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A philanthropic partnership sees SAE Brisbane give back to community

  • 12 Dec 16
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  • Jemima Dunlop
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SimonTempleFilmLecturerMoniqueYSHSRubyYSHSRyanYSHS.

Photo: Simon Temple (SAE Brisbane Film Lecturer) and YSHS students Monique, Ruby and Ryan

An inspiring partnership has developed between SAE Brisbane’s Film department and nearby Yeronga State High School (YSHS) – home to students from more than 55 countries, most of whom are refugees or asylum seekers living in detention centres or foster care.

A chance meeting at an SAE Open Day between SAE film lecturer Heidi Matthee and the Department Head of Creative Industries at YSHS, Gordon Collis, sparked the collaboration that is reaping rewards for both institutions. 

Heidi was invited by the school to teach a Certificate III Screen & Media as part of the school’s Artist in Class program and has been delivering guest lectures every week to 24 Year 11 students , including 21 refugees or asylum seekers.  The classes are part of a broader ‘Y-Connect’ program funded by The Queensland Department of Education and Training that sees guest lecturers from different disciplines teach customised classes to the school students. 

Heidi has regularly been accompanied at the classes by two SAE Brisbane Film students who have been offered the opportunity to mentor the Year 11 YSHS students.  One such SAE student, Sarah Whittle-Herbert, was so inspired by the students and school that she produced an uplifting documentary about her experiences.  

One YSHS student participating in the program is Monique - a refugee who arrived in Australia four years ago with no English language skills. Today Monique is fluent in English, took out the Year 11 Screen & Media award and is now applying for Australian citizenship and hoping to study film at SAE Brisbane.

Photo: Heidi Matthee, SAE Brisbane Film Lecturer

Photo: Heidi Matthee, SAE Brisbane Film Lecturer

Since the partnership was formed, other YSHS students have also been given the opportunity to participate in a Multicam Workshop offered by SAE Brisbane, as well as the most recent Study For A Day session. Four YSHS students with a passion for film were selected by the school and given the opportunity to attend the session at SAE.   

Two past YSHS students who have learnt first-hand what amazing career opportunities stem from a film degree at SAE Brisbane are Mirene Igwabi and Alfred Naupoto, both SAE graduates who have gone on to achieve early success.

During her final year of studies at SAE, Mirene was awarded a $10k Canon Film Grant for Students and went on to write and direct the film Adele which has been critically acclaimed. Inspired by her own experiences growing up in the Congo, Mirene’s short fiction film focuses on a young, secretly pregnant, African-Australian girl living in Brisbane who is forced into child marriage.  Adele was recently selected to screen in Australia's premier international short film festival, the 2017 Flickerfest

Meanwhile, Alfred has worked as a cinematographer for a special events company, been commissioned to produce video solutions for major corporates including Unilever Solutions, and produces a blog for filmmaking audiences.


Photo: YSHS students attending SAE Brisbane Study For a Day

The partnership between SAE and YSHS looks set to strengthen, with Heidi and two SAE  students invited to deliver a new round of guest lectures in 2017. 

SAE Brisbane’s engagement with the local community proves what can be achieved when private and public sectors collaborate for the benefit of local youth.

  • 12 Dec 16
  • |
  • Jemima Dunlop
  • |
  • 0 Comments

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