In collaboration with community partners and under the guidance of Professor Dorothy Scott at the Australian Centre for Child Protection in South Australia, set out to:

> raise awareness about vulnerable children in Australian society

> build community capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect

> draw attention to policy-makers to the importance of investing in early prevention and intervention.

To reignite the conversation of child abuse and neglect by putting it on the national agenda.


After the release of THE OASIS documentary, the directors wrote and directed two short fiction films based on some of the untold stories that came out their three year documentary experience. POLLY AND ME (Dir. Ian Darling) and WALLBOY (Dir. Sascha Ettinger Epstein) were made as companion pieces, and deal with a wide range of social issues that have affected the lives of many young homeless kids.


As part of its grantmaking strategy, The Caledonia Foundation funds national outreach and education campaigns using documentary film making as a tool for social change.


POLLY AND ME premiered on ABC1 special KIDS AT RISK hosted by Geraldine Doogue and a live studio discussion on Thursday 9 September 2010.

Prior to the launch, community partners engaged in over 25 community screenings throughout Australia.

Since then, most of these organisations have used the film as part of a program to raise awareness about the issues they are involved in on a daily basis.

  • POLLY AND ME screened at the 2011 ACOSS Conference in Melbourne.


During National Child Protection Week over 1 million viewers and listeners were exposed to nationwide media coverage.

  • The NSW Police Force is using the film to train 12,000 police officers on child protection
  • Over 5000 DVDs distributed through community partners
  • Used as an educational resource on child protection for the National Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council
  • Study Guide now available through Australian Teachers of Media

Testimonial from Community Partner on the POLLY AND ME initiative

“Polly and Me is a shocking depiction of a child whose fundamental need for love, security and safety is invisible to the damaged adults around her. The film powerfully lays bare Polly’s absolute isolation: she has no one to turn to, no one to speak up for her and no community to support her. The Benevolent Society sees families like this in our communities every day. Polly and Me is a reminder that Australia’s top priority must be safe, healthy children and strong communities.”

- Richard Spencer, CEO The Benevolent Society

Links to further web resources: