Documentary Australia

Issue area

Human Rights & Social Justice

Human Rights and Social Justice address the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and the promotion of fairness and equality in society. Over time, the focus has expanded to include civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. It is crucial to recognise that human rights violations can occur on both the individual and systemic levels and discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status still exists, with marginalised communities continuing to be disproportionally impacted.

From Women’s Suffrage and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, to the civil rights movement and the #MeToo movement, people have been fighting for their rights and demanding justice for years. Social justice is essential to ensure equal access and rights to resources and opportunities such as education, healthcare, housing, and employment. With the help of documentary films, these issues have been brought to light and are gaining more attention than ever before.

By showcasing real-life stories, documentary filmmakers can bring attention to human rights violations, stimulate dialogue, foster empathy, and inspire action. Documentaries can capture the lived experiences of individuals affected by social injustices, amplifying the voice to those who have been silenced or unseen. Documentaries also serve as historical records, documenting past struggles for human rights and providing valuable insights into the progress made or areas that still require attention. By showcasing the experiences of marginalised communities and successful social justice initiatives, documentary films can raise awareness and promote a more just and equitable world.

Completed Documentary Australia-supported Human Rights & Social Justice projects:

Incarceration Nation Brazen Hussies Under Cover
Where to watch: SBS Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, DocPlay Host a community screening
Undermined – Tales from the Kimberley Constance on the Edge Gayby Bayby
Where to watch:  Apple TV, Google Play, DocPlay Where to watch: DocPlay, Vimeo Where to watch: DocPlay, Fetch TV, Madman TV

Films that need your support



We Are Waiting

Agnieszka + Shane Burrell



Other documentary projects in this issue area

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Issue Areas

Clare Plueckhahn

Splitsville tackles financial abuse, navigating legal, social, emotional and financial situations to a better life.

Rachel Dunn

Gives women the facts about breastfeeding so they can say, “This is my body; this is my baby; this is my decision."

Agnieszka + Shane Burrell

“We Are Waiting” explores war's echoes through three intersecting lives, unveiling the lasting damage to children.

Madeleine Parry

Spin doctor Heidi Gallbladder has just landed her dream job: she gets to pull the strings behind the scenes of the gas industry but little does she know it’s about to unravel.

Craig Monahan

The first casualty of war is truth. We have lost touch with remembrance and turned it into ritual.


Completed film

Dalanglin Dkhar

Welcome to the world of the carer – a full-time commitment, where part-time is the rest of your life.

Danielle MacLean and Sal Balharrie

Four girls from the remote Tiwi Islands community set out on a journey to follow their sporting dreams.

Allan Clarke

Three Aboriginal children murdered, an investigation marred by racism, a 30-year battle for justice.