Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand

  • Raukkan

Inventor, author, philosopher, visionary - Unaipon is Frances Rings’ monumental work about the man on the Australian $50 note.



Born on a South Australian mission in the late 19th century, David Unaipon was a proud Ngarrindjeri man, a Christian, and a scholar of science and culture. Unaipon tells of his advocacy for better treatment of Aboriginal Australians, and his staunch belief that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people could coexist as equals, despite the incredible challenges he faced in his lifetime.

This production features the First Nations languages Ngarrindjeri (South Australia) and Pitjantjatjara (Western Desert).

Sections of Unaipon

In The Beginning - David Unaipon philosophises on our existence in the universe.
Sister Baskets - Ngarrindjeri people are famous for their intricate weaving.
String Games - String games were used by Elders for storytelling and to pass on cultural knowledge tothe young people.
Motion - David Unaipon was greatly influenced by the three laws of motion. Bodies in space demonstrate the formulas.
Four Winds - Karrami (East), Walkund (North), Kolkami (South), Tolkami (West) - The science of man and landscape. Knowledge of the seasons is essential for survival.
Power - David Unaipon was fascinated by the concept of perpetual motion. Bodies become turbines and generate energy – the power of movement.
Religion - “It was in this Book (Bible) I learned that God made all the nations of one blood and that in Christ Jesus colour and racial distinctions disappeared. This helped me many times when I was refused accommodation because of my colour and race.” - David Unaipon

Duration: 40 minutes

Unaipon premiered in 2004 as part the double bill Clan, which included Unaipon and Reflections.

Unaipon toured in 2004 as part of a triple bill which included Unaipon and Rush.

Unaipon toured in 2019 as part of the triple bill Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand, which included Unaipon, Stamping Ground and to make fire.



    • Artistic Director
      Stephen Page
    • Choreography
      Frances Rings
      in collaboration with the Bangarra Dancers
    • Community Consultation
      Raukkan Council: Jordan Sumner, Uncle Clyde Rigney, Sean Weetra, Country Arts SA, Di Gordon
    • Cultural Consultation
      Family of David Unaipon, Harold Kym Kropinyeri, Judith Kropinyeri, Elaine Kropinyeri, Corrina Kartinyeri, Donna Smith, Gina Rings and Katrina Power



Premiere Season: Australian Tour | 2004

Adelaide Festival | 2004

Australian Tour | 2019