SQ News

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DATE: Thursday 16 June 2022
TIMES: 4-5.30pm presentation, 5.30-6.30pm networking event
WHERE: Queensland Multicultural Centre (102 Main Street, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane)

Screen Queensland is proud to present Meet the Broadcasters: SBS and NITV on Thursday 16 June, 2022.

The FREE industry event gives attendees the opportunity to hear from key decision makers at SBS and NITV, featuring a presentation and Q&A session followed by industry networking drinks. Screen Queensland welcomes the SBS and NITV team to Queensland: 

Chris Irvine – Director, Television and Online Content
Tanya Denning-Orman – Director, Indigenous Content
John Godfrey – Head of SBS Unscripted
Marissa McDowell – Commissioning Editor, NITV
Julie Eckersley – Head of SBS Scripted
Loani Arman – Commissioning Editor, SBS Scripted
Emily Griggs – Head of Food & Entertainment
Michelle Cheng – Content Industry Diversity Manager

ABOUT THE TEAM

Chris Irvine – Acting Director, Television and Online Content 

Chris Irvine was appointed Acting Director of Television and Online Content in 2022.He remains SBS’s Head of Commercial and Production, managing the commercial, financial and production aspects of all TV and online content at SBS, whether commissioned, acquired or internally produced.  Before joining SBS in the role in February 2016, Chris was Commercial Director for Australian independent production company Essential Media & Entertainment. Starting out as an entertainment lawyer, his career spans production, finance and distribution across film, television and online content. In London, before moving to Australia, Chris worked for Channel 4 (as part of its Film4 productions team) and ITV Studios (as part of its Factual production team). 

Tanya Denning-Orman – Director, Indigenous Content 

Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman from Central and North Queensland, has led NITV since it joined SBS in 2012, and more recently became SBS’s first Director of Indigenous Content. Tanya manages NITV as a channel dedicated to Indigenous voices, overseeing its diverse and innovative multiplatform content. She also plays an instrumental role in the development and delivery of First Nations storytelling across the SBS network. With more than 20 years’ experience working in media, Tanya has previously held positions as a journalist and producer for ABC and SBS, and a number of different roles at NITV since its inception in 2007. As a champion for strong Indigenous media, she also holds a number of industry Board positions including with Media Diversity Australia, First Nations Media Australia, and the World Indigenous Television Broadcast Network.  

John Godfrey – Commissioning Editor, SBS Scripted 

John Godfrey is Head of SBS Unscripted, overseeing documentaries, factual entertainment, food and entertainment across SBS channels and platforms.

John previously held the role of Head of Documentaries. Having joined SBS in 2008, he has been responsible for some of SBS’s highest rating and best-known programs, including Go Back to Where You Came FromFirst ContactStruggle Street, and Filthy Rich and Homeless.

John has been in Australia since 2003, working in the UK prior to that for 10 years, series/exec producing for Channel 4 and BBC2.

Loani Arman – Commissioning Editor, SBS Scripted 

Loani Arman joined SBS in January 2022 as SBS Scripted Commissioning Editor, working across development and production of original scripted programming. Prior to SBS, most recently Loani was a Content Director at Screen Queensland where she led their development programs and initiatives. Earlier in her career, she was the Drama Associate for Showtime Australia, working across original drama commissions including Cloudstreet and Tangle.   As a screen creative, Loani has had an eight-part drama series developed through the Stan/Screen Queensland Premium Drama Fund, and in 2019, was selected for the Screen Queensland Australians in Film Charlie’s Lab in LA to develop her comedy pilot, The Mother Load. Her digital documentary series, My Body Says, launched on ABC iView in 2020, winning the inaugural AIDC Best Short Form Award. In 2019, Loani was the winner of the AACTA Pitch Competition with her short, Our Greatest Escape.  

Loani celebrates her Indonesian-Australian heritage and champions representations of diversity. 

Julie Eckersley – Head of SBS Scripted 

Julie Eckersley is the Head of Scripted at SBS, overseeing development and production of scripted content across SBS channels and platforms.  Julie joined SBS in 2021 bringing extensive industry experience to the role, which has seen her work as a producer and in development across a range of genres, including drama, comedy, animation, documentary and children’s content. Julie has worked internationally with Netflix and NBCU International and her experience includes nine years at Matchbox Pictures where she worked on award-winning Australian projects including the landmark SBS series, The Family Law, ABC drama series Glitch and Australia’s first kung fu comedy, Maximum Choppage - among others. She’s passionate about creating bold and distinctive stories, supporting new voices and celebrating our diverse perspectives.  

Marissa McDowell – Commissioning Editor, NITV 

Marissa McDowell is a Wiradjuri woman, born in Cowra, NSW. She joined NITV in March, 2021 as Commissioning Editor. Throughout her career, she has worked with First Nation communities telling their stories through documentary film making, photography and writing. Her documentaries have been screened on SBS/NITV, poetry published through USMOB Writing and photographs displayed at PhotoAcces and the Sydney Living Museum. She has recently received her Master of Arts Screen Business and Leadership at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and is currently undertaking her Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage at Charles Sturt University.  

Emily Griggs – Head of Food & Entertainment 

Emily Griggs joined SBS as Head of Entertainment and Food in September 2021. As a member of SBS’s Unscripted commissioning team, Emily oversees SBS’s diverse commissioned entertainment and food shows. She joined SBS from BBC Studios where she was Head of Development and Content and oversaw development and production of various shows, including SBS series’ Mastermind and Celebrity Mastermind. With more than 25 years of television experience, she has produced shows for all free to air networks across most genres, from entertainment, comedy, factual and reality, to food, lifestyle and children’s programming. Her credits include a variety titles and formats, including The Chefs’ Line, The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Dancing with the Stars, and Married At First Sight, and much more. 

Michelle Cheng – Content Industry Diversity Manager 

Michelle Cheng is the Industry Diversity Manager, in SBS’s Television and Online Content division. Michelle works adjacent to the SBS Commissioning team, supporting SBS’s content and industry initiatives focused on providing tangible pathways and opportunities for diverse practitioners under-represented in the sector. Michelle joined SBS in January 2021. She has worked as a media advisor, with a background in TV presenting/writing, journalism and law (as a qualified solicitor). From 2016 to 2020, she worked with ITV Studios and Channel 7 as a television writer on the quiz show, The Chase Australia. In 2018, she was an ABC TV panelist on the quiz show Think Tank in over 75 episodes. Michelle also has extensive experience as a digital journalist with by-lines that include The Guardian, ABC, Yahoo News and the Daily Mail Australia, and has been Curation Coordinator for TEDxMelbourne, as well as Media & Communications Advisor at Monash University. Michelle is also the co-chair of the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network (SDIN) for 2021-22, effective 1 June 2021. SDIN brings together Australian broadcasters, screen agencies, business associations and industry-aligned education and training organisations to work together towards a more inclusive and diverse screen industry. SBS is a founding member of SDIN and is participating in ‘The Everyone Project’, an initiative led by the SDIN to implement a simple yet comprehensive way of measuring and reporting on diversity in productions.