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Development   /  SA FILMS

Under Cover

Under Cover is a timely portrait of hidden homelessness, and the thousands of older women who are its victims.


Impact areas







  • DIRECTOR Sue Thomson

  • PRODUCER Adam Farrington-Williams, Sue Thomson & Alexandra Curtis



Under Cover follows Rama, Claire and Linda who are homeless and Gemma, Rob and Fiona, who are working to stop older women from becoming homeless. Through their combined struggles, we are struck by the flaws in our society and the fragility of our own economic standing. However, we are buoyed by the eternal hope and optimism of these women who find themselves in this unthinkable instability. Rama, Claire and Linda’s homelessness is not visible and they could easily be you, me, your mother, your sister, your aunt or your grandmother. These women just happen to be living with a terrifying secret.

Support this project

90.92% funded
  • $250,000.00

  • $227,300.00

  • 28

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





PwC $5,000.00
Offline Donation $30,000.00
Phyll Williams $50.00
Omnico Operations Pty Ltd $5,000.00
Hangid Foundation $10,000.00
David Atkins $50.00
Offline Donation $30,000.00
WeirAnderson Foundation $20,000.00
Anna Sublet $100.00
Mary Papaioannou $200.00
Offline Donations $105,000.00
Taimi Sanders $50.00
Scott Wilkinson $100.00
sarah conron $100.00
Jack Howard $50.00
Zoe Taylor $100.00
Jane Akhurst $100.00
chris mcloughlin $250.00
Andrew Walker $100.00
Dylan Timtschenko $50.00
Shannon Gilleland $50.00
Joe Nossal $50.00
Stephen Nossal $100.00
Kim Shaw $100.00
Anonymous $500.00
Melissa Ogier $100.00
Tamsin O'Neill $100.00
Anonymous $20,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Under Cover is a story about women, aging, and homelessness. Referred to as the ‘hidden homeless’, women over fifty are currently the fastest growing demographic of homeless in the developed world. It is vital that films are made to highlight and confront the multitude of issues stemming from long-term gendered economic inequalities in this country and around the world. Women over fifty are in trouble. Decades of inequality is about to see a tsunami of older women finding themselves in precarious financial peril that could leave them all homeless. This crisis needs urgent attention and the longer it remains untreated, the more it will ultimately cost society mentally, physically and economically.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

1) a specifically created educational curriculum for students,focusing on the importance of financial literacy,gender equality and the link between secure housing and good mental health.
2) a screening programme with a series of workshops,targeting corporates and governmental organisations,spotlighting complexities around aging, housing, and homelessness in women over 50, as well as the importance of financial literacy,gender equality and the link between secure housing and good mental health.


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

1) Implementing educational curriculum that utilises the film as an educational resource for Australian students and teaches them about the importance of financial literacy, gender equality and the correlation between secure housing and good mental health.
2) Encouraging at risk older women to seek support early before falling through the cracks.
3) Reframing the way we view traditional homelessness and understanding of its causing factors, and to realise that for older women there are many different factors at play.
4) Sparking wider conversations about viable alternative housing solutions, both short and long term.
5) Sparking wider conversations about gendered economic inequality and how this is contributing to a rise in 50+ female homelessness.
6) A recognition that the social sector could be more effective if all services can agree on both a common goal and a set of standards to approach solving the issue of homelessness.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

A key goal within the Under Cover Action Campaign is to emphasise the importance of equipping women with the skills and resources to be in control of their own economic security. But this also goes for all Australians. We will treat the idea of being financially literate as a goal.

Along with a specifically created educational curriculum, the film will be a vital resource for Australian students, educating them on the importance of financial literacy, gender equality and the correlation between secure housing and good mental health.


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

We have extensive partnerships and ambassadors working with us from the private sector, the not for profit space, health organisations and government.

Each partnership offers us a chance for expert consultancy, an ability to reach the important players trying to create change and an opportunity to meet the survivors on the ground. Often the consultancy provides statistics, industry overview, and controlled access to participants.

As our film will be factually viable from the outset, we are passionate about seeking further partners to ensure best practices and accuracy when producing this film. As some of the women being interviewed come from lived experience of on-the-street trauma and family violence, our consultants are generously offering on-set guidance and support around filming vulnerable and at-risk older women.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

1) Encourage audiences (of all ages) to think about the importance of their financial literacy.
2) Encourage audiences to think about how economic gender inequity feeds into the homelessness conversation and how this inequality has seen a rise in particularly older women facing homelessness.
3) Encourage audiences to empathise with the correlation between secure housing and good mental health.
4) Encourage audiences to support charities such as Housing All Australians, Women's Housing Limited and Uniting that actively campaign for a shift in housing policy and advocate new housing solutions proposed by the film.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

1) A partnership with an education resource provider such as COOL AUSTRALIA will enable the filmmakers to track uptake in the created curriculum and measure the number of students who have studied the coursework and therefore been exposed to the messages promoted by the film and its social impact campaign.
2) Targeted questionnaires during our social impact workshops and screenings will help measure and evaluate how audiences are engaging with the ideas being explored.
3) Action from government at a fiscal policy level, such as an increase to Newstart / JobSeeker for women over 50 who are not yet at retirement or pension age; and rectifying the superannuation gap between men and women (particularly 60+ women).
4) Action from federal, state and local governments that sees more long term social housing and experimentation of rent control models based on available international evidence.