Press release from ASTRA

Continuing its commitment to foster creativity and nurture talent, ASTRA, the subscription TV (STV) industry’s peak body, has announced the student placements for the 2012 ASTRA Graduate Program. Through an industry partnership with Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS), nine Foundation Diploma graduates have been awarded short term work contracts with some of the leading names in STV.

Starting in February 2012, each graduate will work for three months with one of the following STV channels/platforms: Premiere Media Group (FOX SPORTS), FOXTEL, BBC Worldwide Australia, TVSN/Expo Channel, World Movies & STVDIO, ESPN and Disney Channel. Work contracts have been awarded in different areas of STV including marketing, promotion, programming, production and broadcasting.

The successful candidates of the 2012 ASTRA Graduate Program include Nick Hadland, Jordan Howes, Alexander Howitt, Jack Maher, Laura McGenniss, Rebecca Mylonas, Tom Phillips, Jessica Roberts and Peri Watkinson.

The ASTRA Graduate Program was initiated in 2011 to create employment pathways for creative talent in a fiercely competitive subscription TV industry which saw a 6% growth in employment from 2009 – 2010.

“The 2011 program was extremely successful with 7 out of 10 participants continuing to work in the STV industry either full time or casually,” said ASTRA CEO Petra Buchanan. “The ASTRA Graduate Program is just one of many ways that the STV industry invests, with the direct economic contribution to the Australian economy estimated at over $5 billion since its inception. In 2010, the sector employed 7,410 people.”

The short-term positions will provide invaluable experience in the Australian STV industry which is now in its 16th year and continues to advance the television experience for viewers.

“Our students began asking about this program within the first month of their course. The ASTRA Graduate Program, while only in its second year, has already made a mark and is highly regarded for the unprecedented opportunity which is being offered — essentially much needed experience in a competitive industry,” said AFTRS CEO Sandra Levy.

Operations Development Manager for FOXTEL, Bobby Louca said of the program, “FOXTEL is thrilled to be involved in the ASTRA Graduate Program for the second year, contracting with two students to perform a variety of roles. The AFTRS graduates come to us very well prepared and enthusiastic about the opportunity.”

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