Sandra Pires (BA Communications, CSU Bathurst, BSc Hons Psychology UOW, Advanced Diploma in Screen & Media) is a multiplatform producer/director and founder of Why Documentaries and the startup Yesterday Stories. She is interested in film as the best medium to create change.

Her second feature documentary (2015) The Dalfram Dispute 1938: Pig Iron Bob looks at the fraught politics of the 1930s in Australia and internationally (www.thedalframdispute1938.com.au) when waterside workers refused to load a shipment of pig iron to Japan for 11 weeks, it left Bob Menzies with the nickname Pig Iron Bob for the rest of his life. The documentary was filmed in Australia and in China including interviews with some of the last survivors of the Nanjing Massacre. The film also interviews a number of people including Sir Robert Menzies’ daughter, the late Tom Uren and various historians and family members of the men involved. At the opening in Wollongong to 800 people, it received a standing ovation, and was also screened in China. It was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Screen Producers’ Association of Australia Best Documentary Award 2015 (alongside Sherpa and Gillian Armstrong’s Women he’s undressed) and was one of three films selected as a finalist for a NSW Premier’s history award.

Sandra runs a video production house Why Documentaries out of Wollongong and produces online digital content for communities, Government and organisations. Her work in the multicultural sector has led to a number of awards including a number of National Multicultural Marketing Awards, a NSW Health Award as well as a National Trust heritage award.

She is interested in pursuing how film/documentary and the online space and content can increase empathy in the real world, bring history online to empower and conserve community character, use story to deliver messages of peace and reconciliation, and create behavioural change including better outcomes for health and education.

Sandra is currently producing & directing her third feature documentary on Australian history The Triumph of Failure which looks at the Australian battle of vinegar hill when 200 Irish convicts led Australia’s first rebellion and remains an authentic link between Ireland and Australia

2016 Ones To Watch