Jessica Mauboy, Simon Crean, Deborah Mailman, Julie Collins, Wayne Blair
Indigenous Australians looking to enter the screen and print sector have had their opportunities bolstered with a new work and training program.
Launched by arts minister Simon Crean and Indigenous employment and economic development minister Julie Collins, the work and training program aims to create 40 new jobs across newspapers, new media, film and television.
Crean said: “The new employment program will help train and guide a new generation of Indigenous media professionals, whether they are on screen or in the media.”
“By investing to create new Indigenous employment opportunities in the media and screen industries, we’re not only diversifying workplaces, but investing in protecting and sharing our culture with many generations to come.”
Screen Australia received $1.1 million through the Federal Government’s Indigenous Employment Program to run the employment strategy which will be implemented by The Media Reconciliation Industry Network Group, or Media RING, an industry body encompassing more than 40 broadcasters, government media agencies, Indigenous organisations, trade associations, media buyers and newspaper groups.
Erica Glynn, head of Screen Australia’s Indigenous department said: “This initiative will contribute to creating an Indigenous labour force that paves the way for a sustainable media industry inclusive of Indigenous Australians. We are pleased to be partnering with Media RING to administer this important program.”
Crean and Collins was joined at the launch, in the Parliament House Theatre, by Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman, stars of The Sapphires and director Wayne Blair. The film is about an Indigenous girl group in the 60s plucked from the Outback and sent to Vietnam to entertain American troops.
Crean added: “The Sapphires was a great example of the incredible Indigenous screen talent in Australia, but more is needed to be done to strengthen Indigenous representation in the media sector.”
“I congratulate the film’s director Wayne Blair, producer Rosemary Blight, writers Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson and the stars on the acclaim the film has received not only in Australia, but at the Cannes International Film Festival”
The strategy was the result of the review of the Australian Government Investment in the Indigenous Broadcasting and Media Sector released last year.
The launch was followed by a brief meeting between The Sapphires cast and crew and the Prime Minister, before a screening of the film and a performance by Mauboy, which the PM didn’t attend.