Australian documentary, Half a Million Steps, will screen in limited cinemas across NSW as part of the Uniting Church’s Fair Treatment campaign to advocate for drug law reform and enhance access to treatment and harm reduction strategies.
Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson is urging Australians to better understand the disastrous issue facing the nation and call on the NSW government for change.
“Every year in Australia 200,000 people are denied access to alcohol and drug treatment services. If this many people who were living with cancer were denied treatment there would be an outcry,” said Sir Richard. “The current approach to drugs is simply not working and I urge Australians to educate themselves on the devastating impact the current policy is having on people who use or have a problem with drugs.”
The 90-minute documentary charts the route of a baton carried by 100 supporters collectively walking the half a million step journey from Dubbo to Sydney. This is the distance Shantell Irwin, a single mother living in Dubbo who uses methamphetamines has to travel to find suitable treatment for her drug use. Shantell said, “While it only takes a few steps to get drugs in Dubbo, I have to travel 400kms to get treatment in Sydney.” Unfortunately, Shantell’s story is not unique, and the documentary features many others who live in regional and metro NSW who take drugs and have no access to treatment services.
Unsurprisingly, drug induced deaths in Australia have hit their highest in 20 years. Half a Million Steps was produced for one sole purpose: making sure all Australians can access the care they need.
Half A Million Steps will screen at various Dendy cinemas in Sydney for a limited time and at Dubbo RSL.
Wednesday 3 July 2019 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Friday 12 July 2019 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm