Ms Magali McDuffie

PhD scholar

  • BA and MA Languages (French, German, English) (Institut de Perfectionnement en Langues Vivantes, Université Catholique de l'Ouest, Angers, France)
  • Grad Dip Translation (Institut de Perfectionnement en Langues Vivantes, Université Catholique de l'Ouest, Angers, France)
  • Bus Dip (British Chamber of Commerce)
  • MA Film and Television (Bond University, Gold Coast)
  • Grad Cert in Applied Anthropology, Native Title & Cultural Heritage (The University of Western Australia, Perth)

Topic or working title

Jimbin Kaboo Yimardoowarra Marninil: Listening to Nyikina women's voices, from the inside to the outside. How have Nyikina women's voices influenced, and are still influencing, cultural actions, sustainable economic initiatives and self-determination in the Kimberley? A cross-generational study through film: the three sisters' story.’

Abstract or summary

In her PhD, Magali privileges the voices of Nyikina women, and looks at how three sisters, Lucy Marshall, Jeani Wabi and Anne Poelina, have influenced cultural actions and economic and self-determination initiatives at a local and national level. Through filmed interviews and narratives of their lived experiences, spanning 80 years and three generations, Magali looks at how the three sisters have responded and adapted to different waves of government policies, and at their increasing political role in the current context.

Cover for Magali's DVD, which was developed in collaboration with three Yimardoowarra Marninil, Nyikina women from the Mardoowarra, Fitzroy River: Lucy Marshall, Jeannie Wabi and Anne Poelina.

» read a review of "Three Sisters: Women of High Degree" (PDF 84KB) by Meaghan Morris, Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney; Chair, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society; Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

Panel members and positions

Panel Chair:
Dr Bill Fogarty, Research Fellow, NCIS.


  • Professor Mick Dodson, Director of NCIS and Professor at the ANU College of Law.
  • (Third panel member to be advised)


Magali filming in Broome, 2014.

Magali McDuffie came to Australia from France at the age of 22. She completed a Masters Degree in Film and Television in 2002 before setting up a film production company with her late husband, film and television director Brian McDuffie, on the Far North Coast of New South Wales. In 2005, she was approached by the Tweed Aboriginal Community to document their fight against the construction of the Tugun Bypass highway, which was going to destroy a significant cultural landscape, and produced her first documentary: Bypassed: the Erosion of our Cultural and Environmental Landscapes (2006). Through further film projects with the Tweed community, and later with Indigenous Community Volunteers (Canberra), both as a volunteer and in her professional capacity as a filmmaker, she travelled across Australia to produce short films with and for different Aboriginal communities.

In 2007, Magali was invited to travel to the Kimberley to work with Nyikina women. Their ongoing collaboration has led to the production of more than 15 short films and documentaries, and the presentation of two films with Dr Anne Poelina at the UNESCO Human Rights Commission in 2012. Since then, Magali and Anne have produced numerous films which have been screened at various international festivals and conferences in Australia, France, Scotland, and New Zealand.

As well as being a PhD scholar at NCIS, Magali has held a position as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra (2011-2013), and is currently a Professional Associate at the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

Research outputs

  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Participatory documentary practices: filming with the Nyikina women', presented at the New Factual Storytelling DocLab Symposium on 10 April 2015. Centre for Cultural and Creative Research, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT. CONFERENCE PAPER.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Three Sisters, Women of High Degree', presented at the Reading the Country: 30 Years On, a festival to capture the political energy of 1984, on 3 October 2014. Australian Indigenous Studies Program, School of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne. CONFERENCE PAPER.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Film as a decolonising methodology: Reflections on some methodological aspects of working with film in Indigenous communities', presented at the Nulungu Research Institute, Talking Heads Seminar Series on 1 September 2014. University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome Campus. LECTURE.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Power, image and narrative: Film as a strategy of resistance', presented at the Transoceanik conference on 1 July 2014. James Cook University, Cairns. CONFERENCE PAPER.
  • McDuffie, Magali; Fogarty, William; Sullivan, Patrick, 'Caring for Our Country: Yurung Dhaura Land Management Team', produced for the Environmental and Sustainable Development Department, ACT Government, Canberra, ACT on 30 April 2014. 92 pages. REPORT.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Industrialisation, ecology, and tradition: A human globalisation', presented at the Vienne Institute of Technology on 8 June 2012. Vienne, France. LECTURE.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Songlines and colonised peoples', presented at the Regional Contemporary Art Fund of Lorraine on 4 June 2012. Metz, France. LECTURE.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Mardoowarra Living Water, Walmadany Coroboree', presented at the extraordinary session of the UNESCO Human Rights Commission: Human Rights and Aboriginal Culture in the Kimberley on 1 June 2012. Paris, France. LECTURE.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Filmed narratives and lived experiences: Social change in Aboriginal Australia', presented at the Narrative Matters 2012 conference on 30 May 2012. The American University of Paris. CONFERENCE PAPER.
  • McDuffie, Magali; Poelina, Anne, '‘Standing together for Kandri’ – through the Kimberley song cycle of the Lurujarri Trail and the Dinosaur Track Ways', presented at the Songlines vs. Pipelines? Mining and Tourism Industries in Remote Australia conference on 28 February 2012. The University of New South Wales, Sydney. CONFERENCE PAPER.
  • McDuffie, Magali, 'Sites and societies: Towards an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to cultural heritage management in Australia. The Tugun Bypass: A case study', produced for the Tugun Cobaki Alliance Inc., Tugun, Queensland on 31 December 2011. xxx pages. REPORT.
  • Poelina, Anne; McDuffie, Magali, 'Mardoowarra', presented at the AIATSIS seminar series on 1 July 2011. Australian Institute of Aboriginal of Torres Strait Islander Studies’ (AIATSIS), Canberra, ACT. LECTURE.
  • Poelina, Anne; McDuffie, Magali, 'Reclaiming the Mardoowarra', presented at the Native Title Conference 2010: People, Place, Power on 1 June 2010. Australian Institute of Aboriginal of Torres Strait Islander Studies’ (AIATSIS), Canberra, ACT. CONFERENCE PAPER.

» view/search Magali McDuffie's complete list of research outputs; download selected documents

Updated:  19 June 2015/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer