Top row, left to right: Katrina Irawati Graham, Stephanie Dower, Anupam Sharma, Liz Ballantyne.
Bottom row, left to right: Ken Crouch, Susan Moylan-Coombs, Shirley Pierce, Richard Jameson.
Screen Queensland today announced the inaugural members of its Equity and Diversity Taskforce to develop a comprehensive, three-year diversity plan to increase representation across film, series and games in the state.
Nominations were invited in June this year from individuals based across Australia, within and outside the screen industry, from under-represented backgrounds and with demonstrated experience in diversity action.
The Diversity Plan to be devised from early 2022 will outline key objectives, actions, responsibilities, timeframes, outcomes and measurements, towards actively developing a more inclusive screen industry in Queensland.
The Taskforce will also review the accessibility and inclusivity of funding guidelines and recommend other training and workshops to ensure that the experiences of specific groups are represented in Screen Queensland policies, initiatives and programs.
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said establishing the Taskforce demonstrates Screen Queensland’s ongoing commitment to positive change to increase the representation of diverse voices and perspectives, both in the stories told for screen and behind-the-camera in practitioner roles.
“Creating this Taskforce is about more than growing the diverse screen space in our state – it is about ensuring diversity is an inseparable component of a strong and sustainable local sector,” said Ms Munnich.
“Representation and gender parity on screen and behind-the-scenes are headlining hot topics in our industry worldwide, and savvy and increasingly globalised audiences demand more diverse, empowering content from producers.
“Through the expert advice of this new Taskforce, Screen Queensland is taking the lead in driving affirmative action to deliver measurable short and long-term goals to keep our state moving forward as a hub of filmmaking excellence, where authenticity and equality are ingrained in our practices and productions,” she said.
Ms Munnich said that the selected Taskforce members collectively represent First Nations peoples, female, culturally and linguistically diverse, LGBTQIA+, persons living with disability, regional-based and under-represented age groups.
“The Screen Queensland team is excited to welcome the Taskforce and start benefitting from their industry expertise and unique perspectives, that will shape exciting things to come.”
INTRODUCING THE SCREEN QUEENSLAND EQUITY AND DIVERSITY TASKFORCE
- CHAIR: Susan Moylan-Coombs
Susan Moylan-Coombs is a Woolwonga Gurindji woman from the Northern Territory. She previously held the positions of Producer, Director and Executive Producer in ABC’s Indigenous Programs Unit, and Head of Production, NITV. Susan has extensive experience working with First Nations communities nationally, with specific expertise in community consultation, empowerment and the facilitation of voice and storytelling. Susan also uses her expertise to work with mainstream organisations and communities in the provision of cultural competency and immersion sessions and is a founding board member of the PTSD Australia New Zealand organisation. Susan is a founding board member of the PTSD Australia New Zealand organisation, member of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust First Nations Advisory and Taronga Zoo’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee.
- Liz Ballantyne
Art Director at Gameloft and Women in Games Ambassador, Liz Ballantyne is a leader who strongly believes games are for everyone, and diverse teams make better games. Liz has been making games for over 16 years and is a mentor, empowering women to reach their goals across the game space. In 2019 Liz was listed in the Gender Equality in Games Awards – celebrating the achievements of 50 industry members from under-represented genders, who have made games a better place to work.
- Ken Crouch
Ken Crouch is the Chief Executive Officer of Screenworks – Australia’s premier regional screen industry and talent development organisation, delivering programs, initiatives and workshops in regional areas across every state and territory of Australia. Some of Ken’s greatest achievements at Screenworks include the creation of the Regional Screen in LA program – a two-month international internship providing unparalleled access to Hollywood for an undergraduate or recent graduate from regional Australia – and the Career Pathways Programs that provide tailored professional development opportunities for regional practitioners in the screen industry. Ken also brings experience working on the boards of LGBTQIA+ organisations such as Queer Screen.
- Stephanie Dower
Stephanie Dower is an up-and-coming screen producer, writer, and editor with a strong passion for reframing how people with disabilities are portrayed in popular media and art. Through her production company, Dower Productions, Stephanie is developing a slate of engaging and innovative content. Notable projects include short animation ﬁlm Dear Daughter, documentary travel series Carry On, which was selected for the Pitch FACTory at AIDC 2019, and Seeing Scout, a feature romance/drama that was selected for the inaugural Attagirl Film Development Lab. Stephanie also regularly appears as a speaker on festival panels, including at Screen Forever 2021 and actively works as a consultant around accessibility and inclusion. Stephanie was a Producer and Editor of the short film Sunshine, supported via the Screen Queensland RIDE Shorts initiative, which premiered at the 2021 Brisbane International Film Festival.
- Katrina Irawati Graham
A screenwriter, director and playwright, Katrina Irawati Graham was instrumental in bringing together women filmmakers across the country to form Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Australia – a national advocacy body for gender parity and representation of women in the Australian screen industry. Katrina also serves on the WIFT International board comprising of women filmmaker activists from six continents, giving her a global perspective on intersectional gender equity challengers. Katrina is a facilitator with Griffith University’s MATE Bystander program and adapted this program to create ScreenMATE, Australia’s first screen specific bystander training.
- Richard Jameson
Richard Jameson is a Wuthathi man from the East Coast of Cape York and an experienced filmmaker of 16 years. Richard was part of the 2015/16 Screen Australia Indigenous Producers Initiative, through which he travelled to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to pitch two feature scripts to distributors. In 2019 he opened Wirrim Studio as part of Wirrim Media Pty Ltd. The studio is a purpose-built film and photography studio in Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast. The media company and studio are proudly independent and proudly Indigenous.
- Shirley Pierce
One of the most prolific writers in Australia, Shirley Pierce has worked on films that have had a cumulative box office of over half a billion dollars. In ten years of writing for Walt Disney Studios, Shirley worked on over two dozen projects including tentpole features Meet the Robinsons, Dinosaur and Home on the Range. Shirley has written for various networks and studios in the U.S., Australia, Japan and Spain, and developed projects for MGM, Twentieth Century Fox, and Crawfords.
- Anupam Sharma
Anupam Sharma is a filmmaker, speaker and author who has been awarded and commended for his initiatives in diversity on and off Australian screens. Anupam has been nominated as an Australia Day Ambassador nine years in a row in recognition for his work in films and diversity. As a fierce supporter of diversity and its changing definition in Australia, he has been appointed as Ambassador for a number of state and federal diversity initiatives such as Parramasala in Sydney and FOMA (Fabrics of Multicultural Australia). Anupam is also the founder of the Diverscreens and on the panel of specialist commentators on Diversity Arts Media.
AIMS OF THE SCREEN QUEENSLAND EQUITY AND DIVERSITY TASKFORCE:
- Create a detailed Diversity Plan which lays out key objectives, actions, responsibilities, timeframes, outcomes and measurements. The Plan will guide Screen Queensland and will provide a template to measure outcomes against strategic goals. Screen Queensland will provide access to relevant individuals and information, as required to create the Plan
- Provide a safe forum for representatives from the screen industry, equalities groups and civil society to meet and develop, review, update and oversee a Diversity Plan (to be reviewed by the SQ Board)
- Review the delivery, success and impact of the Diversity Plan with specific and measurable short-term and long-term performance targets that Screen Queensland will report to. Performance against the three-year Plan’s objectives and targets will be evaluated and regularly reported on, including through a mid-term review. Outcomes from the Diversity Plan will be reported in a Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report and the Screen Queensland Annual Review
- Advise Screen Queensland’s CEO and leadership team on equality and diversity-related issues faced by specific communities and/or groups
- Recommend other training and workshops for Screen Queensland to ensure that the experiences of specific groups are represented in its policies, initiatives and programs
- Provide an advocacy voice on anti-discrimination practices
- Provide advice during any reviews of Screen Queensland’s funding guidelines and assessment processes (N.B. The taskforce will not play any role in the applications process, neither through assessment nor approval. It will not provide feedback on individual projects).