Australian producer, playwright, filmmaker, environmentalist and academic.
Paul originally trained as a geologist in Sydney. From 1980 he worked in community development contexts, through cultural activities, research, creative writing (theatre and film) and campaigns on environmental controversies. His experience as a producer includes a three-year program of oral history, script development and production for the Half a Life project made with British and Australian veterans of nuclear testing. He has produced documentary films (Sixty Thousand Barrels, Murphy was an Optimist), and recently a documentary theatre project Crowded World in collaboration with Katyayani, a Delhi based theatre company. In 2000-02, Paul was a member of the Adelaide Festival artist advisory committee, and in that role was jointly instrumental in establishing a suite of projects for the Oak Valley community on Maralinga Tjarutja lands in SA. Paul was co-founder, producer and a playwright for Urban Theatre Projects (previously Death Defying Theatre), one of Australia’s foremost community theatre companies; established in 1981. He also has Arts administration experience and has held Ministerial appointments to several government committees. As a theatre writer, Paul is the author of Aftershocks an award winning verbatim play about the Newcastle earthquake, produced by many of Australia’s leading theatre companies, and studied by senior high school students. Paul’s theatre projects, as writer and co-producer, also include large-scale community works – Days of Empire and Sly Grog for Theatreworks, also Murray River Story for the Murray River Performing Group (now Hothouse). He is the author of several plays about scientific and technological controversies. These include his involvement in the international Landmines theatre program, his science play Room 207 Nikola Tesla about the inventor of alternating electrical current. In Film and Television, Paul authored the film version of Aftershocks, as well as television dramas and documentaries. These include Blindside Breakaway in the acclaimed ABC series Naked: Stories of Men, and the awarded documentary Sixty Thousand Barrels concerning toxic waste and resident activism in Sydney’s Botany Bay community. In academic circles, Paul writes papers and books about environmental and social issues, and he was foundational Head of the School of Humanities at UNSW. For the last twenty years Paul has been involved in community engagement projects in the context of NGO and community campaigns, in Australia and in South Asia. Paul was an Asialink Writing Resident in India during 2013, and he is currently Creative Producer for Nuclear Futures.