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Video Clip Synopsis:
Moira Kelly begs for funds from international charities to bring children from war-torn Albania to Australia for medical treatment. One of the children almost dies, but the results are worth the risks.

2min 25sec

Helping Children in War-Torn Countries is an excerpt from the film A Compassionate Rage (55 mins), produced in 2001.

A Compassionate Rage: Moira Kelly has run an AIDS clinic for children in Romania, been house mother at an Aboriginal mission, worked in India with Mother Teresa, nursed crack babies in the Bronx and set up schools for kids in Bosnia. She brings those in need of surgery from war zones to hospitals in the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Now, after three years dedicated to ill, injured and impoverished children in Albania, she’s creating a haven for young people on a farm outside Melbourne. She has been called an angel of mercy and a pain in the neck. One thing's for certain - she won’t let anything stand in her way.

A Compassionate Rage is a Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Vue Pty Ltd. Developed with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission and Cinemedia’s Film Victoria. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: English
Year: 9-10
Theme: Civic Work

Key Concepts

News; Hero; Service

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Everyday texts – Language: Contextual understanding
NSW:(1997 Syllabus) C5 Mass media
(2003 Syllabus) Stage 5 Outcome 4
NT:R/V 5.1 – 5.3
R/V 5+.1-5+.3
Qld:Cr 6.2
SA:Texts and contexts 5.3
Tas:Communicating – Being literate, Standard 4
Vic:Reading – Texts 6.6
WA:Understanding Language
Attitudes, values and beliefs

Context / Background Information

Moira Kelly has devoted her life to the service of others. When she was eight years old she saw a documentary at school about the late Mother Theresa's work in the slums of Calcutta. When she arrived home she told her mother that one day she would work with Mother Theresa. Many years later she did work with the nun and that is when she developed her own personal philosophy - 'Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved'.

As well as working in India, she has worked for aid agencies in Bosnia and Romania. Now she works on her own, bringing sick and injured children from war-torn countries to Australia for operations that can save lives or provide a better quality of life for severely affected children. Surgeons donate their services and the children recuperate on a farm near Kilmore in Victoria that was donated by a member of Rotary.

Moira Kelly says that she is happy to sacrifice marriage and the chance to have her own children to help those of other people.

In 1999 she established the Children First Foundation of which she is the Executive Director.

Discussion Pointers

  1. What does the video clip show?
  2. What is the message?
  3. How does the filmmaker use different elements to achieve this?
  4. What does Moira Kelly do?
  5. Would you call her a ‘hero’? Define the word carefully, and justify your judgement.
  6. What qualities does she have?
  7. Why do you think some people like Moira Kelly are prepared to devote their lives to the benefit of others?

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. If you could meet Moira Kelly, what questions would you ask her? How would you expect her to reply? Give reasons to justify that expectation.
  2. There are many people like Moira Kelly achieving small triumphs for humanity. But the complaint is often made that such ‘good news stories’ rarely feature on TV news programs, or do so as last-minute add ons to the real news, which is overwhelmingly negative. Do you agree with this assessment? Analyse a news program over a week and record the types of items that are shown. By sharing the task in a group you can cover a number of TV and radio news programs for the same week.

Modules That Use This Clip

Health/PE Year 9-10, English Year 9-10, English Year 7-8