SQ News

Panelist Information

Panel 1

The Second  – Women in Leading Roles

Moderator Jo Dillon, SQ

Guests – Mairi Cameron and Stephen Lance

Queensland-based director Mairi Cameron has just released her first feature film THE SECOND in cinemas nationally and on streaming platform STAN. THE SECOND is one of eight feature films nominated for Best Australia Feature Film for the Screen Producers of Australia Awards. Mairi’s has over a decade of experience directing short films, music videos and television commercials. Her short film MILK was selected for official competition at Cannes, won prizes at Palm Springs and Bilbao and was pre-selected for an Academy Award. She’s directed clips for some of Australiaʼs premier music artists, and won Triple Jʼs ʻMusic Video of the Yearʼ for Washingtonʼs SUNDAY BEST. She has a slate of long-form projects in development including an adaptation of American novel THE SECRET LIVES OF DRESSES. Mairi is also passionate about education and is currently the Film Department Coordinator at SAE Creative Media Institute in Brisbane.

Stephen Lance is an award-winning director and writer of feature films, music videos and commercials. Stephen wrote the screenplay for THE SECOND which won the Stan fully funded feature competition in 2017, which he went on to co-produce with Leanne Tonkes with Mairi Cameron directing. He was nominated for an AWGIE in 2015 for MY MISTRESS, his directorial debut feature film, which he co-wrote (with Gerard Lee) and which premiered at Melbourne International Film Festival in 2014. Produced by Leanne Tonkes and executive produced by Robyn Kershaw, the film stars Harrison Gilbertson, Rachael Blake and French actress Emmanuelle Béart. The screenplay was also selected for the No Borders market in New York and SPAAMart in 2011. Stephen’s first short film, EUSTICE SOLVES A PROBLEM, screened at international film festivals, including Palm Springs, Chicago, Rome, Toronto and Seattle, and received a 2005 Dendy Award nomination. His next short film, YOLK, was funded by Screen Australia and screened in competition in Berlin, Gijon, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Sydney and Brisbane. Stephen wrote the acclaimed animation DOG WITH ELECTRIC COLLAR which opened the 2008 Sydney and Brisbane film festivals, as well as winning the AFI for Best Animation in 2008. Stephen is currently writing a screenplay adaptation of the New York Times bestseller THE SECRET LIVES OF DRESSES.

Panel 2

Writing in the Golden Age of Television

Moderator – To be announced

Panelists – Vicki Madden, Anthony Mullins, Yolanda Ramke

Vicki Madden is a Producer, Writer and Showrunner with over 20 years experience in the television Industry both in Australia and overseas. She has worked as Writer and Show-runner on such shows as Halifax fp, The Bill, (UK), Trial & Retribution (UK) The Clinic (Ireland), Water Rats and K9 (UK) to name a few. She was also the writer of the 90-minute true crime telemovie for the 9 Network and Playmaker media Blood Brothers.

Vicki runs her own Production Company, Sweet Potato Films, a small boutique film and TV company in Tasmania, her home state, and has just co-created, coproduced and written the critically acclaimed TV series, The Kettering Incident. Vicki is currently in pre-production with her new series, The Gloaming, a supernatural crime series set once more in her beloved state of Tasmania with US company ABC/Disney backing it along with STAN in Australia. Vicki will writer and produce along with John Molloy. The Gloaming will shoot in October, 2018. She is also developing another of her sci-fi shows with ABC Signature in the US.

Sweet Potato Films is a boutique production company focused on high-concept screen stories for international audiences.  Inspired by myth, folklore, and the ever present search for the extraordinary….

Anthony Mullins is a BAFTA and AWGIE award winning screenwriter and director. The projects Anthony has written and directed have won numerous international awards including a Primetime Emmy, an International Digital Emmy, two BAFTAs and five Australian Writers Guild awards. He has been the creative director and lead writer on several award-winning interactive projects for major film and television productions including Lost, Spooks, Primeval, The Bourne Legacy and Salt. He was development executive and script editor on the acclaimed SBS drama Safe Harbour and script producer on the Emmy award winning Nowhere Boys for Matchbox Pictures. He is currently script producing a new TV series for Hoodlum.

Yolanda Ramke is an award-winning screenwriter, director and actor. In 2013, Ramke wrote, performed in and co-directed the Tropfest finalist film, Cargo, with Ben Howling. A viral success online, it garnered over 14 million views on YouTube, rave reviews from pop culture sites such as Short Of The Week, Upworthy, BuzzFeed, Devour and i09, and an international festival run (including several Academy Award® accredited events). In 2015, Ramke’s screenplay for the feature adaptation of Cargo was announced as the inaugural winner of Australians In Film’s “Gateway LA Script Prize”, topping the annual Aussie List (Australia’s answer to the Hollywood Black List and UK’s Brit List). That same year, Ramke secured her first Australian Writer’s Guild (AWGIE) nomination for the short film, Cold Hearts, which she co-wrote, co-directed and performed in with Danielle Baynes. (The pair have since been nominated for an Australian Director’s Guild Award for the same project). Most recently, Yolanda won her first Australian Writer’s Guild (AWGIE) Award for Cargo in the “Feature Film – Adaptation” category.

Panel 3 – Cutting Through The Crowded Web

Moderator – Richard Fabb

Panelists – Jen Storey, Liz Ferguson, Briony Benjamin, Peta Ellis

Jen Storey is the Director of Outside Insights, a consultancy that works with organisations to identify and incubate new digital products and services. Previously, she has established and managed the global innovation practice for Computershare, one of Australia’s true global success stories. She was recently an advisor to Nab Labs, Australia’s leading corporate innovation hub, on its strategy and re-invention. In addition, she was part of the leadership team for the digital transformation of Australia Post, devising the strategy and production of the online delivery service, My Post, across desktop, mobile and smart watch.

Outside Insights is a consulting firm that works across strategy, marketing and communications. Their expertise includes a wide range of industries including financial services, agribusiness, media, entertainment, travel, tourism, sports and recreation, telecommunications and technology. Outside Insights identifes insights, opportunities and brings the voice of customers to the equation. They bring insights from outside your world of experience.

Peta Ellis is a change maker and community leader in the Entrepreneurial landscape and brings 20+ years’ experience in Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Communications and Media Relations. Peta launched and exited four ventures before turning 30. In the last 6 years she has mentored over 500 entrepreneurs and hosted more than 1000 startup events at River City Labs. As CEO of RCL, Brisbane’s leading Innovation and Startup Hub she founded a Corporate Pre-Accelerator Program and the Young Entrepreneurs Network (YEN), a community focused on connecting young entrepreneurs with industry, schools, course providers and program facilitators. Peta is a passionate advocate for women in Entrepreneurship and actively promotes positive lifestyle balance for founders which lead to co-founding Peak Persona and 3AMFounders in 2017.

River City Labs fosters the growth of startup companies wanting to solve big problems. We provide resources to empower, support and connect entrepreneurs. Central to everything we do is a focus on collaboration and connection. Since 2012 over 700 startup founders have called RCL home. Through our events program we have welcomed more than 29,000 guests into our community by hosting over 1,000 events aimed at supporting founders on their entrepreneurship journey. River City Labs powers a range of programs, events and engagement opportunities, enabling our corporate partners to innovate differently and embed their teams within the start-up community. River City Labs is a human-led organisation ensuring founders always come first and every engagement is underpinned by our core values of ‘Give Learn Grow’, ‘Take Action’ and ‘Always Challenge’.

Liz Ferguson is an expert in developing digital communities around great entertainment content and has been working within the YouTube ecosystem for over a decade. Liz has worked with high profile Australian brands, broadcasters, sports federations, music labels and individual video creators, consulting on content and digital audience strategy.

Kin Australia is a global digital entertainment company specialising in social video content that connects with a female audience. They do this through their award winning studios business and their community of social video talent. Collectively Kin content achieves over 500M views a month.

Briony Benjamin is Executive Producer of Video at Mamamia Network, the largest independent women’s website in Australia. In this role, she oversees the daily content creation, series development and the Screen Australia Gender Matters partnership which will see the development and distribution of exciting new content for Australian audiences delivered through the Mamamia network. Briony is specialised in producing and directing digital campaigning content on a small budget for maximum impact. She has created TVCs, documentaries, web-series and online video for local and international organisations such as Getup, World Wildlife Fund, The Climate Council, and The Sum of Us, generating millions of views on some of the most complex issues facing our world through engaging and entertaining content. She is passionate about producing for purpose and sees media as a powerful force for change.

Mamamia Network

Mamamia is Australia’s #1 women’s media company, producing podcastsvideos, written articles, social and branded content about everything that matters to women. Mamamia reaches millions of women more authentically and influentially than any other women’s brand. They have the #1 women’s podcast network in the world, according to itunes, with 50 million downloads (as of July 2018) across 18 shows with 24 female hosts. Mamamia began as a blog in 2007 and today employs 80 women (and a tiny handful of blokes) in offices across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Then, now and always, Mamamia has had one core purpose…..TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS.

Panel 4 – SQ Shines the Spotlight on Indigenous Stories

Moderator – Tanya Orman – Denning

Panelists – Aaron Fa’Aoso, Chantelle Murray, Dean Gibson

Tanya Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman from Central and North Queensland, has led NITV as Channel Manager since its merger with SBS in 2012. With over a decade of media experience, Tanya has previously held positions as a journalist and producer for ABC and SBS and a number of different roles at NITV since 2007. In her current position, Tanya directs the overall management and programming of NITV, which through diverse and innovative multiplatform content, including a unique news service, welcomes all Australians to celebrate Indigenous culture, voices and storytelling.

National Indigenous Television (NITV) is a channel made by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Through us, you will discover a channel for all Australians. NITV informs, educates and entertains its Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences about the issues that matter the most to Indigenous Australians.  NITV provides a rich diversity of cultures, languages and talent. The channel commissions or acquires content primarily from the Indigenous production sector.  NITV is proud to host the only daily national news service covering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island stories across the country.

Aaron Fa’Aoso is best known for his appearances in ABC’s BLACK COMEDY, which was nominated for Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the 2015 Logies and won an AACTA for Best Direction. Following on from that success, Aaron joined the multi award winning SBS series EAST WEST 101 for which he received a 2011 Monte Carlo TV Festival award nomination for Most Outstanding Actor. In 2012 he was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, and the show was awarded Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast in a Television Drama Series at the Equity Awards. His other television credits include the German series MUNCHEN 7, CITY HOMICIDE, SEA PATROL, Nine Network’s HYDE & SEEK and Screentime’s BIKIE WARS: BROTHERS IN ARMS on Network Ten. Aaron is a four time Deadly Award nominee for Male Actor of the Year for his performances in R.A.N. and EAST WEST 101. In 2016, his production company Lone Star, along with Bunya Productions, produced a 3 x 1hr drama documentary series on the history of the Torres Strait Islands called BLUE WATER EMPIRE. Aaron was the producer attachment on the feature film GOLDSTONE. For the past two years Aaron has been training young Torres Strait Islanders in filmmaking as part of a TAFE accredited My Pathways programme.

Chantelle Murray is an actress and producer, known for Making of a Master (2017), Out of the Shadows (2016) and My Name is Mudju (2019).

Director Dean Gibson has spent more than ten years in the industry, directing productions for broadcast on ABC, NITV and SBS as well as national and international audiences online and through corporate productions. It is his passion for engaging content, eye for detail and love of film that drives his company Bacon Factory Films. Established in December 2013 by the company was formed with a view to give a voice to Indigenous people with a story to tell and to create films that would be around for future generations to watch, enjoy and learn from.

Panel 5 – Queensland Characters Take on The World – Animation

Nadine Bates, Kristen Souvlis, Steve Viner, Joe Brumm and Andi Sparks


Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis are behind the fast-growing content creation company Like A Photon Creative Pty Ltd (LAPC) which specialises in the development and execution of content for children. LAPC was formed in 2012 by Kristen Souvlis and Nadine Bates and is based in Queensland, Australia. With over 20 years combined experience in children’s television, publishing and digital entertainment, Kristen and Nadine are both passionate about creating forward thinking, ethical products and platforms for children all over the world.

Steve Viner is a co-founder and CEO of the Liquid Group, comprising Liquid Animation, Liquid Interactive and Spunge Games. Starting as Liquid Animation, Steve has steered Liquid to also grow multi-media and games divisions, which are now successful standalone businesses within the group. Steve has a key role in creating, developing and pitching Liquid’s slate of intellectual property to broadcasters, distributors and global entertainment companies, and has produced over 100 hours of content for Disney, Warner Bros and Mattel. Having recently produced a Virtual Reality video for Disney, Steve is exploring opportunities to add VR gaming experiences to its slate of children’s entertainment properties; to further enhance Liquid’s 360 approach to content development and distribution.

Joe Brumm and Andi Sparks are from Brisbane-based Ludo Studio is a multiple Emmy® Award winning creative studio that creates and produces original stories and innovative formats across all platforms. Its founders created the comedy drama series, THE STRANGE CALLS (ABC TV, Netflix, NBC Universal) BEACHED AZ (ABC TV), THE BONDI HIPSTERS (ABC TV, Comedy Channel), and SOUL MATES (ABC TV, NBC Universal). Its latest comedy series, #7DAYSLATER, won an International Emmy® Award in 2015 and its most recent kids animation, DOODLES, won an International Emmy® Award in 2016. Ludo is currently in production on two animated comedy series, THE STRANGE CHORES and BLUEY, for ABC TV. In 2017, Ludo is developing its first hour drama series for Stan Australia.