Alumni profile: Kimberley roots a career boost for filmmaker

March 6, 2015

Documentary maker Vicky Biorac counts working on Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia and television drama Home & Away among her career achievements.

But it was her strong desire to tell indigenous stories through documentary that led her to return to her remote hometown of Kununurra after several years chasing the big time in Sydney.

“My move back home to Kununurra was about supporting the region and economic development in the town as well as being able to support Aboriginal people with positive stories,” Vicky said.

After graduating, Vicky (BA (Hons) 1997) worked in television production in Darwin and Sydney where she worked on promotional trailers at Channel 9 and Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel.

Ten years ago she returned to Kununurra to set up her own production company, B Visual Media.

These days, Vicky produces documentary-style corporate videos on a raft of subjects including Kimberley tourism, the Ord River Expansion Project and the Argyle Diamond Mine, with clients as far afield as China, India and Belgium.

Her latest ventures include a music video for a New Zealand country singer and a Film and Television Institute of WA project documenting the language and culture of Kununurra’s Miriwoong people, a language less than 20 people now speak.

“I get to do a lot of variety – scriptwriting, as well as producing, filming, photography and editing,” she said. “The world is a big place still even though you live in a small town.”

Working with Luhrmann’s company Bazmark as a location scout was a career highlight.

“We ended up working with Baz and his producer introducing them to people in town, Aboriginal elders, teaching them about the country and they actually ended up including some of these people in their filming and some of their stories in the script,” she said.

“In Sydney I didn’t have an opportunity to work on a big film like that, but I came back to my hometown and it dropped in on the doorstep.”

Her documentary Across The Silent Land, which she wrote while an Honours student at Murdoch University, won her a writing award and was nominated best documentary in the 1997 WA Screen Awards.

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