AGAINST OUR OATH
Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are detained on the remote Pacific islands of Manus and Nauru. Ethical conflicts erupt for doctors working within this offshore system when the Australian government overrides their clinical decisions made for refugee patients. If doctors cannot follow their medical ethics what will happen to their patients?
This documentary gets behind the hospital doors to hear from clinicians themselves who know they must never abandon their patients. The government does not want to follow doctors’ orders to transfer patients needing urgent medical care to Australia. They say it will weaken Australia’s borders.
Herein lies the extraordinary conflict off medical ethics versus politics that is playing out for doctors in Australia today. How will this conflict be resolved? Filmed over four years in ten countries, by award winning filmmaker Heather Kirkpatrick, this film will confront you with deep moral questions.
M – Mature Themes
• Walkley Award Finalist Documentary 2013 for excellence in journalism
• Winner United Nations Media Peace Prize – Special Award for Promotion of Multicultural Issues 2014
• Winner 2014 Migration Institute of Australia – Outstanding Coverage of Migration in the Media
• F4 Outstanding Documentary Talent Award finalist – Australian International Documentary Conference 2013
• Tasmanian Media Awards Winner – Best Feature, Documentary or Current Affairs 2014
• Winner Australia Day Council Award 2013 for Promotion of Muslim and NonMuslim Understanding
• Finalist Australian Migration Council Media Award 2014 – Television
• Nomination Best Documentary Director – Australian Directors Guild 2014
• Winner Tasmanian Community Awards – Heather & Christopher Chong Outstanding Achiever Award 2013
Heather Kirkpatrick is the Director, Producer, Writer, Camera and Soundperson for her documentary Against Our Oath. Heather is a qualified journalist who completed a major unit in documentary filmmaking as part of her Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Media studied at the University of Tasmania in 2004.
Heather directed and produced her first feature documentary, Mary Meets Mohammad, which was released in 2013. Heather received many media awards for this film including being a 2013 Walkey Award finalist and the winner of a 2014 United Nations Media Peace Prize.
Heather spent four years making her second documentary, Against Our Oath, as a solo filmmaker. This involved researching, writing, directing and producing as well as operating both camera and sound recording. Heather has travelled around the world twice to obtain interviews and follow events in the midst of millions of refugees on the move globally. She was just able to move 40kg of equipment herself whilst in production. Countries filmed in include Australia, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Heather was not able to film on Nauru or Manus Island as journalists are rarely permitted visitation. Instead she has accessed footage and stills taken on smuggled phones and cameras from these locations. This provides audiences with a rare glimpse into Australia’s offshore system where asylum seekers who arrive by boat are sent.