Rachel Perkins

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Rachel Perkins
Rachel Perkins.jpg
Perkins at the 2012 AACTA Awards in Sydney
Born 1970
Canberra, Australia
Occupation Producer, director, writer
Parent(s) Charlie Perkins, Eileen Perkins

Rachel Perkins is a film and television director, producer, and screenwriter. She is known for her films Bran Nue Dae (2010), Radiance (1998) and One Night the Moon (2001). Perkins is an Arrernte woman from Central Australia, who was raised in Canberra by Eileen and Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins.[1]


Perkins was born in Canberra in 1970.[2] She is a daughter of Charlie Perkins and granddaughter of Hetty Perkins, and has Arrernte, Kalkadoon, and German ancestry. Her sister is Hetti Perkins, an art curator.

At the age of 18 Perkins moved to Alice Springs and entered into a traineeship at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association.[3]

In 1992 Perkins founded Blackfella Films, a documentary and narrative production company creating distinctive Australian content for television, live theatre, and online platforms, with a particular focus on Indigenous Australian stories. Its productions have included multi-award winning seven-part documentary series First Australians, television film Mabo, and TV series Redfern Now.[4]

She served a Commissioner with the Australian Film Commission from 2004 to 2008, and since 2009 has been on the board of Screen Australia.[4]

She was also curator for the 2009 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival. This tenth anniversary of the festival held at the Sydney Opera House featured the premiere of Fire Talker, a documentary film about her father Charlie Perkins by Australian filmmaker Ivan Sen.[5][6]

Since 2015, Perkins has been the president of the AIATSIS Foundation,[7][8] which is part of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.


  • Blood Brothers (1993) – producer, director, writer
  • Radiance (1998) – director
  • One Night the Moon (2001) – director, writer
  • Flat (2002) – producer
  • Mimi (2002) – producer
  • First Australians (2008) – producer, director, writer, narrator
  • Bran Nue Dae (2010) – director, writer
  • Mabo (2012) – director
  • Black Panther Woman (2014) - director
  • First Contact (2014) - producer[9]
  • Jasper Jones (2017) - director


Australian Film Institute

  • 1998 – AFI Award Best Achievement in Direction: Radiance (1998) (nominated)
  • 2002 – Byron Kennedy Award

Australian Writers' Guild

  • 2001 – Awgie Award Television – Television Original: One Night the Moon (2001)
  • 2001 – Major Award: One Night the Moon (2001)

Canberra International Film Festival

  • 1998 – Audience Award: Radiance (1998)

Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards

  • 2002 – Special Achievement Award: One Night the Moon (2001)

IF Awards

  • 2001 – IF Award Best Direction: One Night the Moon (2001) (nominated)

Melbourne International Film Festival

  • 1998 – Most Popular Feature Film: Radiance (1998)

New York International Independent Film & Video Festival

  • 2001 – Genre Award Best Feature Film – Musical: One Night the Moon (2001)

Tudawali Film and Video Awards

  • 1994 – The Tudawali Award: Blood Brothers (1993)
  • 2000 – Best direction: Radiance (1998)


  1. ^ Unearthing our first voices (Canberra Times)
  2. ^ Melbourne, The University of. "Perkins, Rachel - Woman - The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia". www.womenaustralia.info. Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  3. ^ Melbourne, The University of. "Perkins, Rachel - Woman - The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia". www.womenaustralia.info. Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Blackfella Films". Official site. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "SBS Film – Spreading the message by Mary Colbert". 
  6. ^ "ABC Sydney – What's on This Weekend – SATURDAY 9 May – FILM FESTIVAL". 
  7. ^ Slattery, Claire (18 Oct 2016). "Foundation launches million-dollar plan to record Australia's songlines". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 27 Oct 2016. 
  8. ^ "A Foundation for all Australians". The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). 14 May 2015. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016. 
  9. ^ Munro, Kate (28 November 2014). "First Contact producer Rachel Perkins: 'Prejudice often comes from ignorance … people can change'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016. 

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