Liz Thompson is a photographer, writer, radio producer and documentary filmmaker. Liz recently completed Sharing Our Stories, a two part series of fourteen books created in collaboration with indigenous communities in Australia. The books built around a traditional story from each community are illustrated by community children and include extensive photographs and quotes. The series won the 2009 Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing and Best Primary Teaching and Learning Package.
Liz wrote, directed and co-produced The Last Magician, shot in the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea and nominated for four AFI Awards including Best Dcoumentary and Best Direction. She directed and wrote Breaking Bows and Arrows, for SBS TV, a documentary film following reconciliation ceremonies in Bouginvaille after civil war. The film won the The United Nations Australian Media Peace Award for Best Television, The AIBD World Award for the promotion of conflict resolution and the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd International Festival of Oceania Documentary Film (FIFO). She also directed Cave in the Snow, a documentary exploring the life and work of British born Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo and gender inequity in religious organisations.
Liz has published feature articles and photography for Australian Geographic, GEO, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Good Weekend Magazine, The Independent, Art Review and numerous other national and international publications. She has produced radio features for ABC Radio National and Radio Australia for over twenty years as well as multi media photographic and audio visual content for ABC Online.
She has published over thirty books. Living with the Land is a series of four educational books about indigenous food, medicine and relationship with country in collaboration with senior members of four indigenous Australian communities. Fighting for Survival - The Ngaanyatjarra Community was nominated for ‘The Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing’ and ‘The Children’s Book Council’s Information Book of the Year Award’. The Promised Land, a photographic essay, looks at the experience of the West Papuan people in the face of Indonesian rule. Liz is director of SharingStories, a digital storytelling project through which Indigenous young people are taught how to use digital media to tell their own stories. The program provides an online platform for sharing content and is designed to facilitate creative self representation, develop skills and build bridges between young people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds through creative dialogue and storytelling. www.sharingstories.org. Liz is Director and CEO of SharingStories Foundation which works to support cultural maintenance projects and to facilitate self represenational media production with Indigenous Australians.
Liz has a Phd in Media Arts from La Trobe university. Her research was based on an exploration of best creative practice for supporting self sustainable, self representational digital storytelling in a remote Indigenous community context.
The work included an exploration of the potential intersection that exists between self representational media production, culturally relevant,'both- way', educational approaches, Learning on Country practices and digital literacy acquisition.
2012 SharingStories with Wugularr Upper Primary - Winner of Best Youth Video at the National Remote Indigenous Media Festival.
2009 Overall Winner Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing. Sharing Our Stories Series 1.
2009 Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing. Winner Best Primary Teaching and Learning Resource. Sharing Our Stories Series 1.
2006 FIFO Pacific International Documentary Film Festival – Winner Grand Jury Prize. Breaking Bows and Arrows.
2005 AIBD World TV Awards. Winner Best TV Documentary. Breaking Bows and Arrows.
2002 United Nations Media Peace Award for Best Television. Breaking Bows and Arrows
1998 Shorlist The Children’s Book Council of Australia Information Book of the Year Award . Fighting for Survival, The Ngaanyatjarra of the Gibson Desert.
1998 Shortlist. The Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing. The Ngaayatjarra of the Gibson Desert.
1995 AFI Awards Shortlist - Best Documentary. The Last Magician
1995 AFI Awards Shorlist - Best Direction . The Last Magician.
GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
2010 Australia Council for the Arts recipient of Creative Producers Grant .
2009 Australia Council of the Arts recipient of Public Outcomes Grant for www.sharingstories.org
2008 Australia Council of the Arts recipient of Community Partnerships Development Grant for www.sharingstories.org
2008-2011 UTS/La Trobe Scholarship - PhD Media Studies.
2008 Australia India Council Grant to establish SharingStories in Varanasi, India.
LINKS TO OTHER WORK