• 'Sunburn' an animation from K'Gari by Tori-Jay Mordey (SBS)Source: SBS
Over 200 years ago, one woman's story would change the lives of Butchulla People forever...
NITV Staff Writer

28 Aug 2017 - 2:43 PM  UPDATED 28 Aug 2017 - 2:43 PM

Indigenous storytelling enters the digital space with new SBS' interactive documentary, K’gari, which launches today.

Produced by the team behind the voice-activated documentary game, My Grandmother’s LingoK’gari is told by internationally-acclaimed artist Fiona Foley with academic Larissa Behrendt and features Miranda Otto in the role of Eliza Fraser.

K’gari tells the story of one of the first alleged ‘fake news’ stories to be circulated across Australia, the ‘capture’ of British woman Eliza Fraser by Aboriginal people on Fraser Island (K’gari) in 1836.


Eliza was a passenger on her husband Captain James Fraser’s ship, the Stirling Castle, which struck reef hundreds of kilometers north of Fraser Island. She claims to have been captured by Aboriginal people when in reality she was taken in and cared for by the Butchulla people when shipwrecked. This is not only the view of the Indigenous people, but the other shipwreck survivors.   

The story of Eliza Fraser’s ‘capture’ has been reinterpreted by many Australian writers and artists; however the Indigenous perspective remains largely unheard. The counterpoints to Eliza’s version reveal a complex example of cross-cultural miscommunication and conflict.

"This interactive documentary, K’gari shares an important Indigenous perspective on this historic news story"

The online documentary reclaims the story of Eliza Fraser’s arrival on K’gari by Fiona Foley, a Butchulla woman of the Wondunna clan. The story reveals Fiona’s family’s version of events and explores the contemporary ramifications of the ‘capture’ myth in a rich interactive documentary featuring immersive animation by Indigenous illustrator, Tori-Jay Mordey.

Users can witness the clashing versions of events from the Butchulla People's and Eliza’s perspectives and will be required to unleash the natural forces of the island of K’gari, including lightning, ocean and sand, to eliminate Eliza’s words and progress the story.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said, “NITV is dedicated to providing its community with a voice and this interactive documentary, K’gari shares an important Indigenous perspective on this historic news story.”

The online interactive animation can be accessed here: sbs.com.au/kgari

Join the conversation on social media #YouAreHere. SBS Learn has teamed up with Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning program, to develop freely accessible and engaging classroom resources linked to the curriculum, as part of its broader You Are Here educational resources. The resource is available on SBS Learn.