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I’m no stranger to having work banned. If you want to protect kids, this is not the way to do it | Maya Newell


Library book bans come from a rightwing playbook designed to continue a culture war that chips away at fundamental human rights protections

I’m no stranger to the experience of having your work banned. Many would remember when my first film Gayby Baby was banned from schools in NSW by the then New South Wales education minister Adrian Piccoli. As is often the case this created the “Barbra Streisand effect” and provided a great spotlight for the launch of our film.

So I met this week’s headlines about Western Sydney Cumberland city council’s decision to ban books with same-sex/queer families in its eight libraries with some familiarity, frustration and also a little bit of gratitude. Just as our families were fading away in the monotony of the mainstream, the council’s ban has made us radical again.

Maya Newell has made award-winning short documentaries and is the director of Growing Up Gayby (2013) and Gayby Baby (2015), In My Blood It Runs (2019), The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (2022)

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