8.30pm Thursday, 10 April 2008
This documentary, filmed over two years, follows the daily chaos and drama of a group of homeless kids who have found solace and family at Oasis, a youth refuge run by Salvation Army Captain Paul Moulds.
Screening during National Youth Week 2008, The Oasis: Australia’s Homeless Youth with Tony Jones is a heartbreaking yet uplifting tale about a man who, with his wife Robbin, has dedicated his life to saving kids on the street who have no-one else to turn to. Unflinching in his compassion, Paul has become a surrogate father to a wide collection of dispossessed youth.
For every kid there “is a journey that’s lead them to this point”, Paul says. “Australia isn’t the lucky country for every kid. There are heaps of kids out there living on the streets, in squats, under bridges”.
With childhood memories of their parents which involve domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse and prostitution, the Oasis kids were born into hard lives. “I’ve worked with these kids for twenty-five years”, says Paul “and the reality is they’re pretty damaged.”
The teenagers featured, some as young as 14, stand precariously on the edge of an abyss of self-destruction with Paul patiently and lovingly ever-present as a support and counsellor. Paul provides a light at the end of the tunnel for kids like Hayley, Darren, Owen, Tommy, Trent and Emma who are wrestling with challenges like drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, unemployment and criminal records.
We watch hopefully as some of the kids turn their lives around with the help and guidance provided by Paul and Robbin, and grieve as some of them struggle with their demons and seem incapable of changing – even though they want to.
In this raw observational documentary we watch hopefully as some of the kids turn their lives around with Paul’s help, and grieve as some of them struggle with their demons and seem incapable of changing – even though they want to.
The Oasis: Australia’s Homeless Youth with Tony Jones concludes the 75 minute documentary with a 40 minute panel discussion hosted by Tony Jones in which the social and political issues of child homelessness will be considered by a panel of experts including Captain Paul Moulds. The panel will seek practical ways to address this complex issue in Australia.