My name is Tom Hearn, the proud founder of BushTV, a venture that took root in 2001. Hailing from Australia, I am a documentary filmmaker, writer and photographer, carrying within me the rich heritage of my Celtic ancestry. While I am not an Indigenous Australian, my journey over the past two decades has been dedicated to the art of storytelling.
BushTV has blossomed into a remarkable platform, serving as a conduit for the creation and dissemination of authentic stories. However, what often sparks curiosity is how a non-Indigenous storyteller like myself can navigate the realm of First Nation narratives for such an extended period. Do I not need to be Indigenous to engage with and produce Indigenous tales? I humbly respond to such queries with an invitation to approach my Indigenous clients. It is through their trust and patronage that my work finds its purpose.
The heart of the matter lies in the desires of the people I collaborate with – the remote Indigenous Organisations that form the foundation of my clientele. They seek exceptional stories that honour their identities, their lands, and their cultures. They yearn for narratives that are skillfully crafted by an individual who comprehends their essence and approaches their heritage with utmost respect. It is my deeply held belief that my success in the Indigenous storytelling domain stems from two decades of delivering quality stories, always mindful of the significance of respect.
The path I have chosen has been one of profound learning, growth, and collaboration. I am continually humbled by the opportunity to contribute to the tapestry of Indigenous storytelling. It is a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of sharing the voices and experiences of Indigenous communities, and I cherish the relationships I have cultivated throughout this extraordinary journey.
Our spirituality is a oneness and an interconnectedness with all that lives and breathes, even with all that does not live or breathe.
So I take this word reconciliation and I use it to reconcile people back to Mother Earth, so they can walk this land together and heal one another because she’s the one that gives birth to everything we see around us, everything we need to survive.
We cultivated our land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavored to live with the land; they seemed to live off it. I was taught to preserve, never to destroy.
This earth, I never damage. I look after. Fire is nothing, just clean up. When you burn, new grass coming up. That means good animal soon, Might be goanna, possum, wallaby. Burn him off, new grass coming up, new life all over.