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Aged, Arts, Community, Health & Wellbeing
“Since I was a child, he often confided his two greatest fears – to lose his mind and end up a nursing home. Both those things happened.” RB Ticketyboo is an unflinchingly personal, artistic journey into the dark realms of losing my father to dementia. The motivation for telling this painful, intimate story is explore the bewildered ways I tried to cope with his changing behavior and personality, the loss of connection and reflection on what can be done to help others manage this cruel disease when it moves into people’s lives. Dad was a non-famous, self-taught artist who had a particularly rapid descent into dementia witnessed in NSW. In the early stages, when asked how he was feeling, he’d smile and say ‘ticketyboo’ - a word he heard as a child during World War II. But he wasn’t ticketyboo and kept it a secret for a while. When it wasn’t a secret anymore, none of us knew what to do. He was a realist artist whose world became surreal and it frightened him. Holding hands gave him comfort so it was especially poignant when one of his final sketches was of his own hand that appears to implore us to hold onto it. The ravages of the illness are seen in the evolution of his artistic style and devolution of his signature. Losing the main vowel from ‘Tom’ was a metaphor for his loss of identity. There were amusing incidents of him smuggling artworks out of the house and respite carers smuggling them back in. Through interviews with family, psychologists, respite carers and experts in the field of dementia, the documentary bolsters a painful story with positive, practical management tools; emergent technology and educational resources for families coping with the illness as well as how other cultures approach it. The interview content will be interspersed with short, poetic, artistic sequences showing my father’s point of view to give the audience an impression of how the world looked and sounded to him as the illness took hold. I still suffer incredible guilt about what I did and didn’t do throughout the final years of his life and wished my clumsy attempts at connection were more informed. The old black and white photo of dad’s sunnies on my chubby baby face has become a metaphor for my motivation to make this documentary - trying to see and understand the world through his eyes.
U and Me
Aged, Community, Education, Health & Wellbeing, Human Rights, Indigenous, Refugees, Rural, Social Justice, Youth
An online web series showcasing best friends from very different cultural backgrounds and showcasing wonderful stories of humanity, friendship, diversity, inclusion that raise empathy and normalise these friendships which occur daily in Australia, one of the most tolerant multicultural societies on Earth.
Becoming Colleen: Finding the Shoe that Fits
Aged, Community, Health & Wellbeing, Rural, Social Justice, Welfare
'Becoming Colleen: Finding the Shoe that Fits' is a documentary about an 85 year old transgender woman, transitioning from male to female in the coastal community of Coffs Harbour on the NSW mid-north coast. Having lived most of her life as Colin – a husband, father, policeman, film-projectionist and self-declared shoe fetishist, Colleen has had to negotiate her gender transition later in life. More than a documentary about the transitioning of an elderly transgender woman: this is a story of Col and her wife Heather: two people whose love transcended their gender roles; a small community that comes together to support a woman in pursuit of her greatest dream; and how finding exactly the right pair of shoes can be a perfect fit.The opening sequence of the film can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/241590015