Saturday 13th June 2009
Frances Usherwood, RN from Sydney Children’s Hospital, won the NSWNA Nurses Short Film Festival first prize of $5000 for her futuristic film Robo-Nurse, which poses a scary solution to critical nurse shortages. Set in 2020, the Fascist ‘benevolent neo conservative party’ has created a prototype for a robot nurse. When nurses question whether jobs will be lost, the party bans unions and workers’ rights.
Frances told The Lamp she was ‘over the moon’ about winning first prize. ‘I’m so excited. It’s great recognition of all the hard effort everyone put into this.
‘It was such an exciting project. I saw it as an opportunity to send out a strong message to people who wouldn’t otherwise hear or think about nursing or union issues. Robo-Nurse is for nurses and a wider audience.
‘My idea comes from the belief that nurses need to say in control of patient care. We can’t have bureaucrats making decisions about patient care.
‘I also wanted to send a strong message about the importance of unions. Over the past few years our ability to belong to professional organisations like the NSWNA were under threat. That’s scary.
‘Keeping in mind we don’t know what future holds, we need to have that protection behind us,’ said Frances.
In February, Frances attended a filmmaking workshop run by NIDA designed to help prepare NSWNA filmmakers for the festival.
Frances has already started preparing for next year’s NSWNA Short Film Festival, but she’s not giving The Lamp any scoops at this stage.
The second prize of $2000 went to Susan Taggart from Concord Hospital, for her film Simply the Best – a documentary that follows a burns patient through his journey in a burns unit. The film shows how patients are given access to care, information and education with respect for their values, preferences and expressed needs.
Joint third prize winners of $1000 each were Azita Damandan (left) from the Royal Newcastle Centre for Lullabye, and Gillian Hughes, St George Private Hospital, for Cath Lab Safari.