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Lousy Little Sixpence: NFSA Digital Restoration

52m Documentary, History, Indigenous 1983

A moving account of five children from the Stolen Generation and the rise of an organised Aboriginal protest movement in NSW in the 1930s.

Lousy Little Sixpence tells the story of five children who were stolen from their families by the Australian Government to become unpaid servants for white families. The title refers to the amount of pocket money they were supposed to receive for their forced labour – but didn’t. In the 1930s, Aboriginal people began to organise politically to fight the Aborigines Protection Board that ran the scheme. This landmark documentary is a moving account of a hidden history and documents the early struggle for Aboriginal self-determination.

The NFSA Restores program is the National Film and Sound Archive’s premiere film restoration activity which digitises, restores and preserves, at the highest archival standards, classics and cult films so they can be enjoyed by contemporary and future audiences.


Alec Morgan


Gerald Bostock


Alec Morgan


Lester Bostock

Director of Photography

Martha Ansara





Bonus Content

Introduction Lousy Little Sixpence


Curator of the Buwindja Collection, Gillian Moody shares what inspired her to select Lousy Little Sixpence. She invites you to engage, explore, reflect on and Buwindja (remember) these exceptional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and stories. 

In Conversation


Gillian Moody, Curator of Buwindja, sits down with Pauline Clague, filmmaker and Associate Professor, Jumbunna, UTS, as they take a deep dive into the rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytelling in screen culture. They reflect on how the films in the Buwindja Collection showcase eras of change in filmmaking with fascinating insights into the dramatic shift from stories being told about First Nations peoples to Indigenous filmmakers telling their own stories. As Pauline powerfully states, it is now the case that ’Nothing about us without us’”. 

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The complete Buwindja Collection
17 items

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The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia acknowledges Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live and gives respect to their Elders both past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings and/or text.