The life of Canberra's most senior Ngunnawal elder has been made into a film.
"Aunty" Agnes Shea, 84, has been a driving force in the ACT's reconciliation movement.
Crowds of family, friends, cast and crew gathered at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Saturday for the premiere of the documentary about her life and legacy, Footprints on Our Land: Aunty Agnes, Ngunnawal Elder.
The octogenarian, struck down with pneumonia, demonstrated the resilience that inspired Pat Fiske, of Bower Bird Films, to create the work.
"I am really crook today, but feeling truly proud and honoured," Mrs Shea said. "They did a fantastic job."
The film depicts her early life growing up on Oak Hill and Hollywood missions in Yass.
Steps through her many and varied accomplishments which include her becoming a member of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council and her role in establishing the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm.
But more than a historic account, it illustrates her life as a survivor of racism, a caring mother and grandmother and a stalwart of her community.
Fiske, the director, said she was disappointed there were so few images of the mission in Yass, saying it was a reminder of the "out of sight, out of mind" attitude at the time.
The 38-minute feature uses stylised film, archival images and first-person accounts to jump to moments in Mrs Shea's life and weave in stories of her ancestors.
"I think this film will inspire audiences and give them a better understanding about our First Nations people," Fiske said.
"Despite the difficulties of her early life, she is accepting, gracious and calm. There is absolutely no bitterness there, she's an inspiration for all."
Mrs Shea has six children, 13 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.
Her eldest daughter, Mary Boek, said that while her mother typically shied away from the spotlight it was wonderful that she could see this tribute to her achievement, and she hoped it would be used as a tool to inform future generations.
Her youngest daughter, Annette Shea, was by her side, as was her granddaughter Selina Walker who described herself as a "Ngunnawal leader-in-training".
Ms Walker said she was developing the qualities befitting of an elder and in time would fill her grandmother's shoes.
"Nan's philosophy is to give respect and you'll earn respect," she said. "She is never burnt out by the struggles. She sees the positives in things, always thinks about the big picture – not for herself or her family but for everyone in the community."
See the Tuggeranong Arts Centre website to book for the free screening on Friday, July 29.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.