MEDIA RELEASE: Screen Queensland launches new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander three-year screen vision


Screen Queensland has launched its first Screen Queensland (SQ) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19 set to deliver a range of funding initiatives benefiting Indigenous practitioners and enriching the Australian cultural landscape. 

The three-year plan will connect Queensland’s Indigenous screen practitioners to a global audience via mainstream media as well as innovative screen platforms.

Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts, Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Screen Queensland for partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen practitioners to develop a comprehensive strategy to guide future screen development.

‘The Queensland Government through Screen Queensland is committed to positioning the state as a national leader in telling the stories of Australia’s first peoples,’ the Premier said.

‘Queensland is already cultivating great success this year in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen sector, from the home-grown television production of Blue Water Empire now filming in Far North Queensland, to the focus on developing skilled Aboriginal and Torres Straight practitioners in all areas of production.’

Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira said the SQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19 would ensure Indigenous practitioners and their stories remained a key focus in funding decisions.

‘Screen Queensland invested more than $1.7 million in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent and stories in the 2015-16 financial year and around $1.2 million in 2014-15.  We will continue to unearth new talent to grow a stronger industry base,’ said Tracey Vieira.

‘Over the next three years, the Screen Queensland (SQ) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19 anticipates a sustained and growing number of early career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners are telling stories from Queensland with at least 10 per cent of SQ Production Investment in these projects. 

‘There is a commitment in which 50 per cent of all early career initiatives include projects and participants with at least one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in a key creative role.  And there are clear career and skills development pathways that will guide the development and production of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen stories for new platforms and new audiences.

‘We are so proud of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen community including Bunya Productions and the Lone Star Company’s Blue Water Empire – a history of the Torres Straits for the ABC currently filming and other productions including Carbon Media and NITV’s landmark footy show League Nation Live airing every week, and Goldstone by acclaimed writer-director Ivan Sen and following on from the successful Mystery Road both shot in Outback Queensland.

‘We are proud of the ongoing support we provide to early career talent to help them grow their skills and experience to make short films, one-off documentaries, and attachment opportunities on domestic and international productions, as well as our investment in mid to established talent to develop their projects and businesses.’

The Screen Queensland (SQ) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19 was launched in Cairns in Far North Queensland and coincides with the shooting of documentary series, Blue Water Empire.  Blue Water Empire, commissioned by the ABC, is produced by Bunya Productions and Lone Star Company headed by local producer / writer Aaron Fa’Aoso and Jimi Bani.  Steven McGregor will direct the series. 

‘We would like to thank the screen practitioners, community leaders and industry experts who contributed to the ideas and objectives of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19,’ said Ms Vieira.

‘We will continue to work in a collaborative and supportive environment with our Indigenous screen community in creating new opportunities and seeking innovative ways to tell their stories.

‘What an exiting time to plan for the future of storytelling for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community with new technology, new platforms and new audiences set to capture their voice and reflect who we are as Queenslanders on screen.’

The key objectives of the SQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19 are to:

> Discover new stories and new storytellers from Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

> Nurture talented creatives and crew to develop a sector comprised of committed professionals.

> Celebrate great work and outstanding talent that promotes the distinctive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice and is part of defining Queensland and the stories it has to share.

> Invest in talent, project development, production and businesses to ensure career momentum and industry growth.

To view the SQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19, please CLICK HERE.

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For all SQ media enquiries: +61 7 3248 0500 | media@screenqld.com.au