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documentaries: notes: synopsis - theatrette

The Choice (2006) Riot or Revolution (2005) Why Men Pay For It (2003) Life is Too Serious (2001)
Love's Tragedies (1999) Big Hair Woman (1997) We're All Independent Now (1995) Deadly Hurt (1994)
The Great Australian Dreaming (1992) Big People Small People (1991)  

Something You Call Unique

These are some questions from the study guide that accompanied the film when it was distributed into schools -

- Which way do you think the pendulum is swinging?
- What does David Eldridge (Crossroads) mean by his statement, "I like the notion of inter- relationships, we all depend on each whether we want to accept that or not"?
- In the final interview an ex-street kid, Glenda says, "love is more important than anything". Comment.
- What image did you have about homeless youth before you watched the video?
- What qualities about them did the program bring out?
- What are the most common causes of youth homelessness?
- What is Bob Hawke talking about when he says "This is the essence of a social justice strategy in times of fiscal restraint"?
- Does "alienated youth" have a right to be angry and take that anger out on themselves or other people?
- Do you agree with Julian Disney (President, ACOSS) that "we will reap the whirlwind" if we go the same way as Thatcher's England?
- David Connolly (Shadow Minister Social Security: says that the community is expected to carry the cost of parents who don't do their job. Comment.
- Are homeless young people just "lazy dole bludgers" or are they victims -  "totally disconnected from the community"?
- What impression do you get of life on the streets? What are the dangers, especially for girls?
- How dependent on welfare are they? What might happen if it was taken away?
- Why does the public have misinformation about survival on the streets?
- Is youth homelessness just a lack of housing?
- What is the role of a crisis center?
- Why is medium and long term accommodation so important?
- How is the vicious cycle of transcience and rootlessness best broken?- Why is ongoing support better than shuffling kids from one program to another?
- Why is work such a key issue?
- List some of the common attitudes to work and the dole from those on both sides.
- What does professor Michael Porter mean by "full employment is illegal in Australia"?
- Do you think work schemes are sheltered workshops and that market forces should prevail?
- Describe who you think Julian Disney is referring to when he talks about the "wets" and the "drys" of welfare?
- In what way is welfare in general under threat in the present economic and political climate?
- Are agencies like crossroads a "soft option" for kids? What do you feel about their long term approach and reluctance to kick kids out?
- Why is it so important for the wider community to get involved in an issue like youth homelessness?
- What does Julian Disney mean by his statement that, "social justice marches hand in hand with the enlightened analysis of economics"?
- How does Disney argue that we have become more polarised economically in Australia?
- How is welfare a buffer?
- What is the place for decency and compassion in social justice questions?
- Do you think Australian socials policy has been dangling precariously in the middle ground during the 80's?


Alan Bennett