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Post-production   /  SAL BALHARRIE


Ordinary girls with extraordinary talent on a quest to play football for real.


Impact areas







  • DIRECTOR Danielle MacLean and Sal Balharrie

  • PRODUCER Sal Balharrie, Tammy Abala, Dianne Moore, Shane Tipuamantamerri •Executive Producer - Paul Wiegard, •Executive Producer - Tony Wright



​​LIKE MY BROTHER charts the power and impact of raw, sporting talent upon the lives of four, young Tiwi women and their remote community. This coming of age story follows Rina, Freda, Juliana and Jess on their journey from the Tiwi to Melbourne and back again as they dare to dream, taking up opportunities as they present, to play football at an elite level. While each girl has unique desires – to have fun, to be a leader, to be a teacher, to make a father proud, their obstacles are environmental and psychological – the tyranny of distance, young motherhood, addiction to sugar, navigating drugs and alcohol, gambling, homesickness and balancing the expectations of family. And while offers from the big smoke are great, and those in power down south think the girls should jump on and off planes and be hungry for success, those at home harbour and share the girls fears. Family can be your biggest supporter and family can drag you down by stoking the flames of doubt. LIKE MY BROTHER redefines what it takes to walk with success in both worlds.

Support this project

36.43% funded
  • $430,000.00

  • $156,650.00

  • June 2022

  • 10

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Shark Island Foundation $25,000.00
Delroads Trust $100,000.00
Anonymous $5,000.00
Amanda Whelan $100.00
jenny herbert-smith $500.00
Anonymous $10,000.00
Anonymous $1,000.00
Miranda Sharp $5,000.00
Petrina Dorrington and Lex McArthur $10,000.00
Roger Matheson $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

‘I believe footy has the power to change girls lives forever. We just need one (playing AFLW). One to start it off.’
- Dianne Moore, Tiwi Story Advisor, Co-Producer

LIKE MY BROTHER is so much bigger than football. This is a story about equity and equality of opportunity. Under the much loved banner of Australian sport, the films sets out to explore universal questions of female empowerment : ‘Can she do it?’. Can ‘she’ leave all she knows and travel 5000km away from home, surrounded by strangers and where she is expected to perform? Can ‘she’ stand up to those around her and push on, gaining confidence to use her voice and lead on and off the field? Can ‘she’ walk with pride in two worlds? Can she’ handle the pressure of being the first? This is a film of light and shade, but first and foremost it's a joyful story about girls achieving dreams and defining success on their own terms.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

On a local level, LIKE MY BROTHER aims to inspire future generations of young Tiwi girls by sharing a story of young women brave enough to follow their dreams, stepping up as role models for better health, education and empowering choices.

By sharing a universal story of personal growth against the odds we aim to influence a global audience to place pressure on those in power to support, create and offer active, realistic and respectful pathways that set girls up for success.


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

This is an intimate film with the ability to make a big impact.

However how this impact is felt in the Tiwi has been, and continues to be an ongoing conversation with Tiwi based co-producers. Given the nature of documentary making provides no guarantee in regards to profits/return, it has been essential to identify and ensure the community understands the nature of tangible benefits in relation to LIKE MY BROTHER.

In discussions we talk about different forms of 'currency' - money, social impact, up skilling, greater access to career based opportunities. In community there is a need for these tangible benefits to be visible, understood and able to be simply communicated by all participants and community alike.

The following points form the basis of contractual agreements and the basis of the Co-Production.

Production Share of Profits
Share of Intellectual Property - across all spin offs ie Like My Brother 2
Establishment of 'Tiwi Fund for Learning'


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Since 2020, as a result of the pandemic, audience habits have changed. Documentaries, as a category, have underperformed theatrically. With a proliferation of quality documentaries available on streaming services,
audiences require a very good reason to leave the comforts of home. This places even more importance on Q&A events to build buzz and a sense of community.

• In person Q&As
• Virtual Q&A technology
• Tie in to Essendon Football Club's 2022 150th Celebration
• Tap into broader discussion around the involvement of indigenous people at the level of elite sport
• Tap into the need for realistic and respectful pathways offering access to young women
• Hold a series of private screenings Australia wide to raise money for 'Tiwi Fund for Learning'


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

This question is best answered by Tiwi Co-Producers:

TAMMY ABALA // "The Tiwi translation for Mamanta is “Friends”. This is the name of our business because we believe in and action genuine collaboration, promoting and affecting positive cross-cultural relationships, Mamanta is key in bringing local and cultural nuance to the professional creative team. Being a Tiwi business based in the Tiwi community, we are closely connected with community strengths and ambitions. This is how hope ripples. "

DIANNE MOORE // "I have been involved in this project since the beginning and would love to see it through until the end. I have also been involved in the girls lives for many years, not only as one of their teachers but
as family. They will be my main priority, making sure they are ok with the final product. It is important
that the community feels comfortable with this final process and understand what the project is
about. I feel my connection to the community will help with this."

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

The key take aways for Viewers.

Just as the film aims to inspire future generations of indigenous girls, we aim to inspire action in our audience by:

What is your own definition of SUCCESS? Abundant financial wealth? Fulfilling potential at all costs? Standing on a podium? Accolades? A better car? A better house? Better holidays? OR, how about family? Above all else, does connection to family factor into your definition? Or connection to country? Or hunting? Or finishing high school?

For those brave enough to dream, does transparent EQUITY of opportunity exist? If not, why not.

How can I personally make a difference? By ASKING QUESTIONS and applying pressure. If you follow an AFLW team, email your club and ask to see a copy of their Management Policy for Indigenous Athletes. Ask questions about how the policy is financed? Are they actively recruiting? If so where and once again, what's their Management Policy.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

It is intended LIKE MY BROTHER inspires change in the following areas:

• A visibly better system of pathways based in realistic outcomes and respectful pathways;
• Transparent and greater financial investment, so that like their brothers, girls are set up for success;
• Follow through on Investment Promises from Corporations / Football Clubs;
• A change in mindset from current thinking to motherhood does not derail the dreams of a young woman;
• A clear understanding of the win-win so that all can thrive.

Future young women in remote communities are brave enough to follow a dream;
That 'failure' can result in personal success and does not involve 'shame'.

Establishment of a "Tiwi Future Fund for Learning" - comprising of funds raised from Special Screenings where 100% profits will be directed fund ready to be accessed by Tiwi Women wishing to access further education in an online capacity.