AustLit logo
Shirley Barrett Shirley Barrett i(A24468 works by)
Born: Established: 1961 ;
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
1 3 y separately published work icon The Bus on Thursday Shirley Barrett , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2018 14150056 2018 single work novel

I't wasn't just the bad break-up that caused Eleanor's life to unravel. It was the cancer. And the demons that came with it. Freshly single and thoroughly traumatised from the ordeals of breast cancer, Eleanor Mellett starts a new job as a teacher in a remote mountain hamlet. It's certainly peaceful enough, almost too peaceful. But what's become of the previous teacher, the saintly Miss Barker, who has disappeared abruptly under mysterious circumstances? And what's with all those locks on the door? And what the hell is that bus doing idling outside her house late, late at night?

'When the local priest offers to exorcise Eleanor of her 'cancer demon', she probably should have declined. Because that's when all her troubles start in earnest. That's when the visitors come a-knocking.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 8 form y separately published work icon Wanted Kirsty Fisher , Timothy Hobart , John Ridley , ( dir. Shirley Barrett ) Australia : Seven Network , 2016-2017 9138406 2016 series - publisher film/TV crime

Series one:

Two strangers go on the run together after being caught up in a deadly carjacking.

Series two:

In the first season, checkout chick Lola Buckley and accountant Chelsea Babbage were thrown together by fate and circumstance in a thrilling chase across Australia in a car full of drugs and money. After a hair-raising pursuit across the starkly varied landscapes of Australia, the second season sees them journey the length of Thailand and New Zealand as they turn from the hunted into the hunters in an effort to bring the fight to their pursuers and unearth the truth about how and why this whole thing started. (Source: Screen Australia)

1 9 y separately published work icon Rush Oh! Shirley Barrett , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2015 8775180 2015 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 1 units)

'When the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.

Swinging from her own hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Mary's tale is entirely relatable despite the hundred-odd years that separate her world from ours.

Chronicling her family's struggle to survive the season and her own attempts to navigate an all-consuming crush on an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, Rush Oh! is also a celebration of an extraordinary episode in Australian history when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance with a pod of Killer whales - and in particular, a Killer whale named Tom.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 3 form y separately published work icon Winter Sarah Smith , Michaeley O'Brien , Jeff Truman , ( dir. Ian Watson et. al. )agent Sydney : Cornerstone Pictures Seven Network , 2015 8733429 2015 series - publisher film/TV crime

Detective Sergeant Eve Winter investigates the deaths of two young women, both of whom are tattooed with the same design.

1 12 form y separately published work icon Love Child Matt Ford , Cathy Strickland , Liz Doran , Tim Pye , Kym Goldsworthy , Sarah Lambert , Giula Sandler , Christine McCourt , Jane Allen , Tamara Asmar , Fiona Samuel , Fin Edquist , Vanessa Alexander , Josephine Dee Barrett , Chris Hawkshaw , Lara Radulovich , Wendy Hanna , Samantha Winston , Sarah Smith , ( dir. Geoff Bennett et. al. )agent Australia : Playmaker Media Nine Network , 2014- 7030158 2014 series - publisher film/TV

'A character drama set in 1969 in Kings Cross; the time and place Australia came of age and the new generation broke all the rules. It was the Summer of Love. Mick Jagger was in town, Australia was glued to the telecast of the moon landing and American sailors clashed on the street with anti-Vietnam war protesters. We follow Joan Millar, 28, a maverick midwife returning to Australia and five young pregnant women, whose choices for their babies and own lives exemplify the radical changes at the heart of the cultural and sexual revolution. Their lives intersect between a maternity hospital, a home for unwed mothers and the wild streets of Darlinghurst.'

Source: Australian Television Information Archive. (Sighted: 13/2/2014)

1 5 form y separately published work icon Mr & Mrs Murder Marieke Hardy , Christine Bartlett , Jonathan Gavin , Katherine Thomson , John Hugginson , Bridie O'Neill , Kirsty Fisher , Jay Barnes , Sian Davies , Timothy Hobart , Harold Jordan , ( dir. Abe Forsythe et. al. )agent 2013 Australia : FremantleMedia Australia Network Ten , 2013 Z1858973 2013 series - publisher film/TV crime mystery

'A murder mystery series, Mr & Mrs Murder follows Nicole and Charlie, a married couple who run an extreme cleaning business, specialising in crime scenes. Armed with wit, smarts and the invisibility that cleaning brings, the duo solve the crimes the cops can't in a murder mystery with a smile.'

(Source: Australian Television in Production website)

1 25 form y separately published work icon A Place to Call Home Bevan Lee , Tony Morphett , Hamilton Budd , Rick Held , Trent Atkinson , Sarah Walker , Kim Wilson , Giula Sandler , Katherine Thomson , Brooke Wilson , Sarah Lambert , Deborah Parsons , John Ridley , John Lonie , David Hannam , Kristen Dunphy , Cathy Strickland , ( dir. Roger Hodgman et. al. )agent 2013 Australia : Channel 7 , 2012- Z1904429 2013 series - publisher film/TV 'Set in rural Australia in the 1950s, A Place to Call Home is a sweeping drama of one woman's journey to heal her soul and of a privileged family's confrontation with a changing era. A romantic saga based in the fictional town of Inverness - home to the Bligh family estate Ash Park - with a landscape as vast and dramatic as the people who live there.' (Source: )
1 24 form y separately published work icon House Husbands Ellie Beaumont , Nicholas Coghlan , Ellie Beaumont , Michael Miller , Drew Proffitt , Christine Bartlett , Matt Ford , Leon Ford , Fin Edquist , Kirsty Fisher , Keith Thompson , Tim Pye , Kelly Lefever , Timothy Lee , Jane Morton , Meaghan Smith , Trent Roberts , Jo Martino , Sam Carroll , Ian Meadows , Josh Mapleston , Sam Meikle , ( dir. Geoff Bennett et. al. )agent 2012 Australia : Nine Network Playmaker Media , 2012-2017 Z1882378 2012 series - publisher film/TV

'[This] series centres on four young families with one thing in common: the men are in charge of raising the kids.

'It's the beginning of a new school year and recently retired Lewis (Gary Sweet) finds himself in the unfamiliar role of stay-at-home dad to Tilda, his daughter with nurse Gemma (Julia Morris).

'Gemma works at the hospital with her best friend Abi (Natalie Saleeba) whose husband Mark (Rhys Muldoon) is juggling a return to part-time work and looking after five-year-old Poppy.

'Mark's brother-in-law Kane (Gyton Grantley) is in a relationship with Tom (Tim Campbell), raising Tom's orphaned niece Stella.

'When dropping their daughters off on the first day of school, the three men meet Justin (Firass Dirani), a former AFL star who, thanks to his bad boy ways, has seen his career and family walk out the door. He is now facing the fight of his life to win custody of his twin boys Zac and Jacob and eight-month-old daughter Angie.

'Finding themselves severely outnumbered by all the mothers at the school drop-off zone, the four men band together and help each other along as they face the challenges of raising a young family.'

Source: Channel Nine website ( (Sighted: 17/10/2012)

1 14 form y separately published work icon Wild Boys Sarah Smith , Julie McGauran , John Ridley , James Walker , Dave Warner , Michelle Offen , Sarah Smith , Sam Meikle , ( dir. Jeffrey Walker et. al. )agent Australia : Southern Star Entertainment Seven Network , 2011 Z1802435 2011 series - publisher film/TV adventure

'In Hopetoun there are few rules... And even fewer willing to follow them.

'In this town moral codes are muddied by circumstance and opportunity. There's gold for the taking, cash being splashed and power wielded ruthlessly with little regard for right and wrong. It's hard to know the good guys from the bad when guns, blades and fists speak louder than any law.

'This is the world of the Wild Boys, a high-energy adventure series about a gang of bushrangers whose charisma is as captivating and entertaining as their extreme exploits in the Australian bush.

'Set in 1860s NSW at the frontier - where gold has lured the opportunistic away from the still fledgling main colonies - Wild Boys follows four men on the outside of the law as they come up against authority, the rich and greedy and the foibles of their own hearts.

'Jack, Dan, Conrad and Captain Gunpowder are the Wild Boys.

'Jack wants enough gold to head west, buy land and settle down with Mary, Hopetoun's publican, butcher and brothel owner.

'Dan wants enough gold to head west and buy women (any women, really).

'Captain Gunpowder just wants to have fun with Jack, Dan and his cache of explosives (and maybe win the heart of a certain school teacher).

'And Conrad doesn't really care about money; he just wants to elope with the mayor's daughter Emilia.

The Wild Boys are making plans for the future, but for now they will have to make do with each other - staging hold-ups and keeping one step ahead of traps, trackers, and other outlaws.

'The question is: Are they smart enough to stay ahead of Fuller, Fife and Scanlon (each of whom has a very good reason to want the Wild Boys dead)?'

Source: Wild Boys official website ) (Sighted: 30/08/2011)

1 48 form y separately published work icon Offspring Imogen Banks , John Edwards , Debra Oswald , Debra Oswald , Tony McNamara , Leon Ford , Ben Chessell , Jonathan Gavin , Michael Lucas , Christine Bartlett , Tommy Murphy , Kylie Needham , Ian Meadows , Charlie Garber , Samantha Strauss , Li-Kim Chuah , Rachel Givney , Alice Bell , ( dir. Shirley Barrett et. al. )agent 2010 Australia : Southern Star John Edwards , 2010- Z1733890 2010 series - publisher film/TV

'Born out of the telemovie of the same name, Offspring is a contemporary drama series about Nina Proudman, a thirtysomething obstetrician and her fabulously messy family. Following the Proudman family's adventures searching for love, fulfillment and balance in the chaos of modern life, Offspring is about the life forces that drive us all: love, sex, babies, food and music. Stylistically fresh and visually exciting, Offspring mixes conventional narrative drama with flashbacks, graphic animation and fantasy sequences, showcasing the vibrant world of Fitzroy, Melbourne, where Nina and the extended Proudman family go about their unpredictable daily lives.'

Source: Australian Television Information Archive.

1 Frequent Flyer : Shirley Barrett Shirley Barrett , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 24 July 2010; (p. 5) The Sydney Morning Herald , 24-25 July 2010; (p. 5)
1 18 form y separately published work icon South Solitary Shirley Barrett , ( dir. Shirley Barrett ) Australia : Macgowan and Beneficiary Films Omnilab Media , 2010 Z1689710 2010 single work film/TV

'Meredith, 30 and unmarried, arrives at a remote lighthouse island with her uncle, the new head keeper. Bad weather and misadventure leave her marooned with only the sullen and withdrawn assistant keeper, Fleet, for companionship. A tender, faltering courtship ensues.'

Source: Screen Australia.

1 38 form y separately published work icon Packed To The Rafters Margaret Wilson , Marieke Hardy , Anthony Ellis , Jeff Truman , Abe Pogos , Chris Hawkshaw , Christine McCourt , Boaz Stark , Dave Warner , Tony Morphett , Martin McKenna , Jenny Lewis , Trent Roberts , Rick Held , Sue Hore , Hamilton Budd , Bevan Lee , ( dir. Pino Amenta et. al. )agent Sydney : Seven Network , 2008- Z1776179 2008- series - publisher film/TV 'Meet Dave and Julie Rafter - just your average Australians with three grown-up children. On the eve of their twenty-fifth wedding-anniversary it seems they're at last about to have the house to themselves. Offspring Rachel, Ben and Nathan have all developed into well-rounded and out-going, if exceptionally different and complex, individuals, with a raft of their own conflicts and dilemmas. But home can seem a very welcome refuge when unforeseen problems loom.'

Source: Australian Television Information Archive website,
Sighted: 02/05/2011
1 7 form y separately published work icon Love My Way Claudia Karvan , John Edwards , Jacquelin Perske , FOX8 (publisher), Channel W (publisher), Showtime (publisher), Jacquelin Perske , Tony McNamara , Marissa Cooke , Brendan Cowell , Louise Fox , Fiona Seres , Blake Ayshford , Sarah Lambert , ( dir. Jessica Hobbs et. al. )agent 2004 Sydney Australia : Southern Star John Edwards FOX8 Channel W Showtime , 2004-2007 Z1238717 2004 series - publisher film/TV

The first Australian drama series to be made specifically for pay television, Love My Way follows the lives of a group of thirty-somethings who explore issues of friendship, step-parenting, divorce, and relationships. It deals with the randomness of life and the need many of us have to carve out a place in the world.

Central to the series is Frankie Paige, who attempts to negotiate the web of contemporary relationships, juggle the priorities of family obligations, and be both successful at love and fulfilled professionally, while hoping that 'happiness' might occur if all the other things fall into place. She lives with Tom, a once-successful chef who now cooks at the local rehabilitation hospital. Just down the road in a much nicer house lives her ex-husband (and Tom's brother), Charlie. An emotionally stunted architect/surfer now married to Julia, he and Frankie still have a relationship through their daughter, Lou. Throughout the series, these principal characters are pulled and strained by desires and contradictions that appear to be part and parcel of modern life.

1 3 form y separately published work icon Walk The Talk Shirley Barrett , ( dir. Shirley Barrett ) Australia : DreamWorks SKG Pacific Film and Television Commission , 2000 Z1848517 2000 single work film/TV

'Set on the Gold Coast, WALK THE TALK follows the story of Joey Grasso, a highly motivated and powerfully self-deluded young talent agent on his quest to resurrect the career of a faded club singer.'

Source: Screen Australia.

2 6 form y separately published work icon Love Serenade Shirley Barrett , ( dir. Shirley Barrett ) Sydney : Jan Chapman Productions , 1996 Z932851 1996 single work film/TV

In Sunray, a backwater town on the Murray River, there's little to do but fish or listen to the radio. Two sisters, twenty-year-old Dimity (who works in a Chinese restaurant with few patrons) and perky older sister Vicki-Ann (a hairdresser) have little in their lives to give them an interest, until the local radio station's manager moves in next door. Newly arrived from Brisbane, Ken Sherry is in his mid-40s, self centred, and three-times divorced, but the sisters develop a fierce and competitive crush on him. First Dimity then Vicki-Ann spend the night with their neighbour, one concluding he's her boyfriend and the other considering him her fiancé. That's when Ken's troubles really begin.

1 4 form y separately published work icon Heartbreak High Ben Gannon , David Phillips , Sally Webb , Serge Lazareff , Greg Millin , Howard Griffiths , Peter A. Kinloch , Kevin Roberts , Tim Gooding , Chris Roache , Leon Saunders , Lisa Hoppe , Suzanne Hawley , Craig Wilkins , Kris Wyld , Margaret Kelly , Kristen Dunphy , Pieter Aquilia , Tony Morphett , Steve J. Spears , Michael Cove , Peter Neale , Elizabeth Coleman , Vicki Madden , Chris Phillips , Johanna Pigott , Keith Thompson , Susan MacGillicuddy , David Worthington , Helen Steel , Michael Miller , Charlie Strachan , James Lee , Joan Sauers , Kit Oldfield , Peter Schreck , Carol Williams , Phil McAloon , Vincent Gil , Marcia Gardner , Philip Dalkin , Alexa Wyatt , Alan Love , ( dir. Shirley Barrett et. al. )agent 1994 Australia : Gannon Television Network Ten Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 1994-1999 Z1741241 1994 series - publisher film/TV young adult

'Fast-paced series spin-off of the hit feature film. Filmed at an abandoned school in Sydney's Maroubra, this program was about an ethnically diverse group of students attending Hartley High School.'

Source: National Film and Sound Archive record.

1 3 form y separately published work icon Police Rescue ABC Television (publisher), Peter Schreck , Philip Cornford , Christopher Lee , Steve Wright , John Lonie , Debra Oswald , Keith Thompson , Andrew Prowse , Andrea Del Bosco , Michael Brindley , Elizabeth Coleman , Mary Morris , Chris Roache , Greg Millin , Rick Maier , Glenda Hambly , Deborah Parsons , Daniel Krige , Richard Mortlock , David O'Brien , ( dir. Michael Carson et. al. )agent 1989 Sydney Australia : Southern Star Xanadu ABC Television , 1989-1996 Z1703864 1989 series - publisher film/TV

An Australian television series which deals with the New South Wales Police Rescue Squad and its work attending to various incidents from road accidents to train crashes.

1 form y separately published work icon Cherith Shirley Barrett , ( dir. Shirley Barrett ) North Ryde : Australian Film Television and Radio School , 1987 Z1895310 1987 single work film/TV humour

Cherith, daughter of a Revivalist preacher, finds herself isolated, because she, unlike the other members of her father's sect, is unable to speak in tongues.

The film was script-writer and director Shirley Barrett's graduation film for the Australian Film, Radio and Television School.

1 form y separately published work icon Kaboodle Penny Robenstone , Jeff Peck , Hazel Edwards , Pat Edwards , John Taylor , Alan Love , Murray Oliver , Steve French , Morris Gleitzman , Peter Viska , Paul Cox , Sue Smith , Gary Davis , Jan Sardi , Peita Letchford , Julia Gardiner , Shirley Barrett , Cate Cahill , Mark Osborn , Jennifer Mellet , Maggie Geddes , Neil Robinson , Jill Morris , John Skibinski , Sue Rendall , Greg Millin , Richard Chataway , Michael Cusack , Ross Gathercole , Paul Williams , ABC Television (publisher), ( dir. Jan Sardi et. al. )agent 1987 Australia : Australian Children's Television Foundation ABC Television , Z1398900 1987 series - publisher film/TV children's fantasy science fiction humour adventure horror

An anthology series of children's stories, mixing live-action episodes with animation, clay animation, and puppetry. The stories, aimed specifically at the under 10s, are drawn from a variety of sources, including children's books, fairy tales, myths, and original ideas. Some of the episodes have involved, for example, Snow White as a punk bikie and the seven dwarves as a motorcycle gang; a pet stegosaurus; a boy with wheels instead of toes; and Trevor the glider-plane-catching cat.

According to Patricia Edgar,

Thirty separate self-contained dramas of differing lengths were to be packaged into half-hour episodes. The project was designed to showcase new, creative talent in the television industry. Competitions were run at the Australian Film and Television School and Swinburne Institute of Technology for the best concepts suitable for inclusion in the Kaboodle package, with prizes of $1000 awarded. The Foundation sought promising but inexperienced writers, would-be producers, directors and even accountants who wanted to earn their first credit to enable them to find a future in the industry.

Source: Patricia Edgar, Bloodbath: A Memoir of Australian Television, Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 2006, pp.175-76.

Kaboodle was produced in two series, the first of which included some live-action segements, but the second of which was entirely animated.

For a full list of episodes, see Film Details.

Episode listing for Kaboodle series two courtesy of the Australian Children's Television Foundation.