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A remarkable true story of courage and survival in the Australian outback during World War II.

In 1941, all the white women and children were evacuated from Darwin ahead of the anticipated Japanese invasion. But for the Methodists from the mission on nearby Croker Island, evacuation would mean leaving behind the 95 Aboriginal children who had been placed in their care. Refusing to abandon the children, they hatched a daring escape plan. And so, with help from local Aboriginal men, the sisters and their wards make the perilous journey - much of it on foot - from Arnhem Land to the safety of Sydney.

After the war, sister Margaret Somerville returned to Croker Island with 69 of the children, including Alice, Netta and Jessie. Now in their 80s, these three form the core of Croker Island Exodus, telling the story in their own words. What emerges is an epic tale of human endurance and resilience, as well as the love, humour and compassion of the lifelong friendships that resulted.

Presented in collaboration with our programming partner Blackfella Films.

Director Steven McGregor is a guest of the festival.

D Steven McGregor P Anna Grieve, Danielle MacLean S Danielle MacLean, Steven McGregor Dist ABC Commercial TD DCP/2012

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