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Film and Australia’s History

Last week I found out I will be working on a short film, titled ‘Ada’ with Powerhouse Media Productions in Brisbane. I will be working as the production design assistant. It is a historical drama piece set in the colonial times. Ironically, this this week I explored a part of Brisbane I have not seen yet, and found a building called the Commissariat Store. It is one of the last buildings to remain standing, as a memory of the first convicts arriving in Brisbane. After working on previous films last year, I cannot wait to work on the set for this and learn many new things about Australian history.

When we arrived at the building, three elderly ladies greeted us, and one kindly offered to give us a tour. She was in a two piece lengthy skirt and warm yellow jumper, with colourful patterns to match. I learnt a new part to history that afternoon, and surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it.

The treatment to punish the convicts were very harsh, and they had to work 14 hours a day. On the right shows a restraint suit to keep the convicts strapped inside.

At the end of our tour, I went back to see the elderly lady who had kindly shown us around, to ask for a photograph with her. Unfortunately, she had gone home due to a sore throat from talking too much! As I could not take a photograph of the lady, I drew one.

During the tour, my friend – who is German – told me a story about her grandma and her experience with the Berlin wall…

”When my gran was younger she used to live on the East side of Germany, it was the poor
side where people were treated badly. People were spied on, people were reported for the
smallest problems. On the west side, life was a lot more fair. People used to get shot if they
tried to escape over the wall from the Eastern life. Luckily, my gran was working on the
West side of Germany. She decided one day that she must move there before it was too
late, but how could she without getting shot? She couldn’t just get up and walk past the wall
with a suitcase full of her belongings. On this day, she put on layers and layers of her
clothing, finally adding her coat and stepped onto the train. She feared that the train ticket-
man would ask for her coat and discover her secret. This day was her lucky day, she
arrived on the West side of the country and the family have grown up there ever since’.

I drew a picture of what I imagined her gran to look like.


As I am not usually one to enjoy history, it has taken me by surprise that I have learnt a few things about the Worlds history, enjoyed it, and want to find out more.

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