Australia's Own

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Australia's Own
Directed byJ. E. Ward
Written byJ. E. Ward
Produced byJ. E. Ward
StarringNellie Romer
Garry Gordon
CinematographyJ. E. Ward
Release dates
17 December 1918 (preview) [1]
20 January 1919 [2]
Languages Silent film
English intertitles

Australia's Own is a 1919 Australian silent film set in New Guinea, with footage shot in the Yule Island area near Port Moresby. It is a lost film.


The title refers to the transfer of New Guinea from being a German possession to an Australian colony. [3]


In New Guinea, a young ex-Anzac officer and his girlfriend come into conflict with a German settler, Carl, who is trying to steal the woman's right to an oil well. [1]



J.E. Ward was a sketch artist on the staff of The Sydney Morning Herald who travelled extensively in Papua, shooting thousands of feet of footage. On the suggestions of Dan Carroll he decided to add some dramatic narrative to his footage, and in mid-1918 shot some scenes with actors Nellie Romer and Garry Gordon on Yule Island. [3]

Catholic missionaries complained about the filming and territory administrators impounded the footage on the grounds the film might hurt relations with the native population. Ward appealed and the footage was released. [3]


The film was advertised as "The motion picture sensation that the Government of Papua banned." [4]

It does not appear to have been a success. However, Ward later released several more documentaries with a Papuan background, including The Quest for the Blue Bird of Paradise (1923) and Death Devils in Paradise (1924), as well as the comedy, Those Terrible Twins (1925). [3]

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  1. 1 2 "A NEW GUINEA FILM—AUSTRALIA'S OWN". The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 18 December 1918. p. 9. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  2. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 20 January 1919. p. 3. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 88.
  4. "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 24 January 1919. p. 3. Retrieved 24 July 2012.