Colleen has waited a lifetime to be the woman she was always meant to be. Now, in her 80s, she's transitioning while living in an aged care facility in Coffs Harbour.
In Ian W. Thomson's extraordinary documentary, Colleen candidly recounts her life as ‘Col’ with all its ups and downs. Living as husband, policeman, father; through it all she dreamt of finding 'the shoe that fits'. Becoming Colleen sensitively explores the challenges of transitioning late in life, and issues surrounding aged care for the LGBTIQ community. It's also a moving portrait of Colleen’s long, unconventional marriage to Heather.
When a social worker says that it's a privilege to know Colleen, we know just how she feels – watching this documentary feels like a privilege too.
Becoming Colleen is a recipient of the Queer Screen Completion fund
The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion Diversity in Aged Care with advocate Sandra Pankhurst and panelists from ACON and NurseWatch.
Transgender woman Sandra Pankhurst’s enormous compassion has led to her reaching out to the most vulnerable in our community as the Director of Specialised Trauma Cleaning services where she supports people with unspeakable tragedy and emotional scars. The bestselling, award winning The Trauma Cleaner is based on Sandra’s amazing life.
Kate Spurway is the owner and director of NurseWatch, a provider of supportive care in the home. Kate has over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and is passionate about providing inclusive care to the older person.
Russ Gluyas has worked for ACON for almost 10 years. He manages not one but two roles during his working week. The first as a counsellor working with people living with HIV and LGBTI people of all ages, gender identities, cultures and background. The other and more primary role is Coordinating ACON’s Ageing Programs better known as the LOVE Project or Living Older Visibly and Engaged. Russ has a passion for working with the older community and has delivered a variety of successful health promotion activities over the last five years.
Panel facilitated by:
Diana Bernard has a Social Work degree and Masters in Public Health. She has also tutored at UNSW in the ‘health promotion and the social aspects of health’ subject of the Masters in Public Health.
She has a long history of working with the marginalised from a human rights perspective; first in a clinical capacity and then in prevention, education, health promotion, project management and research. The content areas have included adolescent health, sexual health, HIV, Hepatitis, corrections and ageing. She has worked extensively with the LGBTIQ community.
She is currently the Manager of Education and Special Projects at Seniors Rights Service which is a community legal centre and advocacy service specialising in work with seniors. She recently provided education on Diversity for the assessors of quality in aged care in partnership with the LGBTIQ Health Alliance.
Director Ian W. Thomson will also be in attendance.