A test of endurance.

In June 2008, eight young Aboriginal people aged betweeen 13 and 17 embarked on a 200 kilometre, 10 day horse ride from Narrabri to Coonabarabran in north west NSW. Selected as outstanding acheivers by their respective communities in Narrabri, Pilliga, Baradine and Coonabarabran, none were experienced riders...

About the Film


This is a documentary which was filmed on location during the ten day journey, and includes interviews with the riders, organisers and community elders.


Camera, editor, co-writer: Michael Bates

Producer, co-writer: Simon Luckhurst

Executive producer: NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC)


The project was commissioned by the NSW DECC Culture and Heritage Division North West Aboriginal Heritage Operations Branch with support of the local communities.

Notes on the Film

This project was an enormous privelge to be involved with. We were able to meet some amazing people and see the fascinating region that is the Pilliga Scrub. Seeing the changes in the eight young riders and being able to document this was also a positive experience, not to mention getting to know the organisers of the event and several community representatives and elders. Having this exposure to Aboriginal culture in a very real, day-to-day, natural environment was something that Michael and I will remember positively for a long time. Oh yeah, working with Michael was pretty good as well. Not only is he talented (check out his film The Projectionist) but he's also rather a nice chap who knows a good Morcambe and Wise joke opportunity when he sees it. In my experience, these sorts of people are too rare.

All photos taken by Michael Bates.


Pilliga Skyline





Telegraph Pole

Morning Horse

Caution Horses Ahead

Campfire (Anthony Mundine extreme left)

No Diving


Pilliga Morning

Train Tracks

Cedric McGrady and Donnie Hobbs

Simon Luckhurst, Charlie Cowlin-Luckhurst and Arthur Murray