The Impact of the Little Lunch Cast Webinars
Little did we know when we ran the Little Lunch Cast Q&A webinars for primary school students back in late March the amazing impact they would have on the cast, the students and the schools involved.
Over 30 primary schools and 500 students from around Australia participated in the two live Little Lunch Q&A webinars the ACTF held on March 23 this year. The webinars were beamed out from the ACTF office in Melbourne via a Zoom video-conferencing link that allowed schools in every state and territory to question the cast members in real-time.
One webinar was held for Western Australian schools only due to the summer 3-hour time difference and the other was for schools from the rest of the country. The WA webinar included a number of School Of The Air students from remote cattle stations throughout WA.
Check out the Australia-wide and Western Australia Little Lunch Cast Q&A Webinar videos on the ACTF YouTube Channel (OzKidsTV).
In the preceding weeks the schools had submitted their questions for the cast to the ACTF. We were inundated with questions about the show, favourite episodes or scenes, life as an actor and behind the scenes aspects. We trimmed them down to about 20 questions for each webinar.
The Little Lunch cast were represented by Heidi Arena (Mrs Gonsha), Faith Seci (Debra-Jo), Olivia Deeble (Tamara) and Flynn Curry (Rory). What stunned the cast when we went live with the first webinar was the sheer enthusiasm and excitement that confronted them as they saw packed classrooms of students reacting with unbridled joy at seeing their much-loved Little Lunch characters being beamed direct into their classroom and waving back at them.
Whilst the cast had some idea how popular Little Lunch was the sea of excited faces in front of them made it crystal clear just how loved their show had become amongst primary aged children around Australia. The cast asked the questioner from each school to walk to the microphone and ask their question. Teachers recounted afterwards the sense of connection their students felt as the cast respectfully answered questions from students as young as 7 and as old as 12.
Not only were the webinars beamed out live but they were also recorded by the ACTF and post-produced to ensure that relevant Little Lunch footage was over-laid where relevant. Since the webinar videos went onto the ACTF YouTube Channel in May there have already been over 35,000 views. Interestingly, many of the YouTube comments posted by fans of the show have come from the UK and USA where it has been viewed on Netflix.
Anecdotally we know that teachers are showing the webinar videos to their students for an insight into Little Lunch. We also know families and kids are watching simply because it’s their favourite show and they love to hear about behind the scenes and the way the show has changed the lives of the actors involved.
What started as an attempt to connect the Little Lunch cast to a number of schools in Australia has grown to illustrate the global appeal of this award-winning show that is capturing the hearts of young and old around the world.