Four Queensland-made community service announcements (CSAs) will broadcast on Network 10 channels during National Reconciliation Week, as the major outcome of the Screen Queensland and Network 10 First Nations Skills Placement and Mentorship.
During the four-week paid placement with Network 10, each spot was written, produced and directed by Queensland-based, early-career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers — Wiradjuri woman Kellie Baxter, Bundjalung woman Gretta Ada O’Sullivan, and Torres Strait Islanders Abraham Mantey and Sio Tusa.
Each selected participant subsequently underwent a six-month mentorship with Network 10 executives to maximise the hands-on production skills and contacts they developed while making the announcements.
The CSAs will each focus on the themes of language and storytelling, wildlife, cultural sites and rock art, and were filmed in Hervey Bay, K’gari /Fraser Island (Butchulla Country), the Bunya Mountains (Wakka Wakka, Jarowair and Barrumgum Country) and Far North Queensland (Djabugay Country).
Together with the Network 10 production team, the recipients worked closely with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers throughout the project.
Screen Queensland’s Acting CEO Dr Belinda Burns said the initiative is part of the agency’s commitment to creating opportunities for Queensland-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander film and television practitioners.
“In making these moving and authentic CSA spots, the four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners were enabled to gain the practical skills, expert guidance and credits essential to launching long-term screen industry careers,” said Dr Burns.
“As we move along the Queensland Government’s Path to Treaty, Screen Queensland is focused on the vital importance of bolstering the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen storytellers — raising their voices to share truths and valuable perspectives with Australian audiences.”
Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President, Programming and Content, Paramount Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), parent company of Network 10, said they were proud of this partnership with Screen Queensland and delighted with the inspiring and informative CSAs produced.
“This partnership aligns with our goals to promote reconciliation through our sphere of influence by proactively establishing relationships with First Nations practitioners as well as with organisations like Screen Queensland who share in this mission,” Mr Monaghan stated.
“Allowing the recipients to be immersed in a professional production, and work alongside established and skilled crew to produce their own content, is a unique experience that adds to their practical understanding of the industry, including physical production, development, technical direction, and teamwork.”
The CSAs can be streamed on 10 Play now and will be broadcast on Network 10 in metro Queensland from Saturday 27 May.
About the participants
Kellie Baxter is an Australian actor and emerging director, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter and showrunner. She is currently writing her own series and has acted on various films and TV series including Joe vs Carol and All My Friends are Racist. Always prepared for every opportunity, she showcases her powerful storytelling through the eyes of First Nations peoples, creating miracles for the audience and engrossing everyone who watches with her ability to capture and inspire emotional journeys.
At the end of 2016 Abraham Mantey completed a Certificate 3 in Film and Media at the Far North Queensland TAFE Campus in Cairns — a course created by established First Nations filmmakers Jimi Bani and Aaron Fa’Aoso. While studying Abraham was able to sharpen his acting skills and also gain new experience in writing, directing and cinematography. As a professional actor he has landed many extra roles and commercials, as well as a supporting feature role on the 2018 ABC documentary Blue Water Empire. Abraham is currently working on a feature film set in the Torres Strait.
GRETTA ADA O’SULLIVAN
Gretta Ada is a proud Bundjalung woman currently living on Qandamooka Country, carrying with her a strong sense of country and community. From an early age Ada has never been without a pencil in hand, cultivating her unique visual art style from realistic portraiture to outlandish landscapes. Expanding into the screen industry, Ada’s work uses a wide range of mediums and techniques that pay homage to the traditional way her ancestors expressed art. Travelling throughout rural regions of Australia, Ada has gained a wider perspective on how art impacts and engages communities which inspires her to continue to create.
S.F. TUSA (SIO TUSA)
Sio is a film director whose current film canon includes short drama, documentaries, commercials and music videos. His drama film work has touched on themes of Indigenous culture, colonialism, intergenerational trauma, identity and has won multiple film awards along the way. Screen Queensland-supported credits include Director on the NITV documentary series Elements produced by WildBear Entertainment, and an attachment on ABC drama Total Control (Blackfella Films). He has spent most of his life in Far North Queensland (Yalanji Tribal lands) in Cairns and Mossman, and his early childhood years in the South Island of New Zealand (Ngai Tahu Tribal lands). Sio’s culture is from Polynesian and Badu Island bloodlines. Currently Sio is developing a number of screen projects.