Stories and Songs of the People - They came for the gathering

Musical performance & documentary, 20 minutes; completed August 2000.
Screened on ABC-TV in June 2001.


‘THEY CAME FOR GATHERING’ documents the first ‘STORIES AND SONGS OF THE PEOPLE’ event held in Australia in Melbourne, 1999.

In a time when issues such as reconciliation were (and still are) prevalent, this event arose from the desire to celebrate Australian Aboriginal culture as well as the desire to establish a cultural and educational exchange between Indigenous cultures from around the globe.

As a concert it gave a stage for many Aboriginal artists to express their vision for a collective future through music; as an event organised by ‘grass roots’ community it created a platform from which subsequent events have developed, including another event in 2000 and a CD (entitled ‘Humble Beginnings’).

PERFORMING ARTISTS: Frankie Yamma, Peter Rotumah, Deb Morrow,
Kelli Howell, Neil Murray & Stephen Teakle, Shane Howard, Illana Atkinson, Tom E. Lewis, Tiffany Eckardt & Dave Steel, Nick Larkins, Lee Morgan, Russell Smith, Malcolm Jagamarra and visiting Native American artist Johnnie Aseron.

Awards and Screenings

  • Best Foreign Documentary at 2001 Santa Clarita Int. Film Festival (USA)
  • Silver CINDY Award at 2001 International CINDY competition (USA)
  • Official Selection at 2001 St Kilda Film Festival,
  • Official Selection at Eye Candy 2001,
  • Official Selection at 2001 Splendour in the Grass – On Screen Gallery
  • Official Selection at 2001 Canadian International Annual Film & Video Festival.

    Creative Team

    • EDITOR: Zbigniew Friedrich
    • DIRECTOR: Fiona Cochrane
    • PRODUCERS: Johnnie Aseron and Fiona Cochrane\


    • Distributed in Australia by VEA,
    • Post-produced with the assistance of the Indigenous Program Unit, ABC-TV & the Indigenous Unit, Australian Film Commission.