In 1945, at the age of seven, a young Joe Eggmolesse was diagnosed with leprosy. He was immediately removed from his family and home, and transported under police escort over a thousand kilometres to be confined on an island for the treatment of the disease. For the next ten years, a leprosarium for Aboriginal people became his home. An isolated tropical island off the north east coast of Australia became home to a close knit community of indigenous ‘lepers’ who made the most of their existence as people living on the fringes of the marginalised. Now, as a 73 year-old, Joe reflects on his indelible Fantome years. His incredible, poignant story offers a profound insight into one of Australia’s hidden histories.
Sean Gilligan is a Brisbane-based filmmaker whose work spans documentaries, music videos, television commercials and short films. He has directed and produced over 40 music videos. He was also a co-founder of Squareyed Films.