Live Export

‘Cattle scars’ doco tells human side of livex ban

Beef Central, 25/10/2013

Cattle Scars – Documentary Trailer from Exposure Productions on Vimeo.



A new documentary aims to increase public awareness of one of the unseen impacts of the 2011 live cattle export ban.

Through following the story of 25-year-old Indigenous stockman, Alward Foster, the ‘Cattle Scars’ documentary explores the human stories at the heart of the live export industry in both regional Australia and Indonesia.

The producers are currently working with the Documentary Australia Foundation in a bid to raise $50,000 tto complete $120,000 they need to finalise the 60 minute production, which they then hope to have broadcast on ABC or SBS television. 

A four minute preview (above) has been released on social media this week.

In 'Cattle Scars' Alward explains his journey from leaving his home in the remote north west Queensland indigenous community of Doomadgee, which has been described as a place of alcohol and unemployment fuelled hopelessness and despair, to finding employment in the pastoral industry, and playing a role in helping to repair damaged trade relationships by visiting Indonesia and travelling to Canberra to meet with then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The documentary concludes with Alward finding out whether he has helped to save an industry or if it’s time to return to his dysfunctional community.

Alward introduces the audience to a number of characters throughout his journey including Sumatran beef worker, Yulman Kursi.

Yulman started as a young man picking in the cornfields and worked his way up through the ranks. He escaped from poverty by working tirelessly for several years and taught himself English becoming operations manager of a large feedlot.

He tells the documentary that he has been devastated about letting go hundreds of local employees because of a downturn in cattle numbers.

The Documentary Australia website says the production invites the audience to consider the alternative side of the export debate and the dramatic social ramifications of a downturn or halt to the trade.

“This project appeals to the aims of philanthropic foundations in that its subject matter is significant to indigenous advancement, remote and rural awareness and social justice.

“This project will get to the very heart of rural and remote Australia and give people who are not traditionally inclined to tell their story a voice. This gives exposure to a minority sector in society often ignored and overlooked particularly by metropolitan and traditional media sources.

“Through this film we endeavour to provide the audience insight into a misunderstood issue and reveal a human side to the debate over the controversial live export trade.”
The producers say their ultimate ambition is to have 'Cattle Scars' aired on the ABC or SBS as well as an online portal with extra material in the form of small series running approximately three minutes a piece.

“We can measure the films reach by its viewership and audience engagement as well as traffic through the website. The ultimate hope is that this film will reach wider public debate about live exports and help provide balance.”


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