A scene from the ABC telemovie Mabo, shot in the Rosewood pub, with Jimi Bani as Eddie Mabo.
A scene from the ABC telemovie Mabo, shot in the Rosewood pub, with Jimi Bani as Eddie Mabo. Matt Nettheim

Historic hotel stars in telemovie

PICTURESQUE shots of Rosewood and surrounds will flicker across television screens nationally when the ABC's telemovie Mabo is broadcast on Sunday, June 10.

Mabo leads Jimi Bani, who plays indigenous lands right activist Eddie Mabo, and acclaimed actress Deborah Mailman, who plays his wife Bonita, were both in Rosewood for filming last November.

Scenes filmed in the Rosewood Hotel, on nearby roads and in surrounding bushland help to give the movie a retrospective, country feel.

The hotel scene, pictured above, is a significant part of the movie, and focuses on one of Mabo's earlier indigenous rights protests.

Rosewood Hotel owner and Division 10 councillor David Pahlke will watch the movie closely to spot all the local settings.

"I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for local landmarks," Cr Pahlke said.

"I know there was a scene filmed in the pub, and I think there might have been some other shots filmed in parks and on some Rosewood streets."

Cr Pahlke said he though Mabo would help to raise the profile of Lowood.

"I think people underestimate the value of what TV series, movies, music videos and even ads can bring to an area; it definitely helps with tourism. They sell the town to people watching.

"Ben Lee filmed his music video here, and Ernie Dingo came to town to do an ad," he added.

Cr Pahlke said Rosewood was chosen by a location scout because of its authentic country town look and close proximity to Brisbane.

"It's actually meant to be Hughenden, and that's what it will be called in the movie, but the filming was done here because it was a convenient old, rural township."

Cr Pahlke was away on business when the crew visited the small country town, and felt like he missed out on the action.



  • Eddie Mabo (1936 - 1992) was a Torres Strait Islander who campaigned for indigenous land rights
  • The High Court decision to recognises native title is commonly called "Mabo", in memory of the man who fought for the law to be changed for more than 10 years
  • The telemovie will premiere on ABC1 on Sunday, June 10, from 8.30pm

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