Dialog Box

Aged | Community | Health & Wellbeing | Rural | Social Justice | Welfare
Becoming Colleen: Finding the Shoe that Fits
'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


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

'Becoming Colleen' is a timely documentary, that touches on multiple themes that align with Documentary Australia Foundation philanthropic objectives. We hope to encourage social change by exploring Colleen's personal story that encompasses ageing in the LGBTQI community, challenging preconception within health care system and the public view in rural NSW and the rights that we afford these minorities. 
Aims & Objectives

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

We hope to open up conversations in the aged care sector, as well as bring the issue of ageing LGBTQI community to Australian audiences. We have already seen productive change through education of staff and residents at Coffs Haven Age Care home and hope that they will be able to continue their work through the development of this documentary.We will continue to measure the stories impact through the development of Colleen's story in Coffs Harbour, and the changes that it encourages; and we hope to expand on this through educational workshops and talks, with both the production team and healthcare professionals. When we release the project, we hope that our already engaged audience will expand and continue the conversations and education around ageing in the LGBTQI community.

What is your education and outreach strategy?

Through the work of the nursing home director at Coffs Haven Nursing Home, we hope to continue their enthusiasm for continued education in the healthcare sector and the public. By developing educational material with the completion of the documentary, we will provide public audience and professionals with a chance to further their engagement with the subject matter. We have also engaged with leading healthcare professionals regarding transgenderism and aged care, who will be invaluable to this process.
Ian Thomson
Ian Thomson
Total budget
55 Minutes