Genni Batterham protests at the opening of Bondi Junction railway station in 1979 about the lack of accessible transport options for people with disabilities.
Genni was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1978 and she was incapacitated very quickly. Angry about being 'consigned to the world of the disabled' she tried anything and everything to halt the progress of the disease.
'Pins and Needles', made with her husband Kim, was one response arising from this anger. Funded by the Australian Film Commission's Women's Film Fund, and directed by Barbara Chobocky, it was translated into five languages and won first prize at the 1980 Canadian Film Festival and second prize at the 1980 New York Film Festival.
The 1979 Bondi Junction protest was an important moment in the history of the Disability Rights Movement in New South Wales. The Premier, Neville Wran, later said that the experience led him to developing the Disability Taxi Service, the first public transport system designed for people with disabilities to be launched in Australia.
Excerpt from Pins and Needles (Kim Batterham, Australia 1980). Courtesy of Kim Batterham.