On Thursday, 28 September Screenwest launched the Screenwest Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, along with a new Diversity Fund to help address the lack of diversity within the Western Australian screen industry, both on screen and behind the camera.
The momentous event also acted as the Western Australian launch of the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network (SDIN), of which Screenwest is a member, as well as the launch of the ABC Children’s Internship Initiative, co-funded by Screenwest and ABC.
The event was held at DADAA’s new Fremantle hub on 92 Adelaide Street, with a packed theatre of emerging and established WA filmmakers and members of diversity interest groups.
Janelle Marr, Screenwest Chair said “Diversity in Western Australia is mainstream, and is a lived reality of the contemporary community. Yet our screen industry does not reflect this. To resonate with audiences, we need to reflect a diversity of experiences and perspectives.”
“Through the Screenwest Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, Screenwest will implement a range of programs and activities to widen the talent pool and offer fairer access to the screen industry. We want to inspire greater creativity and authenticity, to introduce new voices and untold stories from across the State and to grow the audiences watching the content we support.”
A key action in the Plan is the introduction of the Screenwest Diversity Fund.
The Diversity Fund provides funding to producers, organisations and individuals to help overcome barriers that prevent community members from underrepresented groups from participating in professional screen industry activities.
There are two streams to the Diversity Fund:
- Steam 1 – Diversity Top Up stream, open year-round, is for productions or activities Screenwest is already supporting, and is aimed at ensuring opportunities are accessible to all Western Australians.
- Stream 2 – General Diversity stream, open twice per year, is for skills development and networking opportunities that encourages greater inclusivity and intersection between underrepresented groups in the Western Australian community and the Western Australian screen sector.
Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest Head of Development and Production said “The Diversity Fund is an important first step to addressing some of the inequities in the system facing people from underrepresented groups.”
“We look forward to helping like-minded people make positive inroads to addressing equity and inclusion barriers in the screen industry.”
Another key action from the Plan is the appointment of an Inclusion Manager at Screenwest. Announced at the launch was the secondment of DADAA’s Simone Flavelle to Screenwest to assist in the implementation of the Plan and roll out of the Diversity Fund.
Simone has a background in acting and performance, where she began working with people with disability and directing live performances. Working as a Producer and Executive Producer, in 2015 Simone was appointed DADAA’s Digital Producer and in this role offered professional development opportunities to Western Australian creatives with disability. Simone also took part in the AFTRS, Screenwest Talent Camp in Perth recently.
Georgie McClean, AFTRS Head of Strategy and Governance, provided the audience with information about the Screen Diversity & Inclusion Network (SDIN). SDIN is a national network of broadcasters, screen funding agencies, business associations, guilds and industry-aligned education and training organisations who have committed to working together towards an inclusive and diverse screen industry.
SDIN Chair and AFTRS CEO Neil Peplow adds “We are thrilled to be launching the SDIN in WA, and to see Screenwest taking the lead in developing a wide-ranging plan for diversity, equity and inclusion. The SDIN, across its membership of Australian broadcasters, funding agencies, national education institution and guilds, has been created to share learnings and good practice like this to help achieve the ambition of an open, inclusive and diverse screen sector.”
To read more about SDIN, visit www.sdin.com.au.
Julianne Goss ABC National Manager Productions, ABC Studios & Media Production, announced the ABC Children’s Internship Initiative. This Initiative will facilitate paid production experience for emerging Western Australian practitioners from a diverse background or an under represented community within ABC Children’s productions at ABC Ultimo in Sydney. It is anticipated that the Internship will identify one candidate for approximately 24 weeks. Guidelines, including details on how to apply will be released shortly, with the internship taking place early 2018.
For more information on the work Screenwest is doing in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space, please visit the Screenwest website.