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Helping Children in War-Torn Countries

Video clip synopsis – Moira Kelly begs for funds from international charities to bring children from war-torn Albania to Australia for medical treatment. One of the children almost dies, but the results are worth the risks.
Year of production - 2001
Duration - 2min 25sec
Tags - charity work, civics and citizenship, communities, volunteers, war, see all tags


Helping Children in War-Torn Countries

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About the Video Clip


Helping Children in War-Torn Countries is an excerpt from the film A Compassionate Rage (55 mins), produced in 2001.

A Compassionate Rage: Moira Kelly has run an AIDS clinic for children in Romania, been house mother at an Aboriginal mission, worked in India with Mother Teresa, nursed crack babies in the Bronx and set up schools for kids in Bosnia. She brings those in need of surgery from war zones to hospitals in the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Now, after three years dedicated to ill, injured and impoverished children in Albania, she’s creating a haven for young people on a farm outside Melbourne. She has been called an angel of mercy and a pain in the neck. One thing’s for certain – she won’t let anything stand in her way.

A Compassionate Rage is a Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Vue Pty Ltd. Developed with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission and Cinemedia’s Film Victoria. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Curriculum Focus


This digital resource can be used to achieve the following outcomes:
P.1 A student demonstrates understanding of the relationships between composer, responder, text and context.
P.3 A student develops language relevant to the study of English.
P.5 A student describes the ways different technologies and media of production affect the language and structure of particular texts.
P.7 A student selects appropriate language forms and features, and structures of texts to explore and express ideas and values.
P.8 A student articulates and represents own ideas in critical, interpretive and imaginative texts.
P.10 A student analyses and synthesises information and ideas from a range of texts for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts.

This material is an extract. Teachers and students should consult the Board of Studies website for more information.

Background Information


Moira Kelly has devoted her life to the service of others. When she was eight years old she saw a documentary at school about the late Mother Theresa’s work in the slums of Calcutta. When she arrived home she told her mother that one day she would work with Mother Theresa. Many years later she did work with the nun and that is when she developed her own personal philosophy: 'Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved’.
As well as working in India, she has worked for aid agencies in Bosnia and Romania, but now she works on her own, bringing sick and injured children from war-torn countries to Australia for operations that can save lives or provide a better quality of life for severely affected children. Surgeons donate their services and the children recuperate on a farm near Kilmore in Victoria that was donated by Rotary.
Ms Kelly says that she is happy to sacrifice marriage and the chance to have her own children to help those of other people.
In 1999 she established the Children First Foundation of which she is the Executive Director.

Classroom Activities

  1. Discuss in small groups and write answers to the following questions.
    1. Who do you think is the intended audience for the video clip?
    2. What is the purpose of the video clip?
    3. What is the message(s)?
    4. Write a 100-word summary of the video clip and include your answers from Q1 a,b and c.
    1. As a class discuss and write your definitions of the terms ‘role-model’ and ‘hero’. Which is Moira Kelly? Give reasons for your answer.
    2. Discuss and list points and examples of how the filmmaker uses the cinematic techniques of music, dialogue and images to convey their message(s).
    3. Write a 500-word analysis of the video clip and include your points and examples from Q2a. Discuss how these points portray Moira Kelly and convey the message(s) of the video clip.
  2. Imagine you are interviewing Moira Kelly in order to write a media article on the theme, ‘People who inspire us’.
    1. List ten questions you would ask Moira Kelly.
    2. Research and find answers to these questions.
    3. Write a 600-word article for a newspaper or magazine using your research.
      Include: your feelings on whether she is a ‘hero’ or ‘role-model’ and lots of facts. Start with a quote or description of Moira Kelly in action and finish with a comment about society in general.

Literacy Activity: Focus= Viewing / Listening

  1. Where has Moira Kelly worked around the world? (1 mark)
  2. Why do you think the clip begins with black and white still shots flashed onto the screen? (1 mark)
  3. What does Moira do in the Balkans? (1 mark)
  4. What makes her continue to do her difficult job? (1 mark)
  5. What do these expressions mean:
    1. “in the firing line”
    2. “kids in strife” (1 mark)

Extension – Research and report on:

  1. The work of Mother Theresa
  2. Aid agencies around the world (5 marks)

Further Resources


Go to Children First Foundation