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Writer Director McCuaig | Nicole McCuaig

I have been making documentaries for the past 20 years which has involved interview based stories and observational style programs. I have worked with a diverse range of program settings from segmented to long format. I am good at making participants comfortable with the filming environment and know how to follow people through the highs and lows of life. I have also worked for many production companies as a minor part of a bigger team filming or interviewing in a freelance capacity.

The great thing about documentary filmmaking is that every story is different. You meet amazing people and travel to incredible communities and destinations.

In addition to my work with Australian production companies I am exploring the life of an Australian literary enigma for a feature documentary. My grandfather was a brilliant writer and journalist with a long and rich career. We knew this. We also knew he wrote poetry, but we did not know he was one of Australia’s most important and finest poets. Poets and academics now rank him as Australia’s “first modernist poet”, our own TS Eliot, so to speak. There is more about the evolving story here, “Australia’s Bohemian Rapper.”

I also love “hands on filmmaking”. From my earliest days as a filmmaker I jumped into the roles of camera operator, editor and producer. I mostly direct brilliant technicians at the tops of their fields in these roles but I also enjoy projects where I operate myself. I have a small broadcast quality setup for filming and post production. This has given me the freedom to work in the industry on different levels.


Some of my film credits

  • Coming Home Australia’s RSL – Marking 100 years of the RSL’s unwavering but largely unknown support for returned personnel and their families, Coming Home, narrated by Lisa McCune, reveals some of the heart-breaking, yet life-affirming stories of transition from Defence to life as a civilian. Nine network
  • The Lockyer – Through sheer perseverance farmers, the local council and residents of the Lockyer Valley have managed to recover from two devastating floods and rebuild to produce some of the best fruit and veg in the country. They tell us about their experiences and love of the valley. Network Ten.
  • The Hunt for Hendra – A history of the outbreak of the Hendra virus and the story of the incredible scientists from Australian Animal Health Laboratory who cracked the vaccine. Network Ten (ATOM award nomination).
  • Delivering the Pandas  Over a year this documentary goes behind the scenes of the delicate negotiation between Australians and Chinese for the exchange of two giant pandas. I travelled to the remote Panda reserve in China twice to follow the story. Network Ten
  • Panorama Punks – Renegade downhill skateboarders from around the world compete in Australia’s first legal downhill skateboarding event on the notorious Mt Panorama. Network Ten
  • Black Soldier Blues Looks at the experiences and memories of black American soldiers stationed in Australia in World war 2. Narrated by Jack Thompson. SBS (NSW premier’s history awards nomination)
  • Stock Squad  – Police investigators specialising in cattle theft, involving a 25 week shoot over two years in remote locations throughout Queensland and 18 police investigators, their families, suspects and property owners. SBS
  • Australians At War Interviews with  one hundred war veterans.
  • Keeping The Faithful  The rise fall and rise again of Australia’s first tele-evangelist his family and church. ABC TV (Best short documentary IF awards)
  • A Big Country Revisited – A police officer and his wife revisit the remote town of Apatula.  ABC TV
  • Heart Of Gold – A heart transplant recipient’s life over 6 months. ABC TV
  • The Fighting Thornberrys – Followed a family of boxers to the world title in  Wales. ABC TV
  • Rage Of Innocence – An indepth look at Schoolies week. ABC TV (Best Independent Film QNFA)
  • From The Quadrangle – Megan Washington, Kate Miller Heidke, state and private school principals, uni lecturers and a host of other participants recall their experiences of being bullied at school and new approaches to tackling the ongoing problem. Network Ten.
  • This Is Straddie – Representatives of the Quandamooka people and residents tell us their memories of growing up and living on Stradbroke Island. Network Ten
  • Dancers On Tour – Follows young dancers from The Australian Ballet School on their first tour in Tasmania. They struggle in the cold conditions and on hard, old stages but they still manage to delight Tasmanian audiences. Network Ten
  • Alien Crustacean – Crabs are are hard to find, almost impossible to study and captivating. We go into the world of the crustacean and meet the people that study these intriguing creatures as a lifelong endeavour. Network Ten
  • Tragedy At Sea – Marine archeologists talk about the underwater graves off our coasts and the stories of heroism and tragedy. Network Ten
  • Art Without Borders – Behind the scenes of GOMA’s APT 7 following artists from Asia and the Pacific, curators and gallery staff as they bring the exhibition to life – Network Ten
  • The Secret Life of Dugongs – Janet Lanyon from the University of Queensland and Trevor Long from Sea World team up to study the elusive mammal. Network Ten
  • City Fringe – Melbourne punks, Sydney goths and metal heads from all states. This is a peek into contemporary Australian subculture. Network Ten
  • Port City – The documentary follows the port of Brisbane in the aftermath of the 2010 floods and oil spills in the region. Network Ten
  • Panorama Punks – Renegade downhill skateboarders from around the world compete in Australia’s first legal downhill skateboarding event on the notorious Mt Panorama. Network Ten
  • Handle With Care – A tiger from Germany, polar bear cubs from Quebec and pandas from China – a film about transporting significant animals valued for international conservation endeavors. Network Ten
  • Supreme Cat – Follows the competitive and quirky feline judging at the Brisbane EKKA where cats vie to be crowned ‘Supreme Cat’.
  • Snow Falling on Queenstown – Totally Wild’s Stacey Thompson narrates the Queenstown Winter Festival which is madcap event that heralds the start of the snow season and the whole town comes alive! Network Ten
  • The Maori Guides – Increasingly tourists are looking for a different experience when they travel. In New Zealand. Maori cultural tours are becoming popular for international visitors. From authentic villages to whale watching in the pristine waters off the coastal town of Kaikoura. The experiences are different and visitors love it. But the stories of how these tourism ventures have become successful are inspiring. Network Ten
  • Baxter’s Bash – Four guys who have received Variety charity monies as young men with disabilities experience the highs and lows of a variety bush car bash. Network Ten
  • The Spider Files – Through the eyes of an arachnophobic and ironically Australia’s most prolific spider expert we uncover truths about one of our most terrifying creatures. Network Ten
  • Natural Connections – Three successful indigenous tour guides tell us their personal history, talk about their land and culture.
  • Wildfire – Revisits the most dramatic fires in Australia’s history and the brave firefighters who fought them. Network Ten
  • Working Below Zero – The lives of men and women from scientists to plumbers who work in Antarctica. Network Ten
  • Rare Bear: The Tablelands Tree Kangaroo. Follows a community committed to the survival of this tree-dwelling recluse threatened by road kill and natural disaster. Network Ten
  • Surf Patrol – Follows life savers and beachgoers for a hectic summer on the Gold Coast. Seven Network


  • ATOM nomination 2012 – The Hunt for Hendra
  • Best Short Documentary IF Awards 2004 – Keeping The Faithful
  • Best Independent Documentary QNFA 1998 – Rage Of Innocence
  • Shortlisted NSW Premier’s History Awards 2004 – Black Soldier Blues


Download: Nicole McCuaig CV 2016

Art Without Borders – Gallery of Modern Art

The Hunt for Hendra – AAHL CSIRO

Black Solder Blues – Ohio

Stock Squad – Rockhampton


The Maori Guides – Kaikoura

Surf Patrol – Gold Coast

Snow Falling On Queenstown – Coronet Peak