PUBLISHED21 Dec 2021

Everybody’s Business: Families, filmmaking & child protection



A conversation about changing the narrative around child protection, with the filmmakers and voices of The Department.

Documentary Australia Foundation is proud to present EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS, a free online panel discussion with the filmmakers and voices of Shark Island’s The Department, diving deeper into the never-before-seen world of child protection.

Hear from the voices in the documentary, Tyrah, Stacey and Helen, and the filmmakers, Director Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Producer Majhid Heath.

This special panel will be moderated by Clara Williams Roldan, Documentary Australia Foundation.

The Conversation

The Department

“Child protection is everybody’s business”. It’s the slogan we hear with familiar regularity in community service announcements. Yet the only time the public hears about the system that protects our most vulnerable children is when something goes terribly wrong. Told through the eyes of the caseworkers, complemented by the authentic voices of the families themselves, THE DEPARTMENT reveals the complexity, bravery and raw emotion experienced in the lives of these people every day.

Watch it on SBS on Demand

The Panel

Tyrah is determined to have her story told to de-stigmatise the perception of ‘kids in care’. She is proud to be the first person in her extended family to go to University where she’s studying Social Work, hoping to make a difference to the lives of young people just like her.

Stacey is a mum of 8 kids and was raised in a proud, strong Aboriginal family in Waterloo with no involvement from child protection. When her life took an unexpected turn she had 5 of her children taken into care with family members, but she has fought relentlessly for the past 8 years to reunite the family. The court decision to bring home her three children still in care is imminent.

Helen Eason is a proud Gomeroi Biripi woman. With lived experience of all the institutions and agencies that continue to falter in their services to Aboriginal people, Helen’s vision, strength and commitment to her mob’s healing is as real as she is. Helen established Nelly’s Healing Centre in 2018, providing an Aboriginal healing program which is culturally embedded and driven by the wisdom and experience of Aboriginal women and their families.

Majhid Heath, Producer, The Department
Majhid Heath produces documentary and drama through his company Noble Savage Pictures. Projects for SBS and the ABC include Faboriginal, Dark Place, Le Champion, A Chance Affair, Power to the People – Love, Brown Lips, Cyber Dreaming

Sascha Ettinger Epstein, Director, The Department
Sascha Ettinger Epstein is a documentary director/shooter known for raw, observational character-driven Australian stories. Her films include Painting With Light in a Dark World, The Oasis, Playing in the Shadows, Destination Arnold, The Pink House, and Life After The Oasis. The Department is the culmination of many years observation and interest in young people experiencing social inequality and the systems around them.