Dr Romaine Moreton (Photo: Dr Lou Bennett), Con Apostolopoulos (Photo: Katie Vajda).
The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) announced a series of new executive appointments today, with Dr Romaine Moreton set to lead the school’s First Nations and outreach strategy, while Con Apostolopoulos will spearhead business development.
The appointments come as the school implements a new structure that will see staff deployed over five divisions: teaching and learning; production and operations; partnerships and development; First Nations and outreach, and people and culture.
“Moving into the CEO role earlier this year has given me the opportunity to think really hard about strategy for the school and how we move forward in this rapidly changing world. How do we ensure our graduates are the best screen and broadcast graduates in the Australia; graduates who are able to make the screen and audio stories Australians need in this very complex world, and who are able to compete and tell truly Australian stories on a global stage?” AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood says.
“At the heart of everything we do there needs to be excellence in learning. My focus is on ensuring the school and its staff are engaged in the singular purpose of providing the best possible industry aligned, future-focussed student experience.
“As a school we need inclusivity, diversity, an embedded First Nations culture, a world-class infrastructure supporting bricks and mortar and also a virtual structure for this digital, remote-access age. We need to be the hub of a rich, live network of partnerships and relationships – across our industry but also more broadly across society.”
Dr Moreton takes on the newly-created role of director, First Nations and outreach, charged with designing and implementing a strategy to ensure First Nations culture is meaningfully embedded in the work of the school, and that the school is safe, inclusive and accessible to people across Australia.
Goenpul Yagera of Stradbroke Island and Bundjulung of northern NSW, Dr Moreton is a poet and writer across various mediums. Her transmedia work One Billion Beats, made while a research fellow filmmaker in residence at Monash, examined the historical representation of Aboriginal people in Australian cinema. Prior to that, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle and worked on a project about Indigenous cultural IP.
With Dr Lou Bennett, she has been working closely with AFTRS over the last two years on a first-of-its-kind Indigenous curriculum for screen and broadcast, focused through the lens of ethics and aesthetics.
Apostolopoulos comes to AFTRS from National Geographic, where he was most recently SVP, Asia and the Middle East and, prior to that, VP partnerships, Fox International Channels. Apostolopoulos started his career with NewsCorp where, over a decade, he worked across partnerships for The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Australian Magazine. In 2009, he relocated to Hong Kong to join Turner Entertainment where he worked in the advertising and partnership teams across Asia Pacific for brands including Cartoon Network, POGO, WB and HBO before joining Fox Networks Group as vice president across APAC and the Middle East.
As director, partnerships and development, he will be responsible for the school’s business development strategy, including national and international student recruitment; national and international partnerships with educational institutions, screen and broadcast organisations and corporate and commercial organisations; philanthropic donations and leveraging in-kind support from stakeholders and alumni.
Greenwood said: “This is a really exciting time for the school. With her years of experience as an academic, poet, filmmaker and advocate, Romaine brings deep knowledge and insights to our executive team that are vital to leadership in today’s complex world. Con has a very different but extremely complimentary skill set – combining a really impressive international career with a passion for the arts.”
Dr Moreton said: “As an AFTRS alumna, it is exciting to be joining the AFTRS executive team as the director of First Nations and outreach and to be part of a learning and teaching community that is focussed on fostering generations of storytelling and media practitioners both nationally and globally. I look forward to engaging in dialogue that promotes a renewed appreciation of media through the lens of Indigenous philosophies, ethics, aesthetics and land pedagogies with AFTRS staff, students, industry partners and stakeholders in support of AFTRS’ vision of encouraging screen and media leadership.”
Apostolopoulos said: “I very much look forward to being part of AFTRS and working closely with Nell and the team to deliver a compelling experience for our students, drive further collaboration with our industry partners and develop long lasting partnerships with those wishing to celebrate the wonderful and diverse power of Australian storytellers.”