• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4727

Isaac, Janet

  • Occupation Director, Scriptwriter


Janet Isaac is one of Australia’s earlier female indigenous directors who helped pave the way for indigenous film in Australian.

In 1976, Isaac produced the short documentary Do I Have to Kill My Child? The documentary provided a stark portrayal of a young mother suffering from depression after the birth of her third unwanted child. The lack of assistance for women and mothers suffering mental illness resulted in the child being taken to hospital with a suspicious fractured skull.

Isaac’s following film, Sister if Only You Knew (c.1981), raised social and moral questions about the role of Aboriginal women in today’s society. The film follows the lives of four Aboriginal women and their role in the movement for equal opportunities for urban Aboriginals.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Film and Sound Archive
    • [Sister If You Only Knew : Documentation]
    • Do I Have To Kill My Child?
    • Footage
    • Looking After Ourselves

Related entries

  • Related Concepts
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women
    • Film