Lennie Hayes, a Gunai Bidawal man from East Gippsland finds himself in possession of an object that belonged to one of Australia’s most celebrated explorers and the alleged murderer of many of Lennie’s ancestors. When a close friend hands over their family heirloom, the walking stick of Angus McMillan, and grants him the power to do what he will with it, Lennie experiences grief, pain and an anger that jeopardises his friendships.
On a quest to figure out what to do with the stick Lennie seeks councel from black and white; Koori community members, historians and artists. Should it be destroyed or put into a museum? Should it be a private affair or public? As he says, “everyone will want the stick, black and white, they’ll all want their two bob’s worth”.
McMillian’s Stick explores the contemporary dilemma of an object that brings a horrific past crashing into the present, and exposes that which remains unresolved in black-white relations. Is this an opportunity to redefine history or does the whole thing just cause too much pain?
Directed by Lennie Hayes and Vincent Lamberti
Produced by Lisa Albert
Edited by Vincent Lamberti