Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Stepping Out (1980)

play
Email a link to this page
To:
CC:
Subject:
Body:
clip 'We do exist' education content clip 1, 2

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Residents of The Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home for the intellectually handicapped are being fitted for costumes for the upcoming performance at the Sydney Opera House.

Curator’s notes

The voice-over by a resident reminds us that people with intellectual handicaps are part of the community.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This clip shows members of the Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home drama group shopping for costumes. The narrator talks about barriers experienced by the intellectually disabled when attempting to communicate with those 'on the outside’. Members of the group are shown trying on costumes, assisted by their drama teacher Aldo Gennaro, and the clip shows their absorption in and enjoyment of the task. Piano music accompanies the clip.

Educational value points

  • At the time the film was made, many people with an intellectual disability, including those depicted in the clip, lived in institutions for much of their lives. Their opportunity to share their experiences of life and points of view with those on the 'outside’ was therefore rare.
  • The relative isolation of the residents shown from life 'on the outside’ was largely the result of Australian Government policy prior to the mid-1980s, which sought to separate people with disabilities from the wider community. The International Year of the Disabled in 1981 helped raise awareness of the rights and entitlements of people with intellectual disabilities, and the Intellectually Disabled Persons’ Services Act 1986 started the process of integrating people with disabilities into the community.
  • The residents shown were part of a group that joined a drama workshop to develop their talents under the direction of Aldo Gennaro. They went on to perform Madame Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House in 1979.
  • Chilean theatre director Aldo Gennaro (died 1987), who is shown helping the students try on costumes, was formerly a priest and a dancer. He chose to work with people on the fringes of society, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, prisoners and those with disabilities, encouraging them to develop through the creative arts. He was dismissed from his position because the way he related to the residents was deemed by management to be unacceptable.
  • The residents are shown in the historic Queen Victoria Building, designed by George McRae and completed in 1898 as a monument to the long-reigning monarch. The Building replaced the original Sydney markets and, although originally a concert hall, it went on to house coffee shops, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople. Drastic 'remodelling’ occurred during the austere 1930s. In 1984 it was completely refurbished and is now one of the most popular shopping complexes in Sydney.
  • The Sunshine Home residents are being fitted for costumes at Bloch’s, a supplier of ballet shoes, dance apparel and accessories since the 1930s. Jacob Bloch started making ballet shoes shortly after arriving in Australia from Russia in 1931. His love of ballet led him to visit dance studios, and he became determined to design a better ballet shoe after seeing a dancer having difficulty staying on pointes. The good reputation that he established led to the opening of outlets in Canada, the USA and Europe.
  • The clip is from the award-winning documentary Stepping Out (1980), made by Chris Noonan (1953–) for Film Australia. Along with Gillian Armstrong and Philip Noyce, Noonan was one of the first graduates of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Stepping Out won the UNESCO Prize in 1980, and led to Noonan being invited to direct the successful miniseries The Cowra Breakout (1985) and Vietnam (1987). His first feature film, Babe (1995), won an Oscar.
  • Stepping Out showcases the work of Oscar-winning Australian cinematographer Dean Semler (1943–). Semler moved into feature films from newsreels and documentaries in 1976, and made his mark with Mad Max 2 in 1981, the film that brought him to international notice. He won an Oscar in 1991 for his work on Dances with Wolves (1990) and has been nominated for and won several American Society of Cinematographer awards for such films as Razorback (1984) and most recently Apocalypto (2006).

This clip starts approximately 19 minutes into the documentary.

Residents of The Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home for the intellectually handicapped are being fitted for costumes for an upcoming performance.

Romayne, narrator and Sunshine Home drama group member At the moment people on the outside don’t realise that we even do exist and I think that’s very bad because we do exist and yet it’s also very hard for us because getting to know people on the outside is even harder.

A drama group member is trying on a costume.

Shop assistant They’re alright, aren’t they? And the colour’s better?

Aldo Gennaro, drama teacher Yes, I think the colour is better. It’s still a little bit…

Shop assistant Well, if you pull them up from the ankle a bit more then it won’t be so transparent on the side ‘cause his foot’s not quite in the back there.

Aldo Can you turn around?

Shop assistant What do you think of that, King Kong?

Drama group member 1 I like it!

Aldo Do you like it? Good. Looks very nice. Alright, we need seven of these.

The clip shows a montage of group members trying on costumes and is accompanied by piano music. The dialogue is not always clear. Another drama group member tries on a grey leotard.

Aldo How does it feel?

Drama group member 2 Alright.

Shop assistant You can move around?

Man Ok, now stand up? I think they’re pretty good. How do they feel?

Drama group member 1 Yeah, I’ll work ‘em out.

Man OK, good work, that’s good … Ok, now you’re a four and a half C.

Drama group member 1 Yeah.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer 'We do exist' from the documentary Stepping Out as a high quality video download.

To play the downloadable video, you need QuickTime 7.0, VLC, or similar.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

This clip is available in the following configurations:

File nameSizeQualitySuitability
stepping2_pr.mp4 Large: 13.4MB High Optimised for full-screen display on a fast computer.
stepping2_bb.mp4 Medium: 6.3MB Medium Can be displayed full screen. Also suitable for video iPods.

Right-click on the links above to download video files to your computer.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer this clip in an embeddable format for personal or non-commercial educational use in full form on your own website or your own blog.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before embedding the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

Copy and paste the following code into your own web page to embed this clip: