As Worlds Divide: Byron film screening presented by Indigenous Education Foundation (IEF), Patagonia Australia and Garage Entertainment

Rob Henry 1

Watch a film, save a culture. #wafsac

NINE YEARS IN THE MAKING – AS WORLDS DIVIDE OPENS A WINDOW INTO THE LIVES AND CULTURE OF THE MENTAWAI PEOPLE

Australian surfer and documentary film maker, Rob Henry, spent the last nine years living among the Mentawai people, an ancient forest dwelling tribe whose way of life depends solely on the forest and nature’s provisions. Situated 150km off the coast of West Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai is a renowned location for surfers worldwide.

“I was intrigued by the Mentawai people, their level of freedom and happiness, and wanted to understand what they were doing differently to us.” Rob said. “At the same time, I also found that the Mentawai faced their own challenges – how to maintain their language, culture and identity in the face of increasing commercialisation and acculturation.”

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The experience galvanized Rob to form the Indigenous Education Foundation – a vehicle to support community-based initiatives aimed at preventing long-term poverty amongst displaced Indigenous peoples, achieved through the development of educational programs built around the preservation and utilisation of their cultural knowledge, customs and local environment.

During his stay in the Mentawai Islands, Rob learnt the local language and immersed himself in the Mentawai’s everyday living. He also made a documentary film as part of a plan to assist the Mentawai in maintaining their culture.

Tariq Zaidi 2

In response to the threats to Mentawai’s culture, language and way of life, Rob has been working closely with the Indigenous Mentawai community to develop a Cultural and Environmental Education Program (CEEP), which is now ready to implement.

“Our goal is to raise $1 million for indigenous education. ‘#wafsac – Watch a film, save a culture’ is our rallying call. The money raised will allow the Mentawai to deliver their 10-year CEEP implementation strategy.

“We are planning to build a cultural education centre, publish a Mentawai dictionary and develop a new model of eco-tourism that enables the community a sustainable way to operate and expand their CEEP initiative well into the future.”

The Indigenous Education Foundation #wafsac campaign and As Worlds Divide film has screened to sellout crowds in Melbourne, Torquay and Sydney.

For more information, please visit: www.iefprograms.org/wafsac

All proceeds from the event will go directly to the community’s Cultural and Environmental Education Program (CEEP) via IEF.

This event is presented by Indigenous Education Foundation (IEF), Patagonia Australia and Garage Entertainment. Proudly sponsored by the Byron Theatre.

5.30pm – Internet Sales close
6.30pm – Venue doors open | Box Office sales open | Events Bar open
7.10pm – Theatre doors open
7.30pm – As Worlds Divide
9.30pm – Event concludes