The Australian Writers’ Guild has formed the Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee which will consult and advise with the guild on all aspects of the AWG’s diversity program.
The aim is to together create a program of events, form partnerships and create opportunities to champion greater inclusion for screenwriters of diverse backgrounds.
Niki Aken, Kodie Bedford, Jaime Browne, Mithila Gupta, Benjamin Law and Que Minh Luu form the inaugural committee.
In a joint statement the committee said: “There’s no lack of richly talented and diverse storytellers in Australia, only a lack of equity in their opportunities.
“Programs like the Guild’s give us the chance to break down old structures that have stood in the way of so many of our brilliant storytellers, and to build new opportunities that level the playing field, inviting writers into the industry so that our screens and stages may finally reflect the amazing diversity of our people.”
The committee have a number of partnerships/opportunities currently in action:
- Equity Diversity Showcase
- CuriousWorks partnership: successful Behind Closed Doors participants have been offered AWG membership, a place on AWG’s Pathways Program and micro-mentorships, as well as industrial sessions and a masterclass.
- AFTRS National Talent Camp: 16 Talent Campers have been offered AWG membership and a place on the Pathways Program, granting them access to exclusive Pathways industry events and opportunities.
- Focus on Ability Film Festival: AWG sponsored and is judging the Official Selection Best Australian Screenplay for Short Film, and will award the winning writer an AWG membership, a place on AWG’s Pathways Program, and a 12-month mentorship with an AWG full member.
- Collaborations with I.C.E. (Information+Cultural Exchange), WIFT and Everymind are being planned.
“The AWG has a strong and proud history of supporting writers so that they can tell their unique Australian stories,” said AWG GM Emma Rafferty.“
“Partnering with organisations such as CuriousWorks and I.C.E and on initiatives such as the Diversity Showcase and National Talent Camp gives the AWG the opportunity to extend and broaden that support to new and diverse voices, so that our screen stories will come closer to reflecting the true Australian experience, in all of its richness.”
AWG members are encouraged to become involved in the program, with a number of opportunities for competition judges and screenwriter mentors available over the coming months.