Dialog Box

Community | Human Rights | Refugees | Social Justice
No Turning Back
No Turning Back shows how Australian mothers, grandmothers, daughters and friends are stepping into their power by caring for refugees and people seeking asylum in the community – a perspective that has been under-represented until now. Through stories of compassion, kindness and courage we find a common ground, one of inspiration, hope, meaning and ultimately the motivation for women to demonstrate their true power.

No Turning Back is first and foremost a women’s empowerment film seen through the lens of the refugee and asylum seeker context in Australia. It is women who hold the key to a fundamental shift in the management of our social contracts and social problems at all levels - from domestic to international relations.

Women must exercise their natural endowments and knowledge beyond patriarchal authority in order for these problems to be addressed anew and solved effectively.

As Professor Valerie Hudson, the inaugural Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the Australian National University said recently: “Women comprise approximately half the population in every country, but have very little decision-making authority in the realms of foreign policy and national security. That means that women’s concerns, priorities, knowledge and perspectives will not inform some of the most important government policy made, which will undermine its effectiveness.” [Hudson cited in SMH, 2016]

While male politicians, institutional authorities and policy-makers are permitted to continue to run social and national agendas and make decisions based on second-guessing electoral opinion, we will continue to struggle to overcome the massive problems facing us in today’s world.  Valerie Hudson asserts, “Women weave the web of life in most societies for young and old. When you cripple the weavers you cripple the nation and its future.”

No Turning Back shows just why and how this is true, and why the film’s subjects are determined not to be stopped from changing the status quo. They provide evidence that will inspire others to understand and follow their example. It is no less than an incipient revolutionary movement that can change our political and social arena.

Thought provoking and challenging No Turning Back is a national story told through three microcosms - Brisbane, Western Sydney, and Victoria – a diversified space with the aim of revealing our commonality, our inter-relatedness with society, and how this tension is played out. Without exception this film demonstrates a very different narrative that is create when women come together as a show of strength, acting on their own strategies, and using the power of compassion to change the world. These women prove that even though borders may put certain limits on our identity, they cannot define the limits of our humanity.


How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

No Turning Back is a social impact film that aims to encourage an alternative response to the current refugee crisis - one that focuses on the power of compassion and kindness.

We believe that an examination of female-led movements toward caring for refugees and asylum seekers bring humanity back to our government’s draconian responses.  This film acts as a tool to invigorate nuanced conversation and show the role of women in the creation of Australia’s cultural identity. 

Through character driven stories and challenging interviews the film engages audiences to find a common ground, one of inspiration, hope, meaning, and ultimately, the motivation for women across the nation to step up.

The Basis of No Turning Back’s Impact Campaign Vision is that the film will also serve as a launchpad for a more expansive conversation and education about the role of women in our society, and how we can support the work they do in refugee communities across Australia.

With ongoing reduction of State and Federal support for film production in Australia, philanthropic contribution is pivotal to boost women’s voice and diversity in documentary films, positively encourage social responsibility, and support greater participation of women in documentary filmmaking.

A philanthropic program is one of the few ways to profile and celebrate otherwise unheralded female champions in Australia whilst wishing to empower and encourage other women to take on the challenge themselves.

Your support will also signal to other potential investors and partners that this is a viable project which people want to see. This will enable us to access further funding opportunities to increase our budget and deliver an outstanding film. 

Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

With no sign of the global refugee crisis abating No Turning Back is a timely film whose aim is to replace endemic panic and fear with compassion and humanity.

The outreach for this film centers on promoting awareness and appreciation of Australian women making a difference in refugee & asylum seeker communities from the local to the global setting. Interviews with prominent thinkers offer a greater understanding of the importance of women’s contribution to society, national security, and the complexity of refugee policy informing our own cultural history.

All the women featured in the film understand that no act of kindness, however small, is wasted. Their optimism, and those they protect, is a source of constant inspiration. It shows us the powerful impact on people’s lives – through even the most frustrating and seemingly hopeless times. Their intentions, their methods and the obvious successes in their communities make a powerful argument for abandoning gender constraints and turning dominant male-centric leadership theory on its head.

Outreach Objectives:

> Examine the role of women in the creation of Australian identity and culture through the refugee context.

> Build support for and appreciation of the contribution of women to the social, cultural, economic and political life in Australia.

> Engage new audiences and encourages a different way to discuss Australia’s controversial responses to refugees and asylum seekers amongst the broader ‘persuadable’ community.

> Fundraising campaigns to support women’s grassroots organizations and non-for profit organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers in urban and rural locations across Australia.

> Promote respect for the work and social contribution of women and the challenges they face and overcome - financially and emotionally.

We can measure this outreach impact by:

1.    Curriculum study guide and engagement with educators in secondary schools, universities and relevant institutions.

2.    Collaborate with refugee organisations, women’s community groups, and social institutions to support their existing programs and social media engagement, and gather their data on engagement.

3. Audience attendance figures at festivals and screenings.

4. Direct feedback for schools, institutions, organisations.

5. Attendance / participation of influential policymakers, advisors, campaigners, critical thinkers.


What is your education and outreach strategy?

The team is now entering a period of consolidation of the education and outreach strategy, with discussion and development of best ways to achieve this. There is much work to be done with the assistance of Nick Torrens, Media Stockade and other organizations that inform these areas.

We value the importance of partnering with individuals, grassroots organisations, non-for-profit agencies, and education departments for outreach and capacity building. We can use the film in strategic and creative ways towards achieving the impact goals such as:

> Screenings in capital cities and regional Australia including education institutions and community groups and organisations across Australia who can use the film to build support for women’s network in refugee communities.

> Inclusion in cultural events, special event screenings, and film festivals.

> Creation and inclusion of an online community.

> Creation of educational material for tertiary and high-school students. The film will be marketed via established networks of academics and educators in relevant fields.

The film will be of particular interest to humanities subjects including but not limited to: sociology, anthropology, women’s studies, forced migration, and human rights.

We will consult with educational professionals to ensure that the film and ancillary material is utilised in schools and universities to maximise reach and longevity of the campaign.

> The website http://noturningback.com.au is under development and will provide various content, behind-the scenes clips, and educational material including a trailer, short treatment, downloadable media kit, and resource links.

Ann Megalla
Barbara Carseldine, Ann Megalla, Helen Morrison
Total budget
85 Minutes