinema, Mparntwe/Alice Springs, NT


Mimesis Documentary Festival, University of Colorado Boulder, USA 

EssexDocFest, UK 

Macquarie University International Ethnographic Film Festival, Sydney, NSW

Winner of the Film and Multimedia category of the 2020 Australian Network of Student Anthropologists Visual Ethnography Prize


Kin-Makers: The Weird, the Eerie and the far North, curated by Kupka’s Piano, Seven Hills Theatre, Meanjin/Brisbane, Qld

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the stolen-never-ceded lands I live, work, and think on, the Wurundjeri people.