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

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Beck Cole

Two women, one secret pact and a radical plan to raise a young Aboriginal child far from her remote traditional home.

Jeremy Bowtell

When a hometown hero turns global business con, the community digs deep to hold their ground and square the ledger.

Taysha McFarland

The Peoples’ Story: uncovering the undocumented history of one of Malaya’s darkest periods.

Isaac Elliott

A feel good documentary that follows an oddball team of Para-Ice Hockey players as they vie for a place on the Australian team.

Zel Iscel

Sick of being misrepresented, blind creatives strive to be seen and heard in a world that keeps them hidden and mute.

Kay Pavlou

Fifty years since Turkey invaded Cyprus, elderly Australian Greek Cypriots reflect on their war-torn homeland, life in Australia and the futility of war.

Sue Thomson

CARELESS is an inspiring and thought-provoking universal story about Australians growing old. It is a playful and heartfelt social impact feature documentary that offers solutions to our aged care crisis.

Muzafar Ali

A small group of refugees defy authorities to start a school and inspire a refugee-led education revolution.