Audrey O’Connor and Oliver Williams.

AFTRS will welcome Audrey O’Connor and Oliver Williams as paid interns via a joint initiative with Bus Stop Films.

Both filmmakers, who both live with an intellectual disability and have participated in Bus Stop Films’ Accessible Film Studies Program, will work with the AFTRS production team over the coming year.

It comes after a selection process that included a tour of the AFTRS production work area to familiarise internship applicants with the workplace and allow the production team to get to know the potential new recruits.

The partnership between AFTRS and Bus Stop Films also includes Inclusion In Action training for staff, which aims to equip attendees to be more confident about and open to employing and working alongside people with disabilities.

Inclusion in Action was funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through an Information Linkages and Capacity Building grant and developed by Bus Stop Films and with the support of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

Bus Stop Films, co-founded by AFTRS alumni Genevieve Clay-Smith, has delivered its Accessible Films Studies Program on campus at AFTRS for over five years, with AFTRS providing classroom and studio space.

AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood said the benefits of the internship will extend beyond what the interns themselves learn.

“We are expecting this internship program to be transformational – for the selected interns, for AFTRS staff, and for AFTRS students who will work alongside Audrey and Oliver,” she said.

“It is our intention to run this internship program annually with Bus Stop Films, giving more people with disability an opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience as they embark on careers in the industry.”

Bus Stop Films CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett paid tribute to AFTRS for their role in supporting Bus Stop Films.

“AFTRS’ support for Bus Stop Films has been critical to the success of our Program and the transformational outcomes it offers to our students to improve their confidence, literacy and work ready skills, in addition to making amazing films,” she said.

“Audrey was actually involved in the development of our Inclusion in Action training, so to now see her being employed off the back of it, is such a brilliant full-circle moment.

Bus Stop Films recently announced a Pathways partnership with the ABC to open up employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the screen industry.

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