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Bus Stop Films 2022 Showcase, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Acton ACT


This is Ngunnawal Country. Today we are all meeting together on this Ngunnawal Country. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders.

It is a great delight for Linda and me to be with you this evening.

We have had the privilege of being involved with Bus Stop for many years now, dating back to when I was Governor of New South Wales and now as National Patrons.

Bus Stop is an organisation that brings joy to a great many people.

To students …

To their families …

To the staff, crew and supporters …

And, of course, to audiences — literally the world over.

Linda and I are lucky enough to be involved with and to serve as patrons of many great Australian organisations.

Not a day goes by where we don’t meet passionate, committed and creative people.

It makes us incredibly optimistic about the future.

Australia isn’t perfect, but we are a good people. We work hard, look out for each other and are not afraid to take on the big challenges.

We call it ‘richness of spirit’ and we see it manifested in different ways:

  • when the chips are down, and communities rally together in response to floods, fires or other natural disasters
  • in individuals – like those we celebrate through the Order of Australia who serve selflessly and tirelessly to have an impact at the local, national and international level
  • and in the work of organisations that bring people together and unlock our collective potential.

Bus Stop Films and all those who are part of it epitomise that richness of spirit. 

I’ll also say that of those many great organisations we are part of Bus Stop is the only one that has put Linda and me on the big screen!

We were absolutely thrilled to play a very small part in Panther in the Dark and for Government House to be transformed into a movie set.

Bus Stop’s success speaks for itself.

From an idea and a single student in Sydney, to a nation-wide footprint.

In 2023, there will be 18 classes in 11 locations across seven states and territories.

The growth and reach of Bus Stop, particularly over the last three years, is remarkable.

I believe there are a few contributing factors:

First, the Bus Stop model. The program changes lives and minds through film. It combines the creative with the practical – the many, many components that have to come together to turn an idea into short film.

When we filmed Panther in the Dark, Linda and I were amazed at the attention to detail, the different roles people were playing and how they all worked together. It was inspiring.

Second, the people. Success doesn’t happen by accident. It takes passion and lots of hard work by many people. Some of this work is obvious – you see it in action. But there is also much behind the scenes. The long hours and stress that go into making everything possible.

I’m sure that the team exude calmness and appear in control at all times, but I’m also quite sure that there is a plenty of frenetic activity going on just beneath the surface. A big thank you to Tracey [Corbin-Matchett, CEO, Bus Stop Films] and the whole team for what you do.

Finally, the outcomes. Linda and I were fortunate to bump into some of the Bus Stop team at the Closing Ceremony of the Special Olympics in Launceston in October.

My take-out from the Special Olympics was the same as it is whenever I see a Bus Stop program in action – anything is possible when you’re brave enough to have a go and try.

As a community we are at our best when we recognise, appreciate and embrace our diversity. Everyone is different, everyone has different strengths and different experiences to bring to the table.

Bus Stop is evidence that when you bring those skills and talents to one table, you can achieve great things. It is a microcosm for the broader community and sends a powerful message to all of us.

I would like to finish by thanking and acknowledging the support of students’ families and loved ones, and by congratulating all of the students, crew and staff here this evening.

You’ve worked incredibly hard, so enjoy the celebration.

Be proud of yourselves. We are proud of you.