Screen Australia announces $1m fund to boost industry skills

Funding will be shared among the state screen agencies to support their vital training

By Gabriella Geisinger 27 Mar 2023

Screen Australia announces $1m fund to boost industry skills
On the set of Rosehaven. Cr: Scott Bradshaw

Screen Australia has put forward A$1m ($670,000, £545,820) in funding to support training and skills development programs for the screen industry. The money will be shared across the state's various agencies. 

In a press release, Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said, “Supporting Australia’s screen sector is vital to ensuring our nation’s stories are seen and heard at home and around the world. This funding will help ensure creative talent is nurtured, and artist and arts workers have career structures that are long-term and sustainable – among the key priorities of Revive, the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy.”

Screen Australia’s head of industry development, Ken Crouch, said, “With such a wealth of production taking place around the country, it’s a priority for us to improve the industry’s capability and set the sector up for a consistent pipeline of work and opportunities for filmmakers to advance their skills in below-the-line roles. Screen Australia is proud to be working with the state screen agencies to address areas of immediate need. By partnering with each of the states, we can support the work they are doing and help them to build crew capacity with a tailored approach.

"It’s important that we all work together to ensure we are in the best position to keep up the pace, and this is an important first step. In order for Australia to capitalise and enable a booming local screen industry, attractive globally, it will be critical to have further skills development investment in industry-ready training," Crouch continued.

Immediate actions to address identified skills shortages include everything from crew positions and unit management in Canberra, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territories, and more. They will cover below-the-line roles including key crew roles, location and unit management, Script Supervision, Grips and LX, among others.

According to Screen Australia, in 2021/22 there was unprecedented spending of $2.29 billion in Australia on producing scripted drama alone, including $1.51bn on local titles. The recently announced funding is in addition to a range of initiatives Screen Australia is running to support above-the-line practitioners.

Screen Australia was established in 2008, and took over functions of its predecessor agencies, the Australian Film Commission (AFC), the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) and Film Australia Limited. Its core goal is to support the development, production, promotion, and distribution of Australian narrative (drama) and documentary screen content. They invest directly in Australian film, television, online titles and games, and administer the Producer Offset tax incentive for Australian screen stories.

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