Pip Deveson

Frederick Watson Fellow 2006

Topic: An exploration of the work of anthropologist and filmmaker Ian Dunlop
Pip Deveson presented her findings in a public lecture at the National Archives in Canberra.

Biographical note

Pip Deveson is a research and media project officer at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University.


Pip Deveson used her fellowship to explore the work of anthropologist and filmmaker Ian Dunlop, by examining film footage held in the National Archives of Australia collection.

In 1969, the Commonwealth Film Unit asked Ian Dunlop to film the impact of a bauxite mine on the Aboriginal community at Yirrkala in the Northern Territory. The filming continued for 12 years and, by 1996, Dunlop had produced 22 films. His work records many aspects of the life of the Yolngu people during a period of great change, including the first (and ultimately unsuccessful) land rights case in Australia. His films also show the impact of the Nabalco bauxite mine on the Yolngu people from 1970 to 1996.

Pip Deveson worked as a researcher, writer and editor, production assistant and sound recordist on some of these films. She has intimate knowledge of the Yirrkala collection held in the National Archives of Australia, including footage that did not make the final cut and diaries of film trips that reveal much about why certain things were filmed. She is exploring the value of looking at a collection of records as a whole in order to fully understand its parts.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018