Mistake Creek – Steven Craig (2002)

At Mistake Creek, Steven Craig and his wife Jo-Anne have together built a highly successful cattle station and a strong family life they wouldn’t change for anything.

Steven Craig runs a highly successful cattle station for its traditional owners, the Mistake Creek community. Situated on the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the property has earned a reputation for its cattle and is proudly self-sufficient.

Steven Craig has been manager at the station for over seven years. The responsibility he now handles so effectively belies his somewhat shakier beginnings. He has progressed in life the hard way, learning the skills of a ringer and a stockman before finally becoming a station manager.

26 minute documentary
Everyday Brave Series
Directed by Alan Collins

Originally from Alice Springs, his father died when Steven was six. At 13, he left home after dropping out of school ‘in the front door and straight out the back – that was the end of education for me’. He was, in his own words, ‘heading for trouble’ until a relative took him bush and gave some direction to his relentless energy. Then he fell in love and married a ‘town girl’.

Jo-Anne and their children didn’t feel drawn to the bush like Steven did. She worried about the isolation and the kids’ education. He tried living in town but just couldn’t do it for long. As a result, the family was often separated for months at a time. The situation almost tore them apart and the pair have struggled to keep the marriage and family together.

Set against the rugged beauty of the Australian outback, Mistake Creek is more than just an introduction to life on the land and the dusty work of getting cattle to market. It is an example of how dreams can be fulfilled – with commitment, dedication and sheer hard work. And it’s an intensely personal story which, at heart, is a moving and inspiring exploration of the universal truths of family life.

Teachers notes

Level: Secondary, Tertiary, Lifelong Learning

Distributed by and available from Film Australia

Festivals and Awards

2005 Sydney Film Festival, A Tribute to CAAMA
2002 The Sydney Indigenous Film Festival
2002 Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival
Nominated for a Canadian Golden Sheaf Award (Documentary Under 30 minutes)
2002 Tudawali Film and Video Awards, Nominated for Best Documentary
2002 National ACS (Australian Cinematographers’ Society) Awards, Finalist – Documentary Category (Allan Collins)
2001 State ACS Australian Cinematographers Society) Awards SA/WA. Winner – Gold Award Documentaries, Cinema and Television Category (Alan Collins)
Austrian ‘Festival der Nationen – Kurzfilme – Die Besten aus aller Welt’

Crew

Executive Producer - Mark Hamlyn
Producer - Priscilla Collins
Director - Allan Collins
Writer - Mitch Torres

As screened on

SBS, 8/11/2002
SBS, 4/7/2003
SBS, 11/7/2004