Fresh Start

A dramatised series produced in 1990 to mark International Literacy Year (ILY). Twelve stories highlight the issues surrounding Australian adults with reading, writing and numeracy problems. The stories are centred around Kerry, an adult literacy teacher, and her class, and each episode tells the story of one person's struggle with literacy. Issues include the reasons for the problems, coping with everyday life, motivation to learn, and the changes that increased knowledge and confidence can bring.
Ep 1 - Billy
Billy's chance to be apprenticed as a garage mechanic is jeopardised by his apparent unwillingness to undertake a mechanic's course at tech. Billy knows that he will need help with reading and writing if he is going to be as good with the theory of mechanics as he is with the practical aspects.
Ep 2 - Marcia
Marcia's single-minded determination to learn to read and write is inspired by her desire to read the lesson at her local church.
Ep 3 - Tracey
Tracey, a young single mother, feels she doesn't know enough to do the best for her child. She can't even read the formula instructions to feed him. Despite her mother's opposition, she is encouraged by a friend to fill out forms at the Department of Social Security and enrol in a distance literacy program.
Ep 4 - Frank
Frank is an unskilled factory worker, and his opportunities for promotion have been hampered by his poor literacy skills. Award restructuring presents new opportunities and problems for him, but he gains confidence through Workplace Basic Education.
Ep 5 - Linda
Linda lives on an isolated country property. When she gives her son an accidental overdose of medicine, she admits she was unable to read the directions on the label. The incident forces her to seek help with her reading and writing skills, and she enrols in a distance literacy course with Kerry as her teacher.
Ep 6 - Kevin
Kevin lives in a country town, and seems to be able to survive quite well without good reading and writing skills. Things change when he is promoted at work, and finds he must put in written reports.
Ep 7 - Mick
Mick, "The Driver", is in prison, where he has been attending literacy classes. His release is near, and he must face the problem of how to tell his girlfriend that his passionate letters to her were actually written by his cellmate.
Ep 8 - Chris
Sometimes literacy students set themselves unrealistic goals. Chris has to re-evaluate his life and economic ambitions when Beth appears on the scene.
Ep 9 - Luisa
Now in her late fifties, Luisa migrated from Chile about twenty years ago. She has been attending Kerry's class for some time, learning to read and write English. When she discovers she is to be a grandmother, she decides to lose weight and get fit in time for the baby's arrival, but her limited literacy skills make the process of losing weight more difficult.
Ep 10 – Elsie
Elsie is an Aboriginal literacy teacher in a community centre. One of her students, Graham, wants to become an actor, but his efforts in learning to read and write are half-hearted. Then an unexpected event changes his outlook.
Ep 11 – Steve
Steve is coerced by his father into attending literacy classes. He is attracted to fellow student Lara, which keeps him there for a while, but he's not really very highly motivated.
Ep 12 – Dennis
Dennis is a former international soccer player, forced out of the game through injury. Things become awkward when he forms an emotional attachment to Kerry, who is tutoring him privately.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Producer: 
Production Year: 
1990
Duration: 
12 x 25 mins
Series Episode
Standard $550
Schools $550
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