||Issue No. 257||01 April 2005|
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
Dirt Cheap Right On Money
Working Class Idol
The winner was selected by a panel of eminent film makers and historians including Tom Zubrycki, John Hughes, Norma Disher and Dr Lisa Milner selected the best of 10 entries from ships and ports around the nation this week.
While Australian Idol has been attracting record crowds, the MUA has been quietly holding a talent quest of its own - not for the latest rap or rock singer, but for wharfies and seafarers who could help relaunch the union film unit first set up in the fifties.
"Our union has a long history of supporting workers in developing their full potential in every aspect of their lives," says MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin. "Cultural issues are inseparable from industrial and economic issues and we must record and preserve what is ours, ensuring our national identity is not lost in this age of globalisation."
Viron Papadopoulos, 30, a casual wharfie and freelance film maker is an honours graduate in film studies at Flinders University and has been working on documentaries and films for the past 10 years (including the Working Lives series for ABC TV, McLeod's Daughters and the Secret Life of Us). He has also taken out awards for short films in state festivals.
"People's work is their life," said Viron. "That goes for wharfies especially. There is a culture that goes with being a waterside worker. It's iconically Australian. That is one of things that made me want to work on the waterfront. And it's what really made me want to be involved in the establishment of the union film unit."
Sydney wharfie Cooper Silk, 29, works full time for P&O, Darling Harbour while also doing a bit of acting for a film-making friend.
"One of my mates was in Race Around the World on ABC and freelances for television," he said. "I've done stuff for him in front of the camera. So when I saw the union was running a film competition I thought I'd be good at it and I'd give it a go."
Actor and wharfie John Teague, is studying part time at the Actors' PlayHouse in Melbourne while working part time for Toll Stevedoring, Geelong. He took out third prize for his entry MUA News. John has appeared on Blue Heelers and stage plays as well as short films including the 2002 Dendy Awards winner, China Face. He also appears on Hard Yakka and Fox Footy.
"It's hugely important that working people have their say," said John. "A lot of people just clock on and clock off. Work can be really mundane. So I thought I'd highlight some really positive things happening around the place like the wharfies helping out Tsunami victims."
The winning entries will be mailed out to all MUA members, available on the website and screened at stopwork meetings in coming weeks.
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