• The Rule Family in 'Sisterhood' by Vogue Magazine (Duncan Killick)Source: Duncan Killick
Co-Executive Producer, Field Director and Noongar woman, Karla Hart explores how diverse voices can contribute in allowing us all to move forward and build a stronger society together.
By
Karla Hart, Family Rules Co-Executive Producer and Field Director

23 Dec 2016 - 3:58 PM  UPDATED 7 Mar 2017 - 11:10 AM

From the time I spent with the Rule family whilst filming Angela’s Rules I knew they were made for television. Not only were they a unique family of 9 sisters but they were real, funny, hardworking, strong, crazy and proudly Aboriginal. They had a love for each other and their family that was just so beautiful it needed to be captured on camera.

This production has been epic, from the amount of filming to the size of the crew and right back to the pure real life situations and people that we have been following. The stories in this family were normal things that everybody faces yet being an urban living family but with that extra layer of their strong Aboriginal culture and 9 sisters made it so much more fascinating to watch.

Developing this series with MetamorFlix, field directing and co executive producing the series has been a roller-coaster journey. Easy in one sense with a family so open and willing to share, but as you could imagine, absolutely crazy and chaotic with mum, 9 sisters, 5 grandchildren, Nan, friends and family all in one place at times with a million things happening at once. It was heart breaking at times as we shared trauma, deep sadness and everyday stress of life with the family.  

It has been an immense learning curve as we navigated dealing with real sorry business and also filming this. The difficult part being - knowing where the line was to draw at letting the family have their moments that they will can never get again - yet capturing enough to tell the story was challenging, worrying, intense and a very fine line. However one thing always guaranteed was fun and laughter, even at some of the most intense or sad moments, there was always somebody making light and reflecting on how lucky they were to have each other.

For me not only as the producer, but a Noongar woman from Perth, the resilience of this family represents so many of our mob doing things hard, carrying heartache and yet making the best of what they have for their futures and their children.

"Showcasing the richness of Australian identity with a family who have Noongar and Ngadju heritage, which highlights the differences of our Aboriginal people and country diversity is something that I am passionate about celebrating with the world."

As a woman I want to tell stories of our strong women out there in our communities. It is what I know, as I have been raised by my grandmother - a very strong woman culturally and emotionally and was surrounded by my aunties whose resilience to terrible things inflicted upon them because of the times showed me strength and gave me inspiration to tell women’s stories.

This series gives new role models to our women and particularly our next generation of women, and to think our young girls out there will have some new role models to aspire to who are working hard, attending University, travelling, taking care of their families, buying homes, getting married to caring, considerate and family orientated men and above all loving each other unconditionally with the utmost respect makes my heart so happy and gives me purpose. 

That’s what I want for our kids… this series is so important on that platform and the best part is it’s for all people of all diversities as this series has universal themes with single parenthood, motherhood, adolescence and so much more. 

Showcasing the richness of Australian identity with a family who have Noongar and Ngadju heritage, which highlights the differences of our Aboriginal people and country diversity, which is something that I am passionate about celebrating with the world. I mean how amazing to have all these different countries, languages and cultural protocols so close in proximity that we can share with not just the world but also many people around Australia who have no idea of what is right under their noses. That’s what I love about this series is that it represents things on such a great scale and that it is about women and told by women, which is rare in this industry.   

After spending so much time and sharing a chapter in the family’s life I honestly can say I love them all, I miss them now we are not filming and will always care for their well-being… and to have a job that can create love like this is joy.

An amazing family and a crew that was so fantastic to work with as they were so good at their jobs has made working on this production something I’ll never forget.  And I have a feeling this little piece of time, of history, this chapter of a unique family of women will resonate with people around the world of all ages and for that thought alone – I am so proud.

Family Rules airs on Monday 9 January, 7.30pm on NITV Ch. 34. Catch a sneak peak of Episode 1 On Demand

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