Araatika: Rise Up documentary


Araatika: Rise Up documentary

Across the Australian Aboriginal nations, cultural rebuilding is in full swing. NRL hero Dean Widders is at the forefront & new doco Araatika: Rise Up charts his journey to create a unified cultural dance for the rugby league community.

For Widders, rugby league offers an opportunity for his community to reconstitute ancient cultural values into a modern context: “I’ve seen from an early age what rugby league can do for the Aboriginal community. It takes us back to our traditional culture, the teamwork, sticking up for each other, being there for each other. It really suits how Aboriginal people work in our communities.”

As the Pacific Nations rise in rugby league, Widders embarks on a journey for cultural parity with his Pacific brothers and sisters: “All through the Pacific, every country has a performance before the game and we’re the biggest of the Pacific nations, we’ve got the oldest culture out of all of the Pacific nations, we should be the main ones doing something to show respect to our traditional people.”

Dean Widders


His dream is for the Australian Kangaroos team to adopt his dance.

This is an important story & I can’t wait to see it!

Check out the Australian Premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival on August 13.

Image Source: Melbourne International Film Festival

Patrick Skene

Patrick Skene is a founder and Chief Creative Officer of Cultural Pulse. Patrick works with over 100 communities and creates compelling content for clients to engage with them. He is a storyteller, marketer, writer and author of ‘The Big O, The Life & Times of Olsen Filipaina‘ which has gone into reprint. His stories on the intersection of sport, history and culture have been published by The Guardian Australia, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and Inside Sport. He is currently the proud coach of the Rockdale Raiders Under 8B1’s football team.