A six-and-a-half hour interview has been completed with Lester Bostock, considered one of the true pioneers of Indigenous media in Australia. The interview was commissioned by the National Film and Sound Archive as part of its Oral History Program, and undertaken by filmmaker and interviewer Martha Ansara, who first met Lester sometime in the early 1970s through his brother Gerry. This was a time of great activism and it was through the criss-crossing of the social justice, peace and cultural movements that the activists and filmmakers repeatedly encountered each other. Martha got to know Lester well in 1980 when they worked together on Lousy Little Sixpence, the groundbreaking film about the stolen generation, directed by Alec Morgan.
Lester Bostock's long-standing passion for the arts is well known. He was one of the founding members of Black Theatre in the 1970s, and instrumental in the formation of Radio Redfern in the 80s. He was the first Aboriginal presenter on SBS Radio, gravitating naturally to SBS Television as part of the first Aboriginal program team with Rhoda Roberts.
His experience as Associate Producer on Lousy Little Sixpence prompted his push for training in film and television for Indigenous people. Lester also began to write policies and protocols on filming in Aboriginal communities and for employment at SBS.
In the 1990s, he was successful in convincing AFTRS to run short courses in accelerated training in television, prior to establishing a community-based training scheme at Metro Screen. Lester subsequently became President of Metro Screen for six years. His mentorship scheme was instrumental in the increase in short Indigenous drama production among emerging filmmakers in this period, and his guidance and tenacity over the years has contributed greatly to the increased number of Indigenous filmmakers in the industry today.
Lester also contributed a chapter to the AFC's new book Dreaming in Motion, released in May 2007.
The NFSA is delighted to have the Lester Bostock interview as part of the National Collection, and is looking to commission more interviews with Indigenous media identities as a major part of its Oral History Program.
Metro Screen's Lester Bostock Scheme
Revolutions: The AFC Indigenous Branch by Sally Riley, Manager AFC Indigenous Branch - extract from Dreaming in Motion.