In the 60s four young aboriginal girls were plucked from the obscurity of the Cummeragunja mission to become the Sapphires.
Forty years later, a film is telling their story.
Laurel Robinson, Beverley Briggs and Naomi Mayers are self deprecating and a little shy in the spotlight of renewed fame.
“Yesterday one of the young ones pulled me up in the street and asked for my autograph. That is the first time that has every happened around here," Naomi said.In the film, the ladies are young girls, played by Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy and Miranda Tapsell.
Chris O'Dowd is brilliant as the hapless but loving manager who strives to release the Sapphires' inner soul.
It's bumpy beginnings until the girls secure an audition to play for troops in Vietnam.
The girls are thrilled with the film's interpretation of their lives and so is the rest of the world.More stories from Today Tonight
The Sapphires' cast received rave reviews in Cannes and already, the movie is breaking box office records in Australia.
Some of the biggest producers in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein and Simon Cowell, want to make Jessica Mauboy a super star.
Goal Post productions and Hopscotch films have indicated there may be some kind of payment in lieu of the film's success.
But for now, the real Sapphires have their feet firmly rooted in the real world and it's s a long way from the glitz and glamour of movie-making and international film festivals.
With Naomi at the helm, the girls have spent the last 40 years dedicated to running Redfern's aboriginal medical clinic in Sydney.
No job is too big or too small and the film's success has put a spring in everyone's step.
“They love it. Patients love it. All the community is talking about it. It is really good, and it makes you feel proud, and them feel proud about us, and it is good we are at the Aboriginal medical centre because it makes 'em feel proud about it," Naomi said.
From an aboriginal mission in Victoria to the cabaret clubs of Melbourne and then singing to troops at war, it's no wonder the story of the girls from the Cummeragunja mission has made it to the silver screen.
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