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Nothing ‘Un-Australian’ about EnhanceTV ATOM Award

For immediate release

There’s nothing ‘Un-Australian’ about the up-and-coming talent on show at the 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards

MELBOURNE – Tuesday 19 August, 2008 – At a time when Australians are cheering on their athletes abroad, the concept of anything ‘un-Australian’ seems quite foreign, yet budding documentary filmmaker, Ben Sale set about exploring just what the word and moreover, the concept of being ‘un-Australian’ means in today’s society…and is now in the running for a 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Award for his efforts.

Used over 600 times in Parliament over the last 20 years, the word un-Australian has been used to criticise anything and everything. But what does the word really mean and its use entail?

From the mid 1990s the word ‘un-Australian’ has gained currency as a political term. It has been used by politicians such as John Howard and Pauline Hanson to describe a raft of topics from striking workers, protestors and trade unions. But why has the political use of the word increased?

Ben’s documentary, ‘Un-Australian’ draws insight from a diverse group of interviewees of differing backgrounds to take its audience on a journey which encompasses various aspects of Australian society.

Of his documentary, Ben had to say, “When I started making this film I was unsure what I would find. As a documentary maker, I didn’t want to be biased or convey my own opinions, so I let my interviewees tell the story. What I found was the overt divisiveness of the word. I also found that as Alan Brough said, ‘The way it’s used in the media is such that a savvy politician can use the word in anything they say and it can have a whole raft of meanings without using many words.”

“In today’s society, a politician can label something or someone ‘un-Australian’ and instantly they get their point across while having a great sound bite for the media,” Ben added.

The diverse cast of interviewees featured in ‘UnAustralian’ include Jeff Kennett, Federal MP, Andrew Robb, comedian and entertainer Alan Brough, German born Holocaust survivor George Ginzburg, Aboriginal Land council members Stephen Compton and Robert Ogden, recent Australian citizen Jacques Carre, teacher Lesley Parker, business women Barb Otorepic and chef Chris Toal.

“Young filmmakers like Ben, with his obvious enthusiasm and drive for documentary filmmaking, embody the true spirit of the Australian film industry. We have so much up and coming talent on show at this year’s ATOM Awards, alongside so many seasoned industry professionals, that it is sure to be a very exciting and inspiring night,” commented ATOM Awards Executive Officer, Julie-Anne Smith.

The annual ATOM Awards recognise excellence in over thirty categories of Film, Television, Animation and Multimedia (including video games) and celebrate the very best of Australian and New Zealand production. The competition was open to anyone who had produced a short film, documentary, animation, electronic game, educational resource, television program or innovative new media work in the past twelve months.

The 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards will be presented at a gala presentation ceremony, held in the Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre, Melbourne on Friday 24 October, 2008. The evening’s proceedings will commence at 7.30pm for 8.00pm.

The 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards program is sponsored by Avid, Adobe Asia Pacific, Victorian Government through the Department of Planning and Community Development, Madman Entertainment, Deakin University, Monash University Faculty of Arts, Encore Magazine, Metro Magazine, Metroscreen, Open Channel, Qpix, SBS, 2Camels, Netagi, Disc Ready, Scotch College Melbourne and Overnewton Anglican Community College.

The 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards are funded by Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, the New South Wales Film and Television Office and Film Victoria.

For more information about the 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards please visit

To book: visit or call 1300 795 012.

Adult $77.00 inc GST
Juniors (under 15 years) $35.00 inc GST.


About the ATOM Awards
The ATOM Awards were established in 1982 by the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) - an independent, non-profit association promoting media education and screen literacy in primary, secondary and tertiary education and the broader community.

The ATOM Awards annually recognise excellence in over thirty categories of Film, Television, Animation and Multimedia and celebrate the very best of Australian and New Zealand production.

The 2008 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards are open to the education and industry sectors, students, production companies, independent filmmakers, educational bodies and educational producers in both countries.

Using the ATOM Awards, ATOM publications and ATOM Professional Development Victoria, ATOM is actively engaged in the promotion of Australian product into the education and industry market. As such, the ATOM Awards are unique in their incorporation of the educational market with the broader industry.

The combination of student and professional awards not only allows the ATOM Awards to provide all-important early career exposure and experience for emerging professionals, but also provides promotional opportunities for winners and finalists.

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