AFL star Dustin Martin is set be in a new documentary about his fiercely-guarded private life — with his Kiwi father, ex-The Rebels MC member Shane Martin, featured heavily in the film.
This week it was announced that the fly-on-the-wall documentary, titled Gold Dust, will show four years of footage surrounding the 29-year-old Richmond star’s private life.
His father, an ex-Rebels bikie boss and who has been deported to New Zealand and refused re-entry to Australia, will also feature heavily in the film.
Dustin Martin and his manager Ralph Carr are working with director Richard Lowenstein’s Ghost Pictures and producer Mark Fennessy.
“It will be a fascinating story; the treatment reads beautifully,” Lowenstein told Inside Film Magazine.
Carr told the Herald Sun that the documentary has been years in the making, but had to be done by the right people.
“Obviously we have marketed Dustin differently, because he is a different kind of individual,” Carr said.
“So it was important it had to be done properly. I’m a huge fan of the Amy Winehouse documentary. It had to be someone who understood my and Dusty’s vision.”
Screen Australia has provided development funding.
In April 2016, Shane Martin was deported to New Zealand under Australia’s Immigration Act on the grounds of bad character, as the country launched a fresh crackdown on bikie clubs.
Martin, 52, was a top-ranking member of Australia’s Rebels motorcycle club and had lived in New South Wales since he was 20, after moving from Huntly in 1989.
Since he returned to New Zealand, he has been based in Mount Maunganui and Auckland.
In February, he quietly tried to slip back into Australia with a lawyer in tow — reportedly claiming he has a grandmother in Tasmania with indigenous heritage, Daily Mail Australia reports.
This should have allowed his re-entry into the country as last week the Australian government passed a law which forbids any Aboriginal person from being deported.
However, Shane Martin was turned away at the border by Border Force officials and sent back to New Zealand on the first Qantas flight back home.
At no stage has he provided any evidence of his indigenous heritage, officials said.
In a previous interview in 2019, Shane Martin told the Herald on Sunday that his initial years of depression in New Zealand have cleared somewhat, but he still desperately misses his three grown sons and two young step-daughters living in Australia.
“I was depressed and angry for a while and took it out on my wife a bit. It wasn’t her fault but she stood strong. Now we’re living together. We’d just got married, two weeks after that I got deported, separated for nearly three years.”
Shane Martin said he is even thinking of settling in New Zealand, and has come to “love” the country of his birth, but still yearns for the ability to return to Australia to see his kids and watch Dustin play footy.
“I thought oh I’ve gone backwards, because it’s so slow. I’ve since then had to eat my words about New Zealand,” he said.
“It’s the most amazing country in the world – beautiful, untouched, and the people are so hearty and kind. You don’t notice it until you’ve been elsewhere.
“My wife loves it, and my kids love coming here. But I still want the freedom to come back to Australia.”
Shane Martin had his visa cancelled under section 501 of the Australian Immigration Act, which states people can be deported if they have a “substantial” criminal record.
His rap sheet stretches back in 1990, and includes a charge in 2004 of aiding and abetting in ecstasy trafficking and drug possession.
But he claims, in Rebel In Exile, that police sent a couple of undercover officers to the club he was working at as a bouncer – before he was a member of the club – “to try to trick me into selling them some pills”.
He pointed toward the dance floor and the police found a man who sold them some pills.
They then raided his house and found two ecstasy tablets in a bag inside a jacket pocket which he’d picked up off a club floor.
Shane Martin said he no longer is part of the Rebels and doesn’t talk to his old friends affiliated to the group in Australia.