Passion Projects

Drawing upon our media, arts and community experience, and the values we hold dear, REDgum Communications walks the walk with passion projects that make a difference.

Bush to Belly – 7 indigenous kids, 1 Italian coffee machine & 500 bike riders in the Australian outback.

A practical framework creating enabling outcomes in education, engagement and financial independence in the remote Yiyili Community in Western Australia’s Kimberley. ‘It’s a gorgeous story…you’re going to love these kids doing great work up in the Kimberley’.
Deborah Mailman

We believe we need to be telling more good news stories of indigenous Australia, particularly in the context of the proposed forced closure of remote communities, the discussions about constitutional recognition for our original inhabitants and the persistent stain of racism in modern Australia.

There’s increasing pressure from government for small Aboriginal communities across Australia to assimilate through urban migration. Some communities – like Yiyili – are developing programs to create a self-sustaining future and resisting relocation and disempowerment. Bush to Belly is one example. The Yiyili Aboriginal Community School (YACS) developed a small café business making ‘city-style’ coffees for the tourists who stop by their Laarri Art Gallery during the dry season.

In 2014, Bush to Belly took to the road. The students loaded their Italian espresso machine into the back of a 4-wheel drive and travelled along the infamous and unforgiving Gibb River Road with a week-long bicycle relay, The Gibb Challenge. Each morning the kids rose before dawn to make hundreds of lattes, cappuccinos and espressos for the caffeine hungry cyclists peddling through some of Australia’s wildest terrain. But Bush to Belly is about so much more than coffee…

‘…bulldust, bikes and rich cultural exchange, as a group of indigenous kids shape their destinies…’

One of Australia’s most loved actors, Deborah Mailman provides the perfect narrative voice for the film. Deb was the first Aboriginal woman to win the AFI Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role.

In a time of increased political conservatism, leading to the proposed forceful closure of ‘remote’ Australian Indigenous communities, it is vitally important to hear the voices of those most effected by, and largely excluded from the discourse. Bush to Belly provides a space for an Indigenous voice, through which the Yiyili community demonstrates the importance of the land, their language and self-determination.

This 52 minute film – partly crowdfunded, partly sponsored and partly pro-bono – has been screened on NITV and acquired by ABC International for screening in NAIDOC week (early July), 2016.

Directed and Produced by James Freemantle
A REDgum Communications Production
Distributed by Meadow Media

Entrust Foundation – Wise Philanthropy in a Developing World

Richard Beaumont, CEO of the Entrust Foundation, visits enabling projects in the slums and border communities of Cambodia and Thailand in this proudly pro-bono project for Redgum Communications.

The journey takes in extremes from Pol Pot’s, ‘Killing Fields’, to the ‘school on the mat’, where teachers take a tarpaulin to a village, put it on the ground and teach whichever children are there. We meet children rescued from trafficking, boys learning to repair motor-bikes so that they can start their own businesses, and expats like Graham Taylor creating sustainable employment, improving the health of Cambodians and supporting local farmers. We dine on deep-fried Tarantulas at a restaurant staffed by former street youth and their teachers (most of whom are former street youth as well).

At Poipet we see the ‘no man’s land’ of 9 casinos between the borders of Thailand and Cambodia, with child-height, toy-like, fully functioning electronic gambling table for children; and young children hauling heavy wooden carts laden with goods for a few cents a day. In Bangkok we visit Poo’s Cooking School in the Klong Toey slum community. It’s a delightful, empowering market-to- kitchen cooking experience for tourists.

This Redgum Communications production highlights the work of the Entrust foundation that directs every cent of every dollar from its corporate partners to on-the- ground projects that empower local people.

Filmed, directed and produced by James Freemantle
A REDgum Communications Production

Invincible Summer

There was a long battle. I lost a cousin and friends to depression, and was desperate to be well. So with Simon Wise, Pete Reidy, Lawrence Mooney, Kikkii the Clown and other generous mates we made Invincible Summer. We won a trophy. Things got better. And it helped people.

Written, Produced and Directed by James Freemantle
A REDgum Communications Production

Farmarama

Drought, neighbours and hare-brained schemes lead the farmer to a Scuba diving epiphany in a cattle trough.

Written, Produced and Directed by James Freemantle
A REDgum Communications Production