Uniting Ability Links – Lived Experience Filmmaking Workshops

Christie Turner and Michael Snowdon have both entered Focus on Ability Film Festival! We wish them luck!

What do an athlete, an artist and a postie all have in common? They have powerful stories to share with the world, grounded in their lived experience of disability. We were lucky enough to work with a group of storytellers to help them share these stories as part of Ability Links NSW Lived Experience Storytelling workshops. Ability Links NSW supports people with a disability, their families and carers to live the life they want, as valued members of their community.

Over two days of workshops (and lots of work), participants and their Linkers developed powerful stories, with unique, complex insights into life with disability.

Christie’s Story – Do You See Me? 

Christie is a mother to three special needs children and understands just how important it is to show the world how special each child is.

Christie, an accomplished professional photographer created the beautiful film “Do You See Me?” to enhance and challenge our understanding of the uniqueness and complexity of her children.


Tim’s Story 

Year 12 student, Tim Hodge tells us about the challenges he overcame to become an international competitive swimmer to now take home Silver for breaststroke and backstroke at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. His story of achievement against all odds, , created by linker Kat Lindberg, is only enhanced by Tim’s ability to juggle his athletic life with the rigours of Year 12 HSC and completing driving hours to get his L-plate in an unmodified car.

Michael’s Story – The Importance of Work 

It doesn’t take long get swept away by Michael’s unstoppable charm and ineffable humour. In his story, Michael speaks earnestly about achieving independence through his work. His 40-year career took him twice across the United States, to the Philippines, touring with a number of bands and made him into a bit of a local celebrity as the Taronga Zoo postie. “You have to be determined! You have to be stubborn!” he coaxes others.

Ability Links’ The Lived Experience Film Festival

All these films along with a few others premiered at Ability Links’ The Lived Experience Film Festival, attended by Ray Williams, Minister for Disability Services, film industry professionals, and friends and family debuted the films to thunderous applause. On May 10th, the All In Film Festival at the University of Wollongong will screen them again, along with different films. The Digital Storytellers’ team is honoured to have been a part of this journey and we couldn’t be prouder of the messages of inclusivity and courage these films put forth. Some funny, some heartwarming, some inspiring, some confronting, all unique. Each of these films is a journey of truth and art in their own right.













Photos courtesy of Uniting Ability Links NSW Facebook