Between the sun and the moon, the spirit of David Nixon



David Nixon, much loved family man, friend of many and Central Australian film-maker of great gifts, died on 17 January. He was 53 years old and had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just three months earlier.


He was remembered and farewelled at the Ilparpa clay pans on Saturday, as he had asked. He couldn’t have known that rain would have filled them and they would be at their most beautiful, reflecting the symmetry of beginnings and endings as the sun sank and the moon rose.


We walked in bare feet in his memory, through the life-giving waters, to scatter his ashes there and send some skywards too, in a burst of fireworks.


He faced his death with exceptional openness, generosity, courage and acceptance, carrying towards it a lesson he had drawn from life much earlier, as his sister Kerry told us, that “no matter where you go, there you are”.


It was a terribly hard dying, for him and and those closest to him as they cared for him, but, said his second-born son Tom, there is “a certain beauty to a death” – the way his father met it, no doubt, and in the way we come together around it.


The Alice Springs News thanks our dear friend Dave for his stimulating conversation and generous collegial support over many years, we salute the outstanding cultural legacy of his film-making, and extend our deepest condolences to all who love him.


Kieran Finnane and Erwin Chlanda


Country, people, cultures come together to heal a sick man


  1. So many thanks for being, Dave Nixon.
    We met first at one of the infamous Piggy (Bacon) Street parties some 25 years ago where I shared with Cheryl, Neen and Lyndalee. You and Jo rocked up to the gig adding your own brightness to the shenanigans. Filled with a love of life and a sense of great humour, you both impressed this recently arrived ‘blow in’ from Sydney as two special spirits whose impacts were yet to be revealed.
    Over the ensuing quarter century (BK – before kids), our connection grew into a friendship that would evolve over time. Your mutual connection with what grew into being the Alice Springs Beanie Festival was a joy to behold. I witnessed your strong passion for the people of this wonderful town and her environs.
    I observed your passion for story-telling and the ways in which you sought to share that with so many. The ‘Story Wall’ project on the Adelaide House lawns, your connection with and capturing of the local Heritage Festival, your commitment to Jo’s tilt to be elected to the NT Legislative Assembly were just some of your many contributions to our town and region.
    Your substantial dedication to me in my attempts to be elected to the NT Legislative Assembly in 2012 and 2016 are also acknowledged. Your guidance and input allowed me to better understand the process. Your direction provided my campaign with some energy and perspective.
    You created quite an indelible impact on our town, Dave. You have left an endearing legacy. Alice will be forever grateful for all that as you helped to forge her past, present & future. She will be forever blessed because of your being…my loving thanks to you, Monty, Tom, Nellie, Jo and Franca for being who you were and who you are.
    Phil XX


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here