Today Tonight presenter Helen Kapalos appears in Caravan company’s refugee spoof

Today Tonight presenter Helen Kapalos has appeared in a brand funded short film about refugees being given free caravans.

muslim bath

In the short film, rather than Today Tonight, Kapalos works for Tomorrow Whenever.

Kapalos interviews "bob Green"

Kapalos interviews “Bob Green”

The film – called Caravans for Refugees – was financed by the owners of Australian caravan brand Elite Caravans. Elite caravans owner Adrian Cappola came up with the concept for the short film while Cappola and fellow Elite Caravans owner Peter Smith are executive producers on the project.

Seven’s Today Tonight has been accused of perpetuating stereotypes about asylum seekers on a number of occasions. In 2011, Today Tonight claimed that detained refugees lived “in four star luxury” in a “refugee resort”. One of the points of contention of Today Tonight’s claim was that it incorrectly stated asylum seekers and refugees received $400 a week from the government. The work features Kapalos reporting a story of how the government will pay $500 a week to subsidise putting a refugee caravan in people’s back yards.

(October 10 update: The makers of the film tell Mumbrella they were unaware of the Today Tonight piece at the time of writing the script.)

A tree-hugging politician in the video is portrayed as Senator Bob Green – a nod to former Greens leader Bob Brown.

The film was launched onto YouTube by its makers in the last few days. It was shot several months ago, after Kapalos had been dropped by Ten and before she began to present Today Tonight.

alcohol porkThe film also features a caravan customised “for our Muslim friends” with a sign saying “no pork or alcohol” and a combined yoga mat/ prayer mat with compass to point towards Mecca.

A refugee family is portrayed as being in need of a bath before jumping into a swimming pool.

Former SBS and Ten news presenter George Donikian also features in the film, which was written and directed by Jim Shomos.

At the time of Kapalos’ casting she said: “It’s a chance for me to do something outside my comfort zone… and therefore an opportunity to embrace. From the moment I saw the script… I knew there would be a great synergy with this project.”

kapalos thumbs up

Shomos wrote of the Elite Caravans’ involvement: “I’ve enjoyed creating videos for Elite because the two partners, Adrian and Peter are always willing to let us push the boundary way past the boring industry norms.

“As our friendship has evolved over the last two years, you can only admire their entrepreneurial spirit, courage and hard work. Not only did Adrian come up with the concept for my last short film “Caravans for Refugees”, Peter and Adrian also funded the production.”

Tim Burrowes


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.