Made during the Melbourne COVID-19 Lockdown 2020

A documentary about the Melbourne Public Housing Tower Lockdown by the Public Housing Media Collective

Melbourne’s Public Housing Towers are home to a culturally diverse and vibrant community.

At the end of May 2020 a new strain of the COVID-19 virus, imported by international travellers, escaped from a mismanaged hotel quarantine program. It spread out in June and Melbourne became Australia’s COVID epicentre.

A virus cluster appeared to be centered around the Public Housing Towers, and the Victorian Government launched a surprise, indiscriminate and insensitive lockdown of nine, inner-city Public Housing towers by police – no one in, no one out, and no plan.

On 17 December 2020, a report by the Victorian Ombudsman, Ms Deborah Glass, concluded: “The rushed lockdown was not compatible with the residents’ human rights, including their right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty. In a just society, human rights are not a convention to be ignored during a crisis.”

Ms Glass recommended the Victorian Government apologise to tower residents.

Directed & Produced by the Public Housing Media Collective:

Bernard Peasley
Kimberly Summer
Shae Cartledge-Giovinazzo
Dexter Davison-Ling
Mahir Muhammed
Apsara Sabaratnam
Jack Verdins
Carly Fern

Special thanks to:

Tamar Hopkins
Adam Bandt
Jasmin Ali
Ellen Sandell
Entisar Hamid
Mariam Koslay
Tigist Kebede
Tabita Bastos


Stand Together Against Racism (STAR)