Four single ‘bush bachelors’ who live & work in rural Western Australia are desperately seeking a Sheila. With geographical isolation, and a lack of women living in the bush reducing their chances of meeting the woman of their dreams, they agree to sign up for some help.
Backed by the Western Australian Farmers Federation, a dating initiative is hatched whereby single British women are selected and flown 12 thousand miles from the other side of the world to meet the bachelors. The British Sheilas are joined by six single women from Perth who are also looking to find love.
Over a weekend in Perth, each Bush Bachelor dates three women before finally picking one to spend a month with him living & working the life of a bush wife. What will our ‘sheilas’ make of these guys and how will they cope in some of the most remote places on earth? Will they find love?
Desperately Seeking Sheila follows these single men and women as they meet, date and attempt to make a life with each other in the harsh and isolated conditions of the Australian outback.
Over 1200 single British women and 200 single Australian women applied to be matched to a bush bachelor. With the help of Janet Renner - a relationship psychologist from Relationships Australia, and Colin Nichols - the President of the WA Farmers Federation, the production team pre-selected women for the bachelors to consider. Each bachelor then chose three women to meet. Each bush bachelor was also handpicked from over 70 applicants, an indication of the depth of the social crisis at the heart of this production. Over this six-week series the selected women try their hand at living the life of a bush Shelia - crutching sheep, farming yabbies and driving tractors. At the same time they learn what it is to be part of a close-knit rural community where everyone knows your business.
In recent times the gender imbalance in rural and outback Australia has emerged as a serious and threatening social issue, with many women preferring a career and city-life to a life in the bush. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in many parts of the Wheat-belt in WA, single men outnumber single women three times over. Bush Bachelors are looking for partners, but the scarcity of women in their hometowns makes this almost impossible. If they do meet potential partners in the city, the women aren’t interested in adapting to the life of an outback sheila. The future of the bush is dependent on people choosing to live, work and start families there. These lonely men have a serious challenge on their hands, a challenge that Desperately Seeking Sheila addresses through the observation of four bush bachelors.
"We welcome the return of the impeccable Who Do You Think You Are?"
"A documentary that confronts, questions and raises many issues:medical ethics,personal choice and funding priorities - but none more so than the rights of the disabled, and of a mother and father."
"… is full of emotion,heartache,frustration and determination."
"… essentially a story of courage"
‘The filmmaker creates a perceptive, multilayered understanding of the young refugees’ experiences’
‘It is hard to remain dry-eyed as the schools multicultural soccer team sings Advance Australia Fair in the bus home from a match.'
"... already acknowledged as the world's most exciting visual and physical theatre company...the reason to go and see Stalker is the way they marry jaw dropping spectacle with real purpose."
"This is engaging and entertaining telly that also has something important to say"
"Set in WA, this is one reality series we all should watch."
"Setting this documentary apart…is the effort it makes to humanise the poachers and explain the circumstances which compels them to hunt."
"A dose of Reality TV without the hype"
"All three groups of fishermen feature in Lobster Tales, an ABC documentary that will change the way you look at these delicious crustaceans forever."
“The great achievement of Lobster Tales, a delightfully oddball WA-made documentary on the lucrative local crayfish industry ... strikes such a lovely balance between the lobsters and fishermen that it’s more like a well-wrought tragi-comedy than a traditional nature doco"
“Even for non-lobster-lovers, this quirky feature provides plenty of interest ... the highlight is the underwater photography by Leighton de Barros which is up-close and stunning."
"shows ordinary people doing extraordinary things ... the program usues the magic of TV to bring an important WA story to life"
“Though it’s not easy to watch a widow finally open up about her murdered husband (nor is it comfortable watching local Iraqis genuinely praise Saddam Hussein), Salam Father is yet another reason why the terms "SBS" and "quality documentary" fit like a hand in glove."
“A sense of reconciliation emerges in the program and there's considerable poignancy as elements of a family torn apart by war, politics and circumstance are reunited…"
“This is the compelling story of a family torn apart by war, envy, corruption and greed and how a quest for answers also helped heal old wounds. It might also help people look beyond the descriptions "refugee" and "asylum seeker" to see the person and their story…A powerful piece of television, made more authentic by Ziusudras' first-hand narration of this tale.”
"This documentary never becomes bogged down in legalese and is a compelling tale of one family's devotion to their son"
"A remarkable story and a clever and affecting piece of storytelling"
"An emotional journey...unflinchingly captured on camera"
Koori queens proudly get out and about in this high-spirited and affirming documentary."
"We get a rare glimpse into the world of indigenous gay men in tonight's Sissy ... an energetic, inventive and occasionally touching Western Australian-made documentary that looks at the lives of three colourful drag queens."
"Considering the double whammy served up by homophobia and racism, Sissy insists on having a good time while handling thought-provoking material."
[Shaun Micallef’s] quest to discover if there is ‘‘greater purpose than being a semi-professional Australian TV personality’’ makes for a funny and watchable journey.
Filled with wit, warmth and revelations, Stairway To Heaven will intrigue even non-believers.
"It's a compelling story and you made a compelling film out of it. Just terrific."
"A fascinating insight into the world of the night"
“Surprising, raunchy, hilarious, crazy! Expect the unexpected!”
"Puppetry most certainly is an art from and some of the performances here will take your breath away"
“I have been directly or indirectly involved in WDYTYA productions in the U.S., Canada and the U.K …I must say that this one [Andrew Denton's episode] of the very best I have seen”
"...it's the most engaging detective series in years"
"... surprising, extraordinary and often moving"
"A compelling, lovely adaption of an excellent British format"
"One of the reliable pleasures of this series is just how great it looks. The production values are always first-class and wherever we are in Australia or the world, you can't quibble with the scenery. Who Do You Think You Are? is about much more than looking pretty, though, blending history and biography to create a package that's accessible, entertaining and educational. (FOUR STARS)"
“It's the perfect mix of history and celebrity..."
"... this program has about it a quiet authenticity that allows the subject’s story to unfold of its own accord."
"The series is more than a peek into the backgrounds of the famous; it also chronicles the social and cultural evolution of our national identities via these celeb family histories. 4/5 stars"
"Each episode is essentially a feature documentary, well-researched and produced, and presented usually with a humorous or deeply emotional touch... This show is seriously habit-forming"
This series is fascinating and so well done...
(pick of the week)
"... explores the family histories of its subjects with class and humour. Verdict: A Hit."