Debut doco tells story of Newry State Forest protests

More than 300 people attended the screenings over two nights. Photo: Sandy Greenwood.

LONG-TIME News Of The Area readers will be familiar with the ongoing protests to protect Newry State Forest.

A new documentary film, ‘Nguura Muruy’ (Forest Camp), tells the story of local community members and Gumbaynggirr custodians attempting to save Newry State Forest from planned logging operations.

Kombu WholefoodsAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

The grassroots film was shot on broadcast quality cameras over five weeks and edited by Manic Seeds Media.

First-time director Sandy Greenwood conducted interviews with Elders and activists and narrates the film too.

A Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti and Bundjalung custodian, Sandy works across stage, screen, publishing and the corporate sector as an actor, producer, writer and cultural consultant.

Ms Greenwood led two campaigns alongside Elders and allies to protect Nambucca and Newry State Forest from industrial logging between 2020-2024.

“I was inspired by how well local activists and Gumbaynggirr people worked together – it was reconciliation in action to protect country,” Ms Greenwood said of her inspiration to make the film.

“I wanted to capture that on film to inspire others.”

Ms Greenwood said filmmaking highlights included the opportunity to interview elders, learning about the cultural significance of the forests, and being able to capture the diversity of voice in the community.

Ms Greenwood founded production company Jinda Productions in 2018 with the aim of telling stories from a female Indigenous perspective.

Her first production, the critically acclaimed one-woman play ‘Matriarch’, has been previously profiled in News Of The Area.

She wrote, directed and performed the award-winning play and is now working on writing an intergenerational memoir based on it.

Ms Greenwood has worked in the US as a script consultant and as a First Nations cultural consultant in California.

Her numerous screenwriting credits include Indigenous storylines for independent feature films, short films, and corporate videos as well as extensive writing for print and digital media, including adapting classic Australian children’s stories to include First Nations representation.

She is currently filming an exciting new First Nations travel series, ‘Always Was’, that will explore Australia’s Indigenous ancestral homelands and highlight the powerful connection between creativity and country.

‘Nguura Muruy’ recently debuted at the Northbank Community Gardens in Bellingen.

“We had two very successful screening nights with more than 300 people attending,” Ms Greenwood said.

“It’s strong and polished and I think it’s going to do really well in the International film festival circuit.

“This is my debut as a director and I want to continue to make films about country, culture and community.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

Sandy Greenwood is a filmmaker, writer, actor and activist.

Leave a Reply