National film production experience for Communication Honours student

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 15-9-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Working as a Production Assistant on a documentary featuring Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, the 1960s Australian family show about a boy and a kangaroo, provided a unique and valuable experience for Communications Honours student, Gabby Testaferrata Olivier.

Shown in 128 countries and watched by hundreds of millions worldwide, the show put Australia on the global map and for many of that generation; the ‘heroic’ marsupial is synonymous with their childhood. Written and directed by Perth based, Stephen Oliver and co-produced by Electric Pictures (Australia) and Brook Lapping Productions (UK), it was made with the backing of ABC Television, BBC Television, Screen Australia and ScreenWest.

"The one-hour documentary is a warm, witty, affectionate and definitive look at one of Australia’s most cherished TV stars, Skippy the bush kangaroo," explained Gabby.

“As Production Assistant, I was responsible for the 1960s reconstructions and tracking down the superstar herself, Skippy.

“It was an absolute privilege to work with the best in the business and to work on a program that I am immensely proud of.”

Gabby’s Honours Supervisor, Dr Shane Burke, said that the production brings together the skills Gabby has been taught as an undergraduate in a Bachelor of Communications at Notre Dame.

“Gabby’s natural talent in production really shines through in the show. The production is the ‘foot-in-the-door’ that many fail to achieve, but Gabby has grabbed the opportunity. I am extremely proud of her,” said Dr Burke.

Skippy: Australia's First Superstar premieres on the ABC at 8:30pm on Thursday, 17 September 2009.

Media contact: Michelle Ebbs 08 9433 0610, 0408 959 138