This year has been one of the biggest for Media RING as we transformed from a network to a company with a new executive and targeted aspirations, ready to support our membership to achieve further growth within the media industry.
Our last Connect Event held at Screen Forever recently was a great way to top off a huge year of industry wins and reminding us on the value of networking in forging strong collaborations and opportunities for Indigenous practitioners.
I highly recommend reading The Seeing Ourselves: Reflections on diversity in Australian TV drama by Screen Australia released in 2016. The report showed that characters in TV Dramas who identified as Indigenous Australians were comparatively well represented, at 5 per cent, compared to the Indigenous proportion of the population which is 3 per cent. (https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/getmedia/157b05b4-255a-47b4-bd8b-9f715555fb44/TV-Drama-Diversity.pdf).
As 2017 comes to a close, we look back at the success for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytelling in our country. We’ve seen more Indigenous actors in roles on free-to-air and subscription television including Rob Collins in The Wrong Girl, Aaron Pedersen in A Place To Call Home, Miranda Tapsell in Newton’s Law and Love Child, Deb Mailman in Offspring and Jess Mauboy in the Secret Daughter. Indigenous culture was even front and centre in Thor Ragnarok, currently in cinemas. The blockbuster, directed by Taika Waititi, features our very own Shari Sebbens and Stephen Oliver.
However, behind the camera is where we need to be doing more, which is why Thor Ragnarok is even more special, as Waititi recruited Indigenous production interns through Screen Australia and Screen Queensland to work behind the scenes. We commend Waititi’s for his contribution to this sector, and strengthening Indigenous representation behind the lens.
In 2018, we will be continuing to strive for Media RING’s mission of working together to create pathways for Indigenous people in the media industry.
We will continue to mentor, develop early entry level pathways and assist mid-career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into the Australian media and entertainment industries.
Our Members span the breadth and depth of the Australian media and entertainment industry and together we need to continue to work together to make our dreams a reality. 2018 is going to be another big year for the Media RING. I would like to sincerely thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you next year. For non-members reading this, I invite you to go to our website to consider joining Media RING.
Chair, Media RING & Channel Manager, NITV