(Western Australian Olympic Committee, 2018)
Shirley Strickland was a woman ahead of her time.
She was an Olympic medallist who won seven Olympic Games track medals and broke multiple world records. She was graduate in nuclear physics, an ASIO ‘person of interest,’ a conservationist, a feminist, an activist and a trouble-maker.
Development of a feature film about Strickland is under way – but it will be more than just a sporting ‘biopic.’ That’s because extensive research undertaken by Strickland’s son Matthew de la Hunty has revealed a web of intrigue which goes way beyond her athletic career. Strickland’s story began with humble beginnings in the WA Wheatbelt during the Great Depression and went all the way to the Olympic Games, but woven into it are facts only now being uncovered: the political intrigue of the Eastern bloc, ASIO files – and a world record run in Communist Poland in 1955 at the height of the Cold War. The combination of Strickland’s sporting fame, intellect and social conscience against the backdrop of the Cold War-era Melbourne Olympic Games of 1956 is an amazing Australian story.
The feature film is being put together by local screen professionals, including Perth-born musician, novelist and screen writer Dave Warner and musician Matthew de la Hunty, Strickland’s son, confidante and archivist. The project is currently looking for funding to develop the script.
If you want to get involved and support local Australian filmmakers, you can go to their Australian Cultural Fund at the following link
The Australian Cultural Fund (ACF) is a fundraising platform for Australian artists, established by the Australian Government in 2003 to encourage donations to the arts, and donations over $2 are tax deductible. The ACF has helped to raise millions of dollars for Australian artists, allowing them to share their stories, passion, and creativity around Australia and the world.
Get in the know and support these local artists in spreading this amazing story of athleticism, politics, and history.