Backtrack Boys

Wild boys and the dogs that tame them.









Catherine Scott



BackTrack Boys features the rough talking, free-wheeling jackaroo, Bernie Shakeshaft, and the youth program he runs from a shed on the outskirts of Armidale, NSW.

When everyone else gives up on troubled kids like Zac, Tyrson and Rusty, they head to Back Track. It’s a place where they can feel safe, continue their education, but most importantly it’s where they learn to support each other and pursue their dreams.

This observational documentary follows Zac, Tyrson and Rusty as they hit the road with Bernie’s legendary dog jumping team and travel to rural shows across NSW. The dog shows started out as a way to teach kids self-discipline, calm their emotions, build trust, and boost their communication skills, but now they have become the world record holders.

In the last ten years over 1000 kids have walked through the BackTrack doors and in that same time the local crime rate has dropped by more than 50%. It’s an alternative to detention and succeeds where others have failed.

On the road the boys camp out around the fire and sleep under the stars but the trauma from the past is never too far away. The boys must constantly step up and push themselves and some days can be hard.

Filmed over 2 years, this inspiring story reveals the challenges these young people face as they try to find their place in the world – all with the help of Bernie and his trusted dogs in tow.



Bernie Shakeshaft, Merlin, Sport, Robin, Arco, Gibson, Striker, Girl, Lou, Flash, Bindi, Roxy,


Producer, Director, Writer Cinematographer - Catherine Scott, Editor - Andrea Lang, Composers - Kristin Rule & Jonathan Zwartz

fan quotes:

"It’s really special. Go and see it. Write stories about it. Tell your friends. This fella Bernie, he’s a good fella, a bit of a genius really. What a great story."
- Russel Crowe

“The wisdom and poetry of these young blokes trying to break through well worn defences and attacks is both heart breaking and heart warming, a wild and rewarding ride that puts it all in perspective.”
- Tom Harkin – Man Up

“I sincerely urge everybody to see this movie and maybe take some tissues with you as it absolutely a brilliant piece of honest movie making. Never have I given a movie a 5-star rating before. Definitely 5 tear jerking stars.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Joe Turtur – All About Entertainment

current screenings