Lorraine Sathicq, Beaudesert Times.
WHEN new children’s television series Grace Beside Me goes to air on SBS channel 34, Scenic Rim viewers will see some familiar sights as well as one or two familiar faces. Filmed entirely within the Scenic Rim, the program tells the story of Aboriginal teenager Fuzzy Mac who lives with her grandparents in the fictional town of Laurel Dale, which co-producer Lois Randall says is an amalgamation of Beaudesert, Boonah and a bit of Tamrookum.
“We filmed in those areas from July to September last year after consulting with the Mununjali elders group,” Ms Randall said. “Once we had the go-ahead, three Mununjali elders were assigned to help with story development and locations. “We are grateful to Uncle Bevan Page, Auntie Levina Page and Auntie Suzie Blanco.” She also thanked the Scenic Rim Regional Council for their support during filming. “They helped us find the right locations and allowed us to film on council property,” she said. Ms Randall said the show auditioned nationally with the actor chosen as the main character being from Sydney, but many of the cast and crew were recruited locally.
“We auditioned literally hundreds of children including two days of auditions in Beaudesert and we would like to thank Aunty Geraldine Page who helped us coordinate the local casting. “There are many local children who played support roles and were extras, particularly in the school scenes. “Peter Sandy, a 10-year-old student from Beaudesert State School is one of the main supporting actors,” she said. “Three of the Mununjali elders are also in the cast – Suzie Blanco, Delores Paulson and Lorraine Iselin play three sisters. “The school scenes were filmed at Beaudesert primary and the old school at Laravale.”
Ms Randall said the 13-part series was based on a novel written by Indigenous author Sue McPherson and was produced by Magpie Pictures. “The series will appear on the ABC in July and the Disney channel early next year,” she said. The show will be launched on February 7 at The Centre Beaudesert ahead of the world NITV premiere on February 16.