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Production   /  Caroline Stocker Stratmann

The Big Shift

Everyday people changing their lives to protect our changing planet.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Caroline Stocker Stratmann

  • PRODUCER Toby Stratmann



Unprecedented drought, fires, floods, and a global pandemic warn that our natural world is in crisis, yet the Australian government refuses to act. Instead, trailblazing everyday people are stepping up and tackling climate change and biodiversity loss themselves, transitioning away from environmentally destructive careers and launching innovative projects and entrepreneurial start-ups to create a cleaner, greener planet.

Filmed over two-years from July 2019, the three-part documentary series THE BIG SHIFT follows passionate advocates and their inspirational transitions from contributing to the problem to being part of the solution. Among our high-stakes stories of change and redemption are Trevor’s conversion from coal miner to conservationist, as he transforms a former coalmine into a sanctuary for endangered native species; conservative country mum Alison’s switch from promoting fossil fuel companies to crusading for climate justice and businessman Vaughan’s evolution from deep-sea trawling to eliminating ocean plastic and building Australia’s first electric plane. If they can make the switch to protecting our planet, so can anyone.

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0% funded
  • $150,000.00

  • $0.00

  • July 2021

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Climate change and biodiversity loss are an immediate threat to all life on earth, yet fossil fuel emissions and environmental destruction are at an all-time high. The catastrophic bushfires of 2019-2020 woke Australia up to the fact that climate change is happening here and now. Scientists warn us we have a finite window to adapt or face extinction, but the black summer left many Australians traumatised and despairing, and the pandemic has diverted our attention away from what was supposed to be the international year of climate action.

THE BIG SHIFT brings the urgent need for climate action back into focus by demonstrating how passionate everyday Australians have converted their paralysis and fear into hope through action and proves each one of us can, too. This series seeks to empower all Australians, even those you’d least expect, to be part of the solution and energise our government to step up and act before it’s too late.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

By demonstrating the power of lived social action, THE BIG SHIFT models how everyone can contribute to climate and environmental solutions and a sustainable democracy.
Inspire new sectors of society to engage with climate solutions and the protection of nature
Demonstrate pathways to transition out of polluting industries
Activate citizens to unite with community groups that are empowering government to adopt sustainable policies, including the UN’s emissions reductions targets


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

Engage a mainstream audience with climate change and environmental activism
Educate and foster hope that worst-case climate projections can be mitigated with urgent action
Generate a national conversation around the availability of climate solutions and how to adopt them
Remind people of their agency and how their actions and decisions have environmental impact
Empower and support people to join the climate and environmental movement by helping them find and connect with local organisations participating in climate solutions
Change consumer behaviour to support ecologically sustainable practices and businesses
Encourage people to devise their own climate solutions
Help shift the policy framework at all levels of government towards climate change-mitigating and ecologically sustainable public policy
Increase active participation in democracy
Convince the Australian Government to commit to a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050


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

Toowoomba for Climate Action: Community activists Alison Fearnley and Penny Claringbull have become experts in mobilizing grassroots community support around environmental causes.
Yerrabingin/Mirvac: Sustainable indigenous start-up Yerrabingin, run by Clarence Slockee and Christian Hampson can unlock indigenous thinking, entrepreneurial and conservation networks, and their Mirvac business partner Will Walker can assist with industry connections.
Ecosystems Australia Foundation/ Secret Creek Sanctuary: Trevor Evans, who runs a sanctuary for endangered native species, has an extensive conservation network.
Corals for Conservation and Plantation Resort: Marine biologist Austin Bowden-Kerby and Plantation Island Resort can connect us with the Fijian tourism industry and coral conservation networks.
Electron Aero: Vaughan Wellington and Colin Hutchison are green entrepreneurs with links to the aeronautical industry and business.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

1. The population of Australia are motivated to change their careers and behaviour to adopt climate and environmental solutions, i.e. donating to a climate or biodiversity project, switching to sustainable products and renewable energy
2. Australian citizens from all walks of life are compelled to follow our social media campaign to lobby all levels of government for sustainable practices and real action on climate change, especially through signing the petition and participating in activism to get the federal government to agree to the UN’s COP2021 targets
3. Signing up to our partner charity program or foundation to provide fiscal sponsorship to people with entrepreneurial ideas for green start-ups

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

THE BIG SHIFT will air on an Australian TV network, but we will hold additional screenings for community groups and encourage communities to host watch parties across Australia. We will liaise with these groups to identify a unique local call to action that is appropriate for them.
Audience engagement will be measured through:
Broadcast ratings
Online viewing figures
Number of impact screenings, hosted and Q & A style community events
Downloads of the program in conjunction with the purchase of education materials
Fight for the Future website hits and engagement with its links (pledges, petitions, donations)
Social media page engagement across platforms
Success of affiliated peaceful protest actions
Influence on the national conversation confirmed by social media and coverage in mainstream media
Online surveys and surveys at live screening events
Success of campaign for the government to commit to the UN emissions targets