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 rock and going to a traditional inma, which is like a corroboree, at the foot of Uluru – an incredible musical spiritual awakening to the intelligence at work behind Aboriginal culture and spirituality – and then going back in to Alice Springs and seeing the decimation that colonisation had caused.”

 In 1982, Shane’s band Goanna recorded “Solid Rock”, the first song on Australia’s commercial radio landscape to bring Aboriginal issues into the mainstream 2012 marks 30 years since the album’s release and Shane will celebrate this milestone in November and December with a concert series and re-release of the album, which will include new re-mixes. This is the perfect time to look at the legacy of Solid Rock and the music that followed. Music from other committed musicians who took up the torch to highlight Aboriginal injustice. People like Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Yothu Yindi, John Butler, Missy Higgins, Kev Carmody, Dan Sultan, No Fixed Address, Neil Murray with the Warrumpi Band and other great Aboriginal acts.

Shane plans to revisit the rock in the coming months to see what has changed for the communities out there. To find some answers to the hard questions. Has changing the name of Ayers Rock to Uluru made a difference? Did closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and marching across it for reconciliation? 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 communities in intimate outdoor settings, and we will be there to capture this very personal journey of rediscovery. The resulting documentary will be a compelling and controversial 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