A celebratory story of one woman’s unique efforts to empower migrant women, and put the idea of ‘Multiculturalism in Australia’ into practise. Rosemary Kariuki is on a mission. Her goal is to draw migrant women out of their suburban ghettoes, expose them to new ideas, new experiences and each other so they can better participate in Australian society. However her means are anything but orthodox. Laughter is a key part of her plan. Rosemary is impossible to resist. Over the course of a year, she creates a unique series of playful, cross-cultural adventures that see the women travelling to new places and truly expanding their lives. An intimate portrait and insight into the lives of migrant women in Australia today.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
We believe this film can be an important tool to help change attitudes, deepen understanding and build empathy in the wider community towards migrant women who are dealing with extreme isolation, fear and loneliness, domestic violence, rape or the effects of having lost everything and trying to start from zero in a new country. This film focuses on the empowerment of migrant women through their association with Rosemary Kariuki , who’s mission is to draw these women out of their suburban ghettoes, expose them to new ideas, new experiences and each other so they can better participate in Australian society. Rosemary is leading the way, filling a much-needed gap and providing many programs that could be a blueprint for the future in all manner of communities. The film raises an opportunity for front line community services workers (such as doctors, nurses, police, Centrelink) to see migrant women through a different lens, and consequently develop a deeper insight into the specific challenges migrant women face. The film will also stimulate them to think about more nuanced, lateral, and culturally appropriate ways in which they might be better able to assist them.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
There has been a polarisation of society that has occurred worldwide in the last 5-10 years which has created fear and isolationist mentalities and a growth of extreme right wing populist parties espousing racism, hatred and violence towards migrants/refugees. As a consequence it has become harder for migrants/refugees to settle in new countries and feel they belong.
Our objective in making this film is to provide a ‘positive’ antidote to negative, socially destructive behaviour. Through creating portraits of refugee/migrant women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, the film will help to create empathy and understanding of migrants. It will also give audiences an insight into the lives and the complex challenges migrant women from CALD backgrounds face in the process of settlement.
Our central character Rosemary (a migrant herself) is entertaining, engaging and what she does is quite extraordinary. We believe our film will be popular and raise awareness among many ordinary Australians of the experiences of these marginalised migrant women in our communities.
We want to celebrate the determination and achievements of this extraordinary woman, Rosemary, who has got out there on her own, acting as an individual, to make a significant difference in the lives of migrant women – with little financial resources, but a big heart, and huge determination.
We want audiences to be inspired by her example as they see all that she achieves through her individual initiatives; to observe how she helps these women transition into a calmer better place, and to find ‘themselves’ in a new country.
We want the film to stimulate audiences into thinking about what they themselves can do to make migrants feel welcome and how they can assist them with their settlement into our communities. How can they as individuals reach out to migrants and make positive differences in their lives, and thus contribute to developing social inclusion and cohesiveness in our country.
We want this film to give the audience a deeper understanding of the nature of ‘multiculturalism’ in Australia and the various layers it is comprised of. It is about different cultures living side by side in relative harmony but more importantly, it’s about different cultures connecting and sharing, learning from each other and working together to create a cohesive society with blended, cultural values.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
We imagine a multi-platform delivery of the film, with web and interactive media used to build a community around the film and will work with a Social Impact Producer to maximise the issues getting out to the widest audience possible. The film will be initially screened at high profile film festivals, in selected cinemas, on television and then in screenings on-demand for different community groups.
We plan to develop training resources to be made available through the website, at screenings and to institutions such as police academies, hospitals, counseling services, local councils, community centres, government agencies such as Centrelink, to be used in tandem with the film. A schools version of the film will also be produced, with teacher resources and classroom materials.
We will have many partner organisations come on board (such as: Cumberland Migrant Resource Centre, Migrant Women Speakout, Startts, The Ethnic Affairs Commission and more) to work with us to promote the film and the issues it champions.
Our outreach/impact program will target groups including: Local council staff; Hospital staff; Counseling services; Police and Centrelink staff; African community/leaders; Refugee services; Refugee communities/leaders; high school and tertiary students
We will make sure all relevant organisations and community groups know that the film exists and encourage them to organise on-demand screenings – either in theatres or for groups watching in small venues. We will use computer analytics via the screenings, social media responses and the website to determine the impact.