There are several aims for our documentary, ‘Red Dust Dreams – the Documentary’. One of these is to try to help bridge the country-city divide that is still so evident throughout Australia; another is to have a look ‘behind the scenes’ - taking a look at the little-known about domestic side of life on some of our pastoral stations. We also want to showcase some of our spectacular scenery which is unique to our outback. To help preserve and record history both on the stations, between them and in some of the outback towns.
Many of our pastoral stations have had to turn to tourism or other forms of business in order to be able to remain where they live. We are trying to feature these businesses and provide these people with extra exposure. As well as some of those in outback towns.
We plan for the four parts of our documentary to include both well known tourist attractions throughout the outback as well as those that are not so well known - but should be. Highlighting things out there – trying to show tourists there is a lot that our outback has to offer as well as the lusher areas of our nation.
Education is one of the aspects we are trying to involve through the book and documentary (we have permission to film a station class in action – including School of the Air/Distance Education), as well as from the base end (filming the teachers in action as well as a couple of interviews), the purpose being, again, to show how our remote education system actually works. Other aspects we are including are employment, entertainment, transport, distances travelled – for anything, holidays (what holidays?). Also infrastructure, mail, shopping, fuel, power, health (and the Royal Flying Doctor Service), communication, the advent of the internet and social media, the Indigenous aspect and more.
We are also trying to coincide our travels with some of the outback’s events – one being the Big Red Bash at Birdsville. We do have permission to film interviews with some of the entertainers (some of Australia’s best vocalists) as well as the founder of the event and the owners of the station on which the event is held. Also the Marree Camel Races.
Another essential part of our documentary – and the entire ‘Red Dust Dreams’ project is a ‘warning’ to anyone who plans to travel out there – do their homework. Research. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Explaining how unforgiving the outback can be, but just a bit of preparation and research can help to make it one of the best – and safest - holidays a person can have. We do have a Risk Management Plan in place.
The first trip of our documentary has already taken place (self-funded) and we filmed an interview with an amazing character in Newman. This is something we plan to do throughout, with people who want to join in. Film some yarns, a bit of fun.
We do plan to donate a percentage of whatever profits we might eventually make to several organisations relating to the outback.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
Very simply we hope that this project, being the book, the documentary, the YouTube channel that I plan to start and the new collaboration with the online fashion label in the USA and regular podcasts, will all do exactly as we are aiming: to help the people of the outback. All going well, we also plan to donate a percentage of any profits we might make, to six outstanding outback organisations: the RFDS., SotA/Distance Education, REVISE (Retired Educators Visiting Isolated Children for Education), the ICPA (Isolated Children's and Parents' Association), AngelFlight and CareFlight. We also plan to give some of the stations which have had to turn to tourism simply to survive, some exposure through everything we are doing.
The entire project is very much an educational tool, as well as being entertaining. We are also aiming to promote goodwill and more understanding between the urban people in Australia - as well as overseas - and those who live in the remote areas of our country. In effect, to help bridge that country-city divide.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
We hope to educate those in urban Australia and overseas about the domestic side of life on our pastoral stations. Also showcasing some of our spectacular scenery that is unique to our outback. We also hope to increase tourism by highlighting some of our major and minor tourist spots throughout the outback. An area I have started to feel very strongly about is the fact that so many of our pastoral stations have had to turn to tourism either as their entire form of income, or as a way to supplement their existing income. I have a number of journalists, both in Australia and overseas, who are waiting to hear about this as well as all we are trying to do generally. Since the book has been out and the project (book, documentary, YouTube channel and fashion label) is now becoming too much for me to handle alone, I have a number of people (to date, volunteers - unpaid) who have come on board to help me. These include a PR person and this is how a number of my media interviews have been sourced. These will continue as we progress along this road. As the results of all this gradually occur, we will be measuring the impact these will have as we progress. I understand the book is selling quite well in the USA and having reached the finals in the IBAs recently has all helped to expose and showcase it and the rest of the 'work' we are doing.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
We have at least two media outlets in the USA who are waiting for the book after which they will interview us. One of these will become a regular/updating series of interviews. There are several other radio stations and newspaper journalists in Australia who are also waiting for the same thing. I plan to visit schools and talk about the outback and the way education is handled out there. This will actually begin with a visit to my own old school in October (they have invited us). It is being spread among blog posts and websites and through social media as much as possible.
I am organising to do a virtual tour with the book and everything that I do, is now being exposed and showcased as much as possible. I am also joining as media social media outlets as possible.