"I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell".
Captain of the Oasis
Darren is the kind of kid the world has written off. Abandoned by his mother at 8, bashed into intensive care by his foster carers at 10, he spiralled into drug addiction and has lived hard on the street for over a decade. But since he turned up on the doorstep of OASIS, a grimy red-brick youth refuge in inner-city Sydney, with nowhere else to go, one person has been there for him around the clock: Captain Paul Moulds.
Father figure, counsellor, saviour, and an orphan himself, Paul is nothing short of a legend amongst kids like Darren, who stumble into OASIS at breaking point. No story is too horrific, no circumstance too dire, no kid too damaged. During his chaotic 25 years of service he has helped hundreds of young people deal with unspeakable childhood traumas, chronic drug addictions, mental illnesses, and all of street-life's other dramas. Paul is present at the birth of new babies and there to conduct the funerals of those who self-destruct prematurely. On the wall of his cluttered office in which many kids have found temporary salvation hangs his life's mission statement: "I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell".
Today he stops a kid from burning OASIS down; visits a kid in a maximum security gaol; deals with Darren having a psychotic episode; and picks up young mum, Emma, and her new baby from hospital, and moves them into his family home until he can secure suitable accommodation. Tonight he is forced to kick a group of boys off the property, sets up Owen in his first ever independent apartment, and walks the streets with the Salvos outreach van intercepting a 15 year old girl who has naively arrived in Sydney's notorious red-light district, Kings Cross, in midwinter with nowhere to stay. Tireless and non judgmental, his life's passion is to salvage this wasted generation from the wreckage of their lives.
Often it is hard to comprehend what keeps Paul buoyant when positive change is so painstakingly incremental amongst his extended family. But he's prepared to stick with Haley for the long haul, even if she has failed to show up for five appointments to book into detox. "Every kid deserves a 13th chance," he shrugs with a smile.
Charting Paul's struggle to improve the fraught lives of the Oasis kids, this raw observational documentary filmed over two years, is a tribute to the power of one man's persistence in the face of seemingly unrelenting darkness. As time unfolds, some kids pull themselves out of misfortune and aspire to greater things, while others sink deeper into addiction and desperation. In the midst of all the chaos Paul battles unflinchingly on to save these lost children, and reflects on his own past along the way.