The Great Women of Australian History Get Their Due in Sheilas

July 26, 2018
Nancy Wake could beat up your dad today, and she's been dead since 2011.

It’s not so much Horrible Histories as Awesome, Ballsy Feminist History. Sheilas, a new four part comedy web series from sibling creators Hannah and Eliza Reilly (Growing Up Gracefully), aims to put the spotlight on the ass-kicking women of Australia’s past.

As the official release says, “It has been said that ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’. Well not really, it’s just that the handful of white boys who wrote the history books conveniently left most of them out. Cleverly combining re-enactments, comedy and history, Sheilas is on a mission to revive the forgotten stories of the
badass women of Australian history.”

To that end, each ep will focus on one incredible woman and the stultifying amount of balls she broke and ass she whupped, including:

Nancy Wake (Cecilia Morrow), also known as The White Mouse, a North Sydney private school girl turned WWII spy, who trotted off to Nazi-occupied France to slaughter the fash with the resistance, winding up with a five million franc bounty on her head.

Fanny Durack (Nikki Britton), the fastest female swimmer in 1910s Australia, who fought against prejudice to become the counry’s first female Olympian – and smashed a record doing it.

Merle Thornton (Brenna Harding) who, in 1965, chained herself to a public bar in Brisbane to protest laws prohibiting women from drinking in pubs, a pivotal and none-more-Aussie moment in the history of women’s rights.

Mary Ann Bugg (Megan Lilly Wilding) an Indigenous, bushranging single mum who rode with Captain Thunderbolt in the 1860s.

“We’re beyond excited to unleash Sheilas onto the internet,” the Reillys said. “And are thrilled with the thought that people might be introduced to badass characters like Nancy Wake or Mary Ann Bugg on their morning commute.”

Us too. Produced by Giant Dwarf and funded via Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories initiative, Sheilas launches on August 21 on YouTube and the series’ official site.

Leave a Comment