Storyville: The Cult That Stole Children - Inside the Family


This startling documentary investigates the inner workings of the Family, an infamous Melbourne cult that was active in the 1960s and 70s. With a woman called Anne Hamilton-Byrne, who believed herself to be Jesus incarnate, at its helm, the sect facilitated the illegal adoption of numerous children, whom Hamilton-Byrne and her husband Bill would raise as their own. They were beaten, starved, even injected with LSD, and isolated completely from the rest of the world.

The children were rescued in a raid in the 80s, but a number of them here tell their astonishing, heartbreaking stories about life within the Family, the difficult adjustment to the rest of the world, and the indelible trauma they have endured since.


Documentary about Anne Hamilton-Byrne, a beautiful, charismatic and delusional woman who created an apocalyptic Australian sect dubbed The Family. With her husband Bill, she acquired numerous children - some through adoption scams, some born to cult members - and raised them as her own.

Cast & Crew

Director Rosie Jones
Producer Rosie Jones
Producer Anna Grieve