In 1980, Shane Howard, a young Australian songwriter, went on a camping trip to Ayers Rock that would change his life.

It was the twin experiences of being at the iconic rock and going to a traditional Aboriginal ''inma' (corroboree) at the foot, that lead him to a spiritual awakening. Enlightened by the deep cultural intelligence behind the Aboriginal community, he was devastated on his return to Alice Springs at seeing the decimation that colonisation had caused.

 In 1982 Shane’s band Goanna recorded “Solid Rock”, the first song on Australia’s commercial radio to bring Aboriginal issues into the mainstream. 2012 marks 30 years since the iconic song's release and Shane will celebrate this milestone in November and December, with a concert series and re-release of the single, remixes and album. 

This is the perfect time to look at the legacy of Solid Rock and the music that followed. Musicians like Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Yothu Yindi, John Butler, Missy Higgins, Kev Carmody, Dan Sultan, No Fixed Address, and Neil Murray with the Warrumpi Band all drew inspiration from it, to help enable them to hold a torch to Aboriginal injustice. 

Shane plans to revisit the rock in the coming months to see what has changed for the communities out there and to find some answers to difficult questions. Has changing the name of Ayers Rock to Uluru made a difference? Did marching across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for reconciliation mean anything to remote indigenous communities? Has Kevin Rudd’s apology changed anything? What has been the effect of the intervention?

Shane will also take some of those torchbearers with him to perform to the community in an intimate outdoor setting, and we will be there to capture this very personal journey of rediscovery. The resulting documentary will be a compelling and enlightened look at how popular music became an agent of change for Aboriginal society and culture.


Documentary Music / History / indigenous (90mins) 


Archie Roach, John Butler, Dan Sultan, Bart Willoughby, Neil Murray, Blue King Brown, Bob Randall


Director: Stephan Markworth Producers: Ben Cunningham and Teresa O'Brien D.O.P Michael Schoell

Writers: Stephan Markworth / Ben Cunningham




Post Production / Finance / Distribution