Behind the scenes with Aaron Fa’aoso

The Kasa Por Yarn family has lots of secrets: Peter the dad (Charles Passi), and his kids - Gretel (Mary Mills), Elise (Rhian Phineasa) and Billy (Aaron Fa'aoso).

Bamaga son Aaron Fa’aoso plays a footballer with a secret in Kasa Por Yarn. Aaron is a former sexual health worker and a Logie-nominated actor who got his first break in the ABC TV series RAN (Remote Area Nurse). Aaron worked as the creative and cultural consultant on Kasa Por Yarn and plays the role of Billy.

Tell us about your character Billy.
Billy is a football player. He is a very outgoing, ‘life of the party’ type guy. He was pursuing a career in football and he was also in a relationship with Cindy. Billy got caught up with the southern lifestyle and lost focus and forgot the reason he was in Townsville. His relationship with his family deteriorated but before that he had a good relationship with them.

Billy (Aaron Fa'aoso) and his ex-girlfriend Cindy (Maudesta Bowie). Billy left Cindy to pursue a career in football.

Billy’s whole family are dealing with the death of his mother and that’s one of the reasons Billy left the island. He also left to pursue a career in NRL. While Billy was in Townsville, something dramatic happened to him that changed his life forever. Now he is faced with the ordeal of telling his family what happened. As the show progresses, it’ll eventually make sense why he is disconnected from his family and became a recluse.
You were reunited with Charles Passi and Jimi Bani who you worked with on RAN. What was that like?
It was great to work with them again. It was a close bond and connection we formed on the RAN project and it was a very special experience. It was great to reconnect on a professional level and work together to tell the story and convey the messages.

Billy (Aaron Fa'aoso) with his mate Harry (Jimi Bani). Harry notices Billy has changed since coming back to the island.

The production wouldn’t have been what it was without them and they brought a level of experience that we needed for the success of the production. They brought the right energy and temperament to the project. Charles is great to work with and Jimi has come along in leaps and bounds and I believe he’s one to look out for.
I know I’ll continue to work with them in the future and work with more stories in the Torres.
You have a background in film, TV and in health. Do you think this mix works?
Most definitely. Pamphlets and brochures have their place but it’s more appropriate to use creative media to target the intended audience – especially the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences. We’re an oral culture and Kasa Por Yarn is about telling stories about the messages, so it is highly effective. This project was able to engage the community from an inside-out approach.
A multi-platform approach is needed when promoting the health, social and lifestyle issues that are affecting Indigenous communities – radio, music, web, mobile phones, and much more. This kind of project is one of the most effective ways to engage the community at the grass roots level.
What other projects are you involved in?
I’m working on various projects which are ‘in development’ but there’s one that should come to fruition in the near future which will be an opportunity for Torres Strait Islanders to participate.
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One Response to “Behind the scenes with Aaron Fa’aoso”

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