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Updated by leanne nguyen on Mar 14, 2016
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7 Times Redfern Now Showed Us Pride Can Blindside Your Perspective

Episode 4 of Season One, ‘ Stand Up’, proves that sometimes you need to defy what is considered right to stand up for what you believe in.

1

The first glimpse of a bright future to come

The first glimpse of a bright future to come

Joel Shields is a sixteen-year-old boy who had just won an Indigenous Scholar-ship to Clifton Grammar, one of Sydney’s most elite and popular schools. In this scene we see how happy and excited Joel is (as indicated by the bright lighting and fast, upbeat music that is being played). Although Joel is indeed very happy and excited, a part of him is still nervous about what other students may think of him and his position being on a scholarship instead of being wealthy. But no matter how you get there you should be proud of what you achieve as Joel’s father (Eddie, played by Marley Sharp) assured him: “Joely, I’m proud of you alright?” You might think, as he’s attending the best of all schools in Sydney that they will pride themselves on their diversity and respect of all cultures… How wrong you’d be.

2

All highs have to come down eventually

All highs have to come down eventually

Clifton Grammar values the history of Australia with pride, as it is compulsory for everyone, including Indigenous Australians to sing the Nation Anthem. In this scene, Aaron McGrath expresses the look of confusion and uncertainty by scrunching up his face and stopping for a period of time. This is because Joel’s dad views the national anthem in a different perspective from the schools. In the end Joel is kept back by Mr Parish and is questioned as to why he wasn't singing when he asked: “I notice today why you weren’t singing, why was that?” Joel was then given homework to learn the words to the national anthem and to write a page of the origins of Australia. Problem solved right? We are not even close. It’s only the beginning.

3

We all aim to please…but in what way?

We all aim to please…but in what way?

We all at some point had to fake sometimes to fit in right? Well, Mr Moore sure did, as he demonstrated and said to Joel: “My mouths moving, but no sound coming out”. In every place and environment in the world there are certain protocols to follow. Clifton Grammar made sure Joel understood it crystal clearly by holding him up again to ask him why he wasn't singing, but what did the little devil and innocent angel on Joel’s shoulder have to say about that? Joel’s father made it clear he does not believe the lyrics of the anthem are for them during their discussion about his homework, in which he said “what did we share” after reading the lines “for those who’ve come across the seas we’ve boundless plains to share.” This leaves us questioning whether Indigenous Australians have equal rights and power in our society as we do today.

4

Little secrets build up to big consequences

Little secrets build up to big consequences

Joel is being held between his father’s disapproval and the school’s respect for the Australian National Anthem. But in between this complication, Joel’s mother was kept unaware of everything happening between Joel, his father and the school. This scene shows the anger and disappointment Joel’s mother feels when finding out the truth of what has been happening with Joel (as indicated by the dusky and dim lighting showcasing how poor the situation had become). This was not the first or second time the school had warned Joel, but the third, and when Joel’s parents were informed that he was suspended we cannot possibly imagine how they would feel after wining the scholarship. This must caused a huge impact on Joel’s mother when she said “being suspended, its not the end of the world, it can be fixed”. This shows that the principle has power over Joel’s position when she stated the rules leaving Joel’s parents no choice but to accept and co-operate

5

Being in denial will take you back to square one

Being in denial will take you back to square one

You think Joel being suspended from the school is the end? No, battle lines are just being drawn. When life gives you lemons, what do you do? You make the best of every situation and go make lemonade. So when Clifton Grammar suspended Joel for standing up for his beliefs and heritage, Joel’s father does nothing less than getting the press involved. With a headlines stating ‘Aboriginal Youth Expelled Over National Anthem’ revealed by an extreme close up, the principal has no choice but to cover up the story to maintain the school’s reputation. Telling lies is one thing but acting on lies is another, so when the school welcomes another aboriginal student saying the complete opposite about what had happened to Joel, Eddie warns them by saying “They are using you.” This shows how little the principal thinks about Indigenous Australians and their rights of beliefs and responsibilities when she bribe them to cover up the story knowing that their family is poor and only wanted the best for their son.

6

We all stand together

We all stand together

Friends are the people who will stand by you through thick and thin, and that is exactly what Joel’s friends did (along with the people who never had the courage to voice out their opinions.) The determination on each student’s face as they refuse to sing the national anthem, to stand up for what the truth is (as indicated by the harsh and strong facial expressions) shows that the principal underestimates these students. She threatens their position in the school, saying, “You think because you’re Aboriginal that I won’t expel you?” What’s the school’s statement that they pride themselves diversity and respect for all cultures worth when they ignore the very people whose land we invaded to call Australia today?

7

The light at the end of the tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel

A lie does not become the truth. Joel and his family arrived on his first day at Clifton Grammar with all positive intentions but little did we know life isn’t always as smooth as we planned. Joel was obligated to sing the National Anthem when the principal said “it's a traditional to sing the national anthem every morning, it is not up for negotiation”. Even though the school prides themselves tolerance and understanding for their students it does not change the fact that their principal will necessarily have power over them, or is it? Others may have backed down after two warnings and a visit to the principal’s office but Joel and his family didn't, they stood up for what was right. This shows that not all people with power use it for good intentions as shown by the principal’s actions throughout the movie. For those students whose rights and opinions were ambushed by the school, Joel was the first to stand up for the responsibility of priding his beliefs and religions helping those from the same and different cultures around him. This scene shows the relief and happiness that shines off Joel in his beaming smile that is emphasised by a brightly lit shot that shows the truth has finally come to light.