woman raised her hand for dissuade, campaign stop violence against women. Asian woman raised her hand for dissuade with copy space, black and white color

Women In Film & Television (WIFT) Australia will run a pilot educational workshop designed to help industry practitioners recognise abuse and harmful behaviours, and have the confidence to speak out and offer help.

The ScreenMATE Bystander Program is based on the MATE Bystander Program delivered by Griffith University, and has received funding from Film Victoria and the support of the City of Port Phillip.

ScreenMATE brings each individual into the conversation to think critically and with empathy about the root attitudes and beliefs that underpin harmful gender stereotypes. The trained facilitators create a safe space to allow individuals to share their experiences and opinions about these issues.

Areas covered in the four hour workshops include:

  • Language and Jokes
  • Abusive Relationships
  • What Lies Beneath?
  • Gender Equality
  • Online Harassment
  • Pornography
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Racism & Discrimination
  • Victim Blaming & Shaming
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • General Violence

WIFT Australia board member and ScreenMATE facilitator Katrina Irawati Graham says: “The ScreenMATE Bystander Program builds on WIFT’s dedication to systemic change by creating parallel focus on grassroots culture change. This program targets not just sexual harassment, but also the broader issues of harassment, discrimination, violence and bullying. Powerful, radical change needs all of us to pull together. This training gives us the tools to create a safer, more creatively flourishing industry.”

Caroline Pitcher, CEO of Film Victoria, says, “This vital program goes hand-in-hand with the Victorian Screen Industry Code of Conduct to work towards eliminating gender-based violence and gender inequality in our industry. Through the ScreenMATE program, Victorian screen practitioners will be empowered to recognise and call out instances of inappropriate behaviour, both in their place of work and in the wider community. Ultimately this will encourage cultural change in all aspects of Australian life and a society that is safer and more respectful.”

Griffith University’s MATE Bystander Program that has been running for eight years.

“Griffith University and MATE are pleased to be working alongside WIFT Australia to deliver this adapted program to the screen industry. Preventing violence and promoting equality is paramount in every industry and environment and the screen industry has additional challenges and nuances, best addressed by those within the industry. We believe that through these conversations, we will empower people to recognise problematic behaviour, motivate them to respectfully challenge it, and inspire them to create positive change – which, thanks to the far-reaching potential, will extend beyond the industry and in to mainstream society,” says assistant director of MATE Anoushka Dowling.

Two workshops will be held across November 25-26 at the Port Melbourne Town Hall, one for the screen industry and one for the games industry. A crèche for parents and carers of children is offered at the workshops.

More info here.

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