Polly and Me


Just because we don’t see her, doesn’t mean she isn’t there.


Behind closed doors unfolds a story of neglect. An 8 year-old girl lives along with her mother and dreams of a better life beyond the walls of their small and dingy apartment. Isolated and lonely, the girl’s only friend is her doll, Polly.

Her mother works nights and sleeps by day, and despite best intentions, struggles to properly care for her daughter. As each day passes the girl is increasingly exposed to the destructive forces in her mother’s life.

When an invitation arrives to a family picnic in the park it seems like the perfect chance to get out of the apartment and do something with her mum. Her mother promises to take her — but so far life has been a series of broken promises. Maybe this time things will be different.

POLLY AND ME is the story of one little girl who has fallen between the cracks, and reminds us that just because we don’t see her, it doesn’t mean she isn’t there.

Writer/Director: Ian Darling

Producers: Ian Darling, Susan Mackinnon

Cinematographer: Peter A. Holland

Editor: Sally Fryer

Line Producer: Mary Macrae

Music: Felicity Fox

Sound Design: Annie Breslin

Production Design: Nicholas McCallum

Costume Design: Jo Briscoe

Partners & Supporters’ Resources
ARACY logo Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth: Child abuse and neglect happens all the time and is a result of many associated factors not just one. ARACY believes in promoting shared responsibility for vulnerable children and families. Visit the Change For Children site, collaborating to achieve better outcomes for Children.
Promoting Shared Responsibility PDF | Supporting statistics PDF
benevolent The Benevolent Society: These downloads outline some of The Benevolent Society’s programmes, position papers and community outcomes around children, children’s development and the importance of children having warm, nurturing relationships.
Act Now Prevention paper | BS position paper PDF | BS Community program PDF | Community evaluation PDF
create CREATE Foundation: CREATE is often witness to a cycle. In a lot of instances young people in care can become young parents themselves and due to a lack of support and guidance their own children can often also be placed in care. CREATE Foundation aims to stop this cycle and change these outcomes by creating a better life for children and young people in care.
CREATE programs PDF
goodbeginnings Good Beginnings: The greatest gift you can give a child is a good beginning. Good Beginnings recognises the value of strengthening communities and the positive impact strong communities have on children’s wellbeing.
Good Beginnings message PDF
lighthouse Lighthouse Foundation: The story of Polly mirrors the stories of many Lighthouse young people. Lighthouse has established a Mother and Babies Program that supports young homeless mothers and their babies and breaks the cycle of child maltreatment and future homelessness that the film depicts.
Lighthouse Act Now PDF
lous Lou’s Place: At Lou’s Place we see the effects of abuse and neglect everyday. If there was one thing we could wish for to improve the well-being of Australia’s children it would simply be for community to work well.
Lou’s Place Act Now PDF
mirabel The Mirabel Foundation: Mirabel believes that every child deserves a childhood and its mission is to break the destructive cycle of addiction. Mirabel assists children in the care of extended family (kinship care).
Mirabel assist PDF
napcan NAPCAN: NAPCAN is a leading advocate for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. If you think a child has been abused or neglected, you must ring your local child protection authority or the police. But in order to help prevent getting to a tragic situation in the first place there are lots of things you can do to help protect children.
What Can I Do PDF | NAPCAN fact sheet | NAPCAN workshop | NAPCAN screening manual
oasis Oasis Youth Support Network: Outreach PDF
shieldtiny The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army have been visiting dark places in our society for many years, providing a light to those who need their help.
Salvation Army Outreach PDF
smith The Smith Family: is a national, independent children’s charity that helps disadvantaged Australian children by unlocking opportunities through education and learning.
The Smith Family take action PDF