'The Heights'.

Screen Australia has begun consultation for a follow-up to the landmark 2016 report ‘Seeing Ourselves: Reflections on Diversity in TV Drama’, and has appointed Jackie Leewai as its first inclusion strategy and engagement manager.

Set to be published next year, the report will examine the representation of people and communities who have historically been under-represented in Australian screen content.

The analysis of main characters in Australian scripted serial drama and narrative comedy featured in the last report will be expanded to include Australian broadcaster or agency-funded streaming and online content that has been released from 2016 to 2020. The agency will also conduct surveys and interviews with actors, key creatives, agents, and broadcasters.

The report will incorporate an overview of similar international reports to compare the Australian screen industry with overseas markets.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said the data would be a “key tool” for the sector in its efforts to foster greater inclusivity.

“Stories that reflect the world around them make cultural and commercial sense, because we know stories and characters that resonate and connect with audiences succeed, both here in Australia and on a world stage,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing the results of this upcoming report and empowering the industry with clear data and insights into our Australian stories.”

The announcement of the follow-up report coincides with the appointment of Leewai, who will be responsible for implementing the agency’s equity and inclusion strategy.

She joins Screen Australia from SBS, where she was most recently community engagement and partnerships manager, a role that saw her lead the implementation of the organisation’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community engagement function.

Mason said the appointment reflected Screen Australia’s dedication to creating an inclusive and representative industry.

“We have created this role to ensure we are continuing our efforts towards creating an equitable sector and fostering an inclusive environment internally,” he said.

“We look forward to Jackie joining us here at Screen Australia and having her lead our new strategy.”

Leewai will start her role June 14.

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