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Outreach   /  Steve Warne

Journey Beyond Fear

We follow a teenage girl and her refugee family in Malaysia as they wait for, and eventually achieve, resettlement.


Impact areas






  • DIRECTOR Robyn Hughan

  • PRODUCER Steve Warne



Told through the eyes of a teenage girl and her refugee family in pursuit of resettlement, this emotional roller coaster takes us from despair to joy through hope, humour and love - shattering prevailing stereotypes. A character driven film, featuring three magnetic daughters and shot over 7 years in Malaysia and Australia, it’s an extraordinary psychological study of the effects of refugee status. We experience how even the system for seeking asylum the “right way” is incredibly challenging, but that those who make it are hugely thankful, can be welcomed by fellow Australians and are eager to contribute to Australian society.

Support this project

1.51% funded
  • $45,000.00

  • $680.00

  • December 2023

  • 5

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Russell Shiells $50.00
Sing Bing Chiew $50.00
Siong Hua Tan $50.00
Ruja Varon $180.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Refugees are among the most disadvantaged on the planet. They are a growing diaspora with over 80 million people worldwide forced to leave their homes as a result of conflict and human rights violations. Critical to combatting the rise of racism is humanising refugees by knowing more about their experience. This film raises awareness of the difficulties of awaiting re-settlement for refugees by seeking to answer the question: ‘why can’t refugees stay in the country to which they first flee?’ It highlights the importance of raising the refugee intake within Australia, considering that only 1% of refugees are ever re-settled and that we offer only 13,750 annual resettlement places. The film: advances refugee and human rights; contributes to social cohesion; promotes the empowerment of women; enhances awareness of the need to improve the educational, employment and health prospects of refugees in transit countries like Malaysia and gives youth a voice in articulating these issues.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

‘a journey well worth taking’ … ‘4 out of 5 stars’ - David Stratton
This finished film, has been highly popular to date, changing the hearts and minds and better informing human rights advocates. To reach wider audiences we need to: market the film more effectively; pay for travel expenses for more screenings and Q&A’s, develop online access and get the film into schools and tertiary institutions. Please consider a 100% Tax Deductible donation to help us get the film out there.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Improving public understanding of, and compassion for refugees, including those who join the so called ‘queue’, an option which is much tougher than most assume.
Increasing the refugee intake into Australia.
Advancing understanding of the importance of granting refugees access to government recognised schools and better resourced community and NGO supported schools while in regionally close transit countries, such as Malaysia.
Raising awareness of the exploitation of refugees in the workplace in countries where they are awaiting re-settlement, with the hope of improving these conditions.
Improving the health and living conditions of refugees in transit countries.
Improving public perceptions of female refugees and youth.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

(See also above).
Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) are hosting regional screenings nationally. The first being at Victoria’s Swanpool Cinema, as part of the 2018 Benalla Festival. GOTAFE supported 2019 event screenings in Wangaratta, Euroa and Shepparton on March 12, 13 & 14th.
The film has been hugely popular and has attracted very favourable media coverage to date, including 4 out of 5 stars from David Stratton.
It’s being entered into national and international film festivals and has been offered to SBS and ABC TV.
It film will be made available to secondary schools and tertiary institutions via the Association of Teachers of Media (ATOM) Education Shop online with an accompanying teachers guide.
It will be made available to public VoD platforms, such as SBS OnDemand, DocPlay, BeamAFilm and OZFLIX and we will pursue general public DVD prospects via self-distribution. We are also negotiating with international broadcasters and distributors.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

This film has expressions of interest from peak refugee, multicultural and human rights organisations including: the Australian Refugee Action Network, the Refugee Council of Australia, Rural Australians for Refugees, the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Victorian Women’s Trust and Amnesty International Australia. As well, GOTAFE, Project Dignity, and DFAT. We have ongoing connections with these and many other refugee advocacy organisations via personal contacts and regular scrutiny of their social media. As such, we have been able to explore the issues at hand with sensitivity and accuracy. These partners are assisting with in-kind marketing, the co-hosting of special screening events, the provision of spokespeople for our Q&A's and exhibition venues. Most are unable to contribute financially due to other commitments so we are seeking fiscal support from other philanthropic organisations in this regard.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Enabling viewers to connect with those campaigning for: an increased intake of refugees by countries like Australia; against racism; improved opportunities for refugees, including better refugee access to education, working rights, health and alternative resettlement paths, such as a fairer community sponsorship program for refugees. As well, to act more respectfully towards refugee women and girls.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Levels of film attendance and viewings, including productive Q&A's to coincide with screenings, positive media coverage, positive audience feedback and impact on politicians and policy makers.
Government legislative and policy outcomes, increased debate about the issues raised by the film in parliament and the wider media.
Increased lobbying of Australian politicians to engage with Southeast Asian refugee transit country authorities to improve refugee employment practices and conditions, educational opportunities and healthcare. This to be measured by increased discussions in the Australian parliament and associated policy changes.