Leading media organisations sign diversity charter, News

Leading media organisations sign diversity charter

The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN), which includes many of Australia’s leading media organisations as well as screen agencies, has  launched a Charter to promote diversity in the sector.

The SDIN is a new network committed to improving the diversity of talent and influences that shape Australian screen content. Members of the SDIN include, Foxtel, Nine Network ,Seven West Media, the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), ABC, SBS, Network Ten, The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA), Screen Producers’ Australia (SPA), FreeTV Australia, the Australian Screen Industry Group (which represents all the Guilds), MediaRING, Screen Australia, Create NSW, Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation, Screen Territory, Screen Tasmania and ScreenACT.

In order to be a member of the SDIN, an organisation needs to officially commit to the Charter.

SDIN Chair (and CEO of AFTRS), Neil Peplow, said: “We want to ensure that Australian screen culture reflects the dynamic diversity of contemporary Australia. We want our stories to be enriched by a range of perspectives and experiences. And we want them to be created by our best creative talent, whatever their background. The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network charter sets us up to make these ambitions become reality.”

The SDIN will set targets for industry change and evaluate progress via sector-wide measurement tools.

Following the release, in 2016, of AFTRS’ Inclusive Pathways Framework which identified the ‘diversity problem’ in the Australian sector and Screen Australia’s Seeing Ourselves: Reflections on Diversity in Australian TV Drama which revealed a strong bias away from diversity on screen, as well as PWC’s 2016-2020 Entertainment and Media Outlook, which noted that the lack of diversity in Australian media industries was ‘dragging down growth’, the SDIN is seeking to progress diversity objectives and address barriers to inclusion in the sector. The Network will also support sector-wide initiatives and approaches and encourage partnerships between members.

SDIN members are already working together on a range of initiatives, such as intensive professional development for new practitioners from underrepresented groups across Australia, internships, placements and attachments.

Two launch events – at AFTRS in Sydney (on 31 July) and ACMI in Melbourne (on 7 August) - showcased the work of creative practitioners from organisations connected to communities underrepresented on and behind our screens including: Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Curiousworks, Accessible Arts, Urban Theatre Projects, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Arts Access, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Diversity Arts Australia and Open Channel.

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Image credit - Sarra March from The Milky Pop Kid

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