Commonwealth Bank media release


CommBank has partnered with film director Gillian Armstrong to provide a rare glimpse into the extraordinary lives that make up modern Australia

In the lead up to Australia Day, CommBank has partnered with internationally acclaimed Australian film director Gillian Armstrong and will today unveil one of her most challenging projects to date, Australia’s biggest crowdsourced film – The Inspiring Story of Us.

The ambitious film, commissioned by CommBank and directed by Armstrong, is made up of raw, amateur footage to create an intimate portrait of modern day Australia. It features those who have been recognised as an Australian of the Day or an Australian of the Year. More than 240 inspiring Aussies have been celebrated by CommBank as Australians of the Day over the past eight months.

National Australia Day Council Chairman Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, said: “CommBank has supported the Australian of the Year Awards for more than 35 years and this year extended its support to recognise everyday Aussies with the Australian of the Day initiative.

“The Australian of the Day is a great initiative that complements the work of the Australian of the Year Awards in recognising the achievements and contribution so many Australians make to this great nation. It’s exciting to see this project culminating in a stunning film by one of our most talented film directors,” said Roberts-Smith.

Gillian Armstrong, Director, said: “People were encouraged to submit footage from their mobile phones, digital cameras, Skype, Go-Pros – whatever they could find! We received hours and hours of footage and I was heartbroken I couldn’t include it all, but then we’d have a 40-hour film on our hands! The intimacy and honesty we have captured by piecing together these very personal stories has allowed us to create what I hope will be an unforgettable tapestry of the nation through film.

“You may pass someone on the street every day and have no idea of the life they lead, what they’ve been through and what they have achieved. As a filmmaker, that fascinates me. This film will introduce you to people whom you may never have heard of. They may never win a major award or be shown on the news, but they are living extraordinary lives and making a contribution in their own way.

“Directing this film has been one of the most exciting challenges of my career, it has opened my eyes to the incredible breadth of everyday Australians that make up this extraordinary nation.”

From Redfern to Mirrabooka and Tennant Creek to Bakery Hill, the film features an eclectic range of characters and stories from across the nation. Over 55 hours of footage was submitted, which took Gillian Armstrong three months to process into a 23-minute documentary. 

The Inspiring Story of Us premieres today at


Notes to editors:

  • CommBank has been supporting the Australian of the Year Awards for more than 35 years, recognising the outstanding Australians making a significant contribution to the country.
  • The Australian of the Day initiative saw eight young photographers – one from each state and territory - travel the country to capture the everyday people making Australia extraordinary. Over the past eight months, 240 Aussies were recognised and celebrated each day on the Australian of the Day website.

About Gillian Armstrong

  • Gillian Armstrong first garnered attention for her debut feature, My Brilliant Career (1979). At the film’s release, Gillian held the distinction of being the first woman to direct a feature-length movie in Australia in almost 50 years.
  • Gillian’s most recent feature documentary on Orry-Kelly, Women He’s Undressed, has been recently nominated for a 2015 AACTA Award, a 2015 AWGIE and screened at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Gillian’s films and documentaries have screened at numerous international film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Singapore, and Sundance. Gillian’s feature films and documentaries include Star Struck, Mrs Soffel, High Tide, The Last Days Of Chez Nous, Little Women, Oscar And Lucinda, Charlotte Gray, Unfolding Florence, Death Defying Acts and Love Lust And Lies.
  • Gillian’s films have been nominated for Academy and Golden Globe Awards and received awards from the Australian Film Institute, the Film Critics Circle of Australia, the Houston Film Festival, Festival International de Creteil the US National Society of Film Critics, the British Critics Association and the British Academy.
  • Gillian was the first President of the Australian Director’s Guild, has received an AM for services to the Australian Film Industry, a Doctor of Letters from the University of NSW and the University of Sydney, and an Honorary Doctorate in Film from Swinburne University. In 2007 Gillian was awarded an ADG Outstanding Achievement Award and in 2008 the Women in Hollywood Icon Award in recognition of her contribution to the film industry.


For further information, images, or interview requests, please contact:

Annabelle Cottee
Commonwealth Bank Media
02 9118 6919