Data Democracy Screening in Silicon Valley

30 November 2020

The Wind & Sky Productions team travels (virtually) to Silicon Valley in the US this month as our short documentary ‘Data Democracy’ is part of the Silicon Valley International Film Festival.

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Data Democracy


Commissioned by: CeRDI

Produced: 2018

Length: 13:11 minutes

Dr Gillian Sparkes Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability

Professor Richard Sinnott

George Fong, Lateral Plains

Paul Box, CSIRO

Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus

Data Democracy

We are in an era where communities can interact with data in ways that were impossible to imagine a few short decades ago. While there are undoubted public benefits from accumulating, federating and aggregating data, both government and private institutional data use has in recent times been highly controversial, raising important questions about access, rights and community interest in the new digital and geospatial age.

Commissioned by the Centre for eResearch and Digital Information (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia, this short documentary aims to inform and inspire discussion on the issues of fairness, access, sharing and communicating data in the technological era.

It features Paul Box (CSIRO), Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus (CeRDI), George Fong (ex-Internet Australia), Professor Richard Sinnott (University of Melbourne) and Dr Gillian Sparkes (Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability).


Official Selection Silicon Valley Film Festival 2020, 11-13 December 2020.

Launch screening, panel discussion and networking drinks: Monday 8 April 2019, 5:30pm-7:15pm, Room 106, The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf VIC 3006.


Featuring :
George Fong, Professor Richard Sinnott, Dr Gillian Sparkes, Paul Box and Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus
Matthew Currell and Kirsten McKenna
Directed by:
Jary Nemo
Written and Produced by:
Lucinda Horrocks and Jary Nemo
Executive Producer:
Associate Professor Helen Thompson
‘CSIRONET’ (1985) Film Footage Courtesy of:
Stock Footage and Photography Courtesy of:
CSIRO Publishing, Pexels, Pixabay, PxHere, NASA Images, Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability
Spherical Piano by Magnetize Music (via Premium Beat)
With thanks to:
Jessica Anderson, Craig Briody, Jennifer Corbett, Birgita Hansen, Jenny Jelbart, Robert Milne, Angela Murphy, Erin Seymour, Emily Ross, CSIRO Science Image, the Office of the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, and the Ballarat Technology Park.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Acknowledgement of country:
Film production took place on the land of the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge their traditional ownership of country and pay respects to Elders past, present and future.
Produced by:
Wind & Sky Productions
Commissioned by:
Commissioned by the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI), Federation University Australia
Copyright with:
© CeRDI 2018




Data Democracy a Challenge for Future

Media Release: Monday 8 April 2019

The rapid growth of electronic data has great potential to benefit society, but we need to think about how to manage data in a fair way that honours individual rights, argues a new film, Data Democracy.

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Data Democracy Film Launch and Panel Discussion

March 29, 2019

The Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) is hosting a screening, panel discussion and networking event to celebrate the launch of their new short film “Data Democracy” at 5:30pm Monday 8 April at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The film was produced for CeRDI by Wind & Sky Productions.

What: Film screening, panel discussion and networking drinks

When: Monday 8 April 2019 5:30 for a 5:40pm start

Where: Room 106, The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf VIC 3006

Part of: FrontierSI Conference 2019

RSVP by: Friday 5 April 2019

Eventbrite link:

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Here. In a field of what I thought was cows.

The VVG Story.

by Lucinda Horrocks.

“How do you bring a story about technology and water science alive? That was our creative challenge with the Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater film.”

The mud sticks to our boots as we follow the cattle track, our heels sinking into the sodden earth, obliterating hoof prints. Thank God we remembered to bring boots, I think, as I cuddle the camera closer to my chest, my arms awkwardly clutched around the fragile box of plastic and buttons and glass it is my job to keep safe from the muck and the wet. The sky is a dark pattern of clouds but Jary has judged it won’t rain. He strides ahead up the hill carrying the tripod easily over his shoulder.

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Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG)



Client: Federation University Australia

Produced: 2014

Length: 10.36 minutes

Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG) is a web-based system which collates scientific data on Victoria’s groundwater from many sources in real time and represents it visually on a map. Developed by the Geology department and the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia, the VVG project is not only a revolutionary way to explore groundwater data, it is an innovative and collaborative approach to public data sharing which responds to user needs yet respects the custodians of data. In an era where big data, open public data and high-speed broadband is transforming the way we use and access information, this project has inspired a rethink in policy and research circles on what is possible and provides a practical model of how data custodians can work together. The simple act of representing complex data on a map has sparked spin-off projects in many different disciplines, from history to fire management, and has led to new uses and applications the original planners did not think possible. The project proves that people with passion for their science and its data can work together to achieve great things.

Please Share

The film is free to share, watch, copy, distribute and embed for non-commercial purposes under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND conditions. If you would like to embed the film in your web site, visit the YouTube version of the film and follow the embed instructions under the ‘share’ tab.


Produced by:
Jary Nemo and Lucinda Horrocks
Production Company:
Wind & Sky Productions
Directed and edited by:
Jary Nemo
Executive Producer:
Helen Thompson
Peter Dahlhaus, Helen Thompson, Andrew MacLeod, Brett Miller, Brendan Cossens, Matthew Currell and Kirsten McKenna
Camera and Sound:
Jary Nemo
Research and Interviews:
Lucinda Horrocks
With thanks to:
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water, Norm Suckling, Kirsten McKenna, Hayley Collins and the staff at the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia.
VVG would not be possible without the support of:
The Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation and the School of Science, Information Technology and Engineering at Federation University Australia, the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, the Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management Centre at Australian National University, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, the Geological Survey of Canada at Natural Resources Canada, the National Geoscience Information Infrastructure – Minerals Down Under Flagship at CSIRO, the Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative, Goulburn-Murray Water, Thiess Services Pty Ltd, Senversa Pty Ltd, the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, the Groundwater Systems Research Group at the Queensland University of Technology and the Victorian Mineral Water Committee.
Commissioned by:
Federation University Australia.
Distribution License:
Free to distribute online under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 conditions, all other use requires permission.
Copyright with:
© Federation University Australia and Wind & Sky Productions Pty Ltd 2014.