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Screen Australia announces participants in Access Coordinator Training Program

31/10/2023

31 10 2023 - Media release Screen Australia announces participants in Access Coordinator Training Program

Access Coordinator Training Program workshop in Sydney this week. Photo Credit: David Wimble.

Screen Australia has announced the 12 participants in the Access Coordinator Training program, delivered by UK inclusion consultancy Bridge06 in partnership with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Screen Canberra, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), VicScreen and the Australian Film Television Radio School (AFTRS).

Launched in July 2023, the Access Coordinator Training Program aims to provide additional support to implement Access Coordinators on film and television productions. Becoming more standardised worldwide, the Access Coordinator role works to bring necessary expertise and experience in facilitating required adjustments and access provisions for Deaf/Disabled or Neurodivergent (DDN) talent in front of and behind the camera playing a vital role in increasing the inclusion of DDN talent and crew in the screen industry.

This week, nine participants from Australia and three from New Zealand are taking part in a five-day immersive training program at AFTRS, where they will receive best practice training from world leading experts. Participants will undertake a variety of activities to learn how an Access Coordinator supports a production and learn risk mitigation techniques. The participants will then have the opportunity to put into practice their new skills on the set of Play School at the ABC, where they will assess the set and production offices for accessibility.

Screen Australia's Head of Industry Development, Ken Crouch said, It is fantastic to welcome this talented and experienced cohort of participants on the ground in Sydney, as they gain the knowledge, tools and best practice techniques required for becoming an Access Coordinator. I am excited for this group from both Australia and New Zealand to help facilitate the necessary change to bridge the gap in the screen industry, and so we can better accommodate the DDN community on our film and television sets. I look forward to seeing the hard work of the participants pay off and helping our industry become more inclusive for all.

Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) CEO Annie Murray said, The participants selected to take part in the Access Coordinator training program are extremely talented screen practitioners who will play a vital role in increasing and sustaining disability representation in our screen industries. The NZFC looks forward to supporting the New Zealand cohort as they help support the Aotearoa screen sector in becoming more inclusive and accessible for our deaf, disabled and neurodivergent talent in front of and behind the camera. I can't wait to see the impact this will have on our filmmakers and stories to come.

Bridge06 founder/course facilitator Sara Johnson said, Our creative industries play a significant part in reflecting and shaping our societies, and they can only do that if we have inclusive and representative practitioners working together to tell the best stories for screens of all sizes. We are delighted to be working with Screen Australia and NZFC to bring the power and importance of the Access Coordinator role to this production sector, as we continue to collaborate with partners across the globe. Johnson will be joined by local award-winning filmmaker and Access Coordinator Sofya Gollan who has helped to bring the training to Australia, as well as guest participant/seasoned UK Access Coordinator Julie Fernandez.

Selected participants from Australia:

Bridie McKim: McKim graduated from NIDA in 2018 to become one of the first actors with disability to play a lead role on Australian television in The Heights, produced by Matchbox Pictures for the ABC, also airing on BBC1. Her other screen credits include Stan's original series Bump and original film Christmas Ransom, Hulu's Joe Vs. Carole, and Netflix's series Dive Club and Irreverent. McKim's theatre credits include Downstairs Belvoir's production of Tuesday, and Black Swan State Theatre Company's production of The Cherry Orchard. McKim has cerebral palsy and uses her lived experience to advocate for people with disability within the arts and wider community.

Brooke Scobie: A queer, Goorie AuDHD multi-disciplinary creative, passionate about equity for neurodivergent communities. Scobie has over 15 years in community services and five years in the arts. They hold qualifications in Creative and Indigenous Writing, Applied Social Science, and Management. With a diverse background in community work, Scobie has experience in the mediation, counselling, youth work, housing, out-of-home care and education sectors. Scobie's experience in the arts lies in writing, producing and artist management, while their writing has earned them second place in the 2020 Judith Wright Poetry Prize and a finalist spot for the 2023 David Unaipon Award.

Chanel Bowen: Bowen is a member of the disability and hard-of-hearing communities and advocates for disability stories on screen. She has partnered with A2K Media for Disability Justice Lens, Bus Stop Films as Producer's Attachment on Babycat, and serves on the Minister's Advisory Committee for Disability in Western Australia. Bowen received the Regional to Global Screenworks and Australians in Film Internship for 2022 allowing her to expand her producing experience with Animal Logic Entertainment and Truant Pictures in the USA. Bowen has been recognised as a SPA Ones to Watch in 2023 and is mentored by Rosemary Blight.

Declan Caruso: An award-winning director, producer and writer from regional QLD, now Sydney-based. Having started his career in
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2023/10-31-par...
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