An Inspiring Story...
Wollongong, 1980: Denied jobs at the steelworks - the city's main employer - working class / migrant women refused to accept discrimination. They began a campaign for the right to work that lasted for fourteen years. Their battle against BHP, the country's richest and most powerful company, took them from factory gate to the highest court in the land and changed the rules for women throughout Australia. Using rare archival footage and speaking directly to camera, these Women of Steel tell their own stories for the first time on film.
AND AN INSPIRING FILM!
A rousing documentary, many years in the making, it follows a group of determined local women in their 14-year fight for the right to work in Wollongong’s steel industry.
Forty years ago, Wollongong’s Jobs for Women Campaign, with director Robynne Murphy among its leaders, took on Australia’s most powerful company BHP — and won. But when the 1980s steel slump devastated the city’s economy, the women were forced into the courtroom. Their struggle plays out against a background of societal changes: from anti-discrimination legislation, to the shifting roles of women in the home and workforce (particularly complex in Wollongong’s migrant, non-English speaking households).
This fascinating account of the largely forgotten history of Australia’s Steel City was crafted over decades with support from local community volunteers and over 500 donors.
Robynne Murphy was selected for AFTRS’s first intake. As other students moved into feature films, Murphy started a thirty-year career on the floor of the Port Kembla steelworks before beginning this documentary.
The Team: Robynne involved a great team of filmmakers to ensure this film, as well as the campaign, came out of the heart of the Illawarra! From Consultative Producer Martha Ansara, to Editors Rowena Crowe and Phil Crawford, assistant editors Matt Velozo and Deniz Balabay to the Film Crew of Shaniece Igano (camera), Deniz Balabay (camera), Matt Velozo (sound), Daniel de Filippo (sound), Liam Dallas (sound), Mystery Carnage (graphic artist), production management Gemma and Tessa Parsons, photography Emma Korhonen, safety Jessica Rees, website Deniz Balabay.
With the polishing touches of renowned film composer and musician Jan Preston;
Graphic designer Betsy Baker;
Picture and Sound Mixer Michael Gissing;
Digitising, Telecine Ray Argall, Piccolo Films.
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Account: Jobs for Women Film Producers Group
Account number 153873245
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NEWS UPDATE May 27th, 2020
Women of Steel is finished AND is a finalist in this year’s 'virtual’ Sydney Film Festival's Documentary Australia Foundation Awards! The film will be shown online continuously – day and night – accessible to anyone in Australia -- from June 10th to 21st, 2020. Information about the film and tickets are available here: https://ondemand.sff.org.au/film/women-of-steel/
The Sydney Film Festival is among the longest running and most respected international film events in the world. And it is now accessible to every one of us!
Sydney Film Festival will charge a $14 viewing fee (of which half will come back to us) and although we very much hope that you will watch the film online at the Sydney Film Festival, rest assured that we intend to provide other viewing opportunities for you further down the track, when our options are broader than now.
We also hope you might want to see some of the other nominated documentaries.
We made Women of Steel with an underlying conviction that the story it tells -- without being sentimental or preachy or simplistic --– communicates hope in dark days and that we must do our utmost to get it out widely.
Please help us by emailing friends and contacts, sharing this with your personal message, so as many as possible can get tickets here: https://ondemand.sff.org.au/film/women-of-steel/
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