• Tyson Mowarin and his daughter Sharlia. (Supplied: Tyson Mowarin)Source: Supplied: Tyson Mowarin
Tyson Mowarin is a filmmaker. His 13-year-old daughter Sharlia has appeared in several of his works. The two are "good mates".
Dan Butler

3 Sep 2021 - 6:59 PM  UPDATED 5 Sep 2021 - 10:46 AM

Tyson Mowarin has been taking his daughter to work since before she could walk.

The Ngarluma filmmaker says his sets became a de facto day care for Sharlia.

“All of my filmmaking crew mates from around Australia, they all know her. They've all seen her grow up, from when she was a baby up to now.”

Maybe it was inevitable, but Sharlia ended up on the other side of the lens, starring in several of Tyson’s works.

“She’s not camera shy anymore, like she used to be. I remember trying to film her on one of my documentaries. I had to bribe her $20 just to walk down the beach!”

Sharlia is 13 now, but is still to be found on her dad’s sets. She has appeared in Thalu, a spiritual kids adventure movie, and more recently in Red Dirt Riders, a dirt bike odyssey across the Pilbara.

Watch Thalu
With their country under threat from a huge dust cloud and the mysterious Takers that lurk within, a group of Indigenous kids have to make their way to the Thalu a place of great power, to stop the cloud before it destroys everything in its path.

Tyson says children bring a different atmosphere to work.

“Yeah, it's always good fun having kids on set,” he tells NITV.

“Because they're untrained and you’re teaching them filmmaking on the go, and that's all a lot of fun.”

Tyson admits to slightly selfish motives when asked about working with Sharlia on his movies.

“I suppose, because she’s my daughter and I get to spend a lot of time with her, you know? That’s part of the reason I like working with her.”

The two have a close bond. Tyson has had full custody of Sharlia since she was five years old. They live together in Roebourne, a remote Western Australian community in the Pilbara.

“We sometimes talk about moving away for school, for work... she likes playing basketball. And if we were to move away to the city or something, I'd like to get her more involved in playing basketball as well.

“But I did ask her last year, if she wanted to go to the city. She said, ‘I don't want to go to school down there. That's not my Country!’”

Tyson says while they still may move some time in the future, they would both miss being on Country.

“She's a real bush kid. She loves the land and the sea. She rides motorbikes, she drives buggies, drives my four wheel drive when we’re out bush. She likes hunting and fishing, all that sort of stuff.”

Driving is a particular passion for them both. They’ve driven all across the country, to Sydney and Canberra in the east, and up to the Northern Territory.

They’ll be making another trip this Sunday. It’s a Father’s Day tradition to drive the 50km over to Dampier for the Father’s Day Car and Bike Show.

They’ll take the journey in Tyson’s beloved ‘71 two-door Monaro (blue with white stripes).

Tyson says Sharlia isn’t too cool yet to go riding with her dad.

“Nah, she loves the boss car. She always tells me that’s her car when I'm gone.

“But I told her I might be getting buried in it!”

Red Dirt Riders is streaming now on NITV On Demand.