Dr. Pamela Ryan and the Issues Deliberation Australia/America and Psychology Beyond Borders teams were committed to spreading information and wider learning from these public policy initiatives via simultaneous grassroots “up” and public policy decision makers “down” approaches. An integral part of their work was to disseminate project findings through multiple media forums and genres. To this end, Dr. Ryan managed film-making teams to produce three documentaries on some of the public policy worked described above: Beyond Fear, Without Prejudice, and Beyond Beliefs. These documentaries have been screen on national public television, in schools and universities (with accompanying study guides), at various other public and private educational events, and at international conferences and film festivals around the world. Screenings and discussion of public policy recommendations have also taken place for Members of Parliament and Congress and their advisors in the USA, Canada, and Australia.

“She has a way of making the most difficult things happen…And yet, when it’s happening, I wonder why I ever doubted that it would. I call that the Pam Ryan paradox.”

Susanne Cole, Senior Judge, Environment Resources and Development Court, Australia



Beyond Beliefs: Muslims & Non-Muslims in Australia

Beyond Beliefs (Sophie Hyde and Bryan Mason, 2008) follows the journeys of four of 330 people representing Australians from many walks of life who came together for three days in Australia’s capital city, Canberra, to discuss Muslim and non-Muslim relations. The documentary provides a fascinating study of how attitudes and values are formed, expressed, tested and modified or confirmed. Discussions ranged from what it means to be Australian, what it means to be a Muslim Australian, attitudes to Muslim immigration, whether Muslims represent a threat to national security, why the hearing of the hijab by Muslim women is regarded with such hostility by some people, and the role of government in managing racial, religious, and cultural relations.

Beyond Beliefs was awarded a Silver Screen Award in the overall judging and the 2009 IQ One World Award at the US International Film and Video Festival. Click here for more information or view the trailer below.

Beyond Fear: Finding Hope in the Horror

This documentary explores the psychological impact of terror and traumatic events through the eyes of those who have endured and the eyes of those whose job it is to help them manage their everyday fear and terror. Beyond Fear documents the voices of survivors from London, Bali, New York, Israel, and Palestine as they try to describe their fear, shock and horror, as well as the voices of trauma specialists who help those who have suffered. The film provides the visual stories behind research findings about best practice strategies to prepare governments, educational institutions, politicians and those whose job it is to treat the psychological effects of everyday fear and terror for the future.. Click here for more information or view the trailer below.

Without Prejudice: A story about Australians confronting Reconciliation

Without Prejudice is a film about the meaning of reconciliation and the way indigenous and non-indigenous Australians think when given balanced information and the change to meet to discuss the issues. The documentary follows the process of an unprecedented series of deliberations on Aboriginal reconciliation in Australia — Australia Deliberates: Reconciliation; Where from Here? A Deliberative Poll conducted by Issues Deliberation Australia, led by Dr. Pamela Ryan. These national deliberations brought randomly selected Australians to Australia’s capital city, Canberra, for balanced consideration of this ongoing significant and complex issue facing Australia. The film crew traveled with the Issues Deliberation Australia research team to remote outback towns like Menindee, Alice Springs, and Fitzroy Crossing, as well as major cities to track the deliberative and research process. In an emotionally charged atmosphere, the film shows how their attitudes changed over two days, giving hope for an answer to one of Australia’s most important and perplexing problems.