Pauline Clague was awarded the 2015 Stanley Hawes Award last night during the formal opening of AIDC’s NET-WORK-PLAY.
Accepting the award from AIDC Co-chair, Karena Slaninka, Clague gave an emotional speech, which harked back to her childhood where she would listen to the discussion of family and friends while serving them tea.
“I feel very privileged to stand before you as the recipient of this year’s Stanley Hawes Award,” she told the room. “To be considered in the company of some of the past recipients is a true honour for me.
“When I first learnt I would be receiving this award I think I started crying to Joost [den Hartog] on the phone. I was really overwhelmed. You see, documentary connects me back to when I was a little girl and my mum and dad and friends had discussions about politics and ways to save the world.
“I was known in my family as the Tea Girl. And while I served what seemed like endless cups of tea to my family, I listened to my parents and family and friends talk about events of national significance that were shaping society and how this affected the under-privileged.
“For those who don’t know, my parents were involved in the Civil Rights Moment in Australia as early as the mid-50s. They are a god-fearing team who made it their life’s work to empower under-privileged individuals and communities who lacked the knowledge to better themselves. Their voice still rings clear within me.”
Clague has worked tirelessly over the years to continue the work of her parents, but in the field of documentary.
She co-ran her company Core Films for twenty years, helping to develop and mentor other filmmakers and their voices, before becoming the Indigenous training officer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School from 2009 to 2013.
During her time there she developed more than 35 courses around Australia and training 650 Indigenous people in film, television and radio, as well as becoming a board member for Arts Law Centre of Australia.
Since being at NITV Clague has created a major landmark initiative, Our Stories, Our Way, Everyday which works with 60 Indigenous companies around Australia to produce 120 documentaries from Remote, Regional and Emerging Filmmakers each year.
“As a documentary maker, my work has always been about helping to bring amazing indigenous stories to the forefront,” she said. “Firstly to inform, engage and educate audiences; secondly to empower our youth, and thirdly to help grow opportunities for indigenous filmmakers.”
The AIDC Stanley Hawes Award is presented annually to a person or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to the documentary sector in Australia over a recognized period of time.
Net-Work-Play is held in Adelaide from 23-25 February.