The ABC and Bus Stop Films will develop the careers of people with a disability under a new initiative to bring greater inclusion and opportunity to the Australian screen industry.
The inaugural Pathways Strategy will provide skills and experience for emerging Australian talent on both sides of the camera, ensuring more diverse faces, talents and stories are reflected and represented on Australian screens.
The ABC will fund two individuals with a disability to work with its Entertainment & Specialist content teams and with two production partners over a 12-month period, on the commissioning and development of programs across multiple genres.
The strategy will provide an opportunity for the selected production companies to work with people with a disability, increasing the diversity of perspectives in their content and broadening the talent pool for the Australian screen industry.
Participating production companies will also receive inclusive filmmaking training and support from Bus Stop Films, a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on accessible film studies, education and employment pathways for people living with disabilities.
Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “We are delighted to work with Bus Stop Films in helping Australian production companies open their doors wider, by building career opportunities, skills and experience for people with a disability.
“In line with the ABC’s new Diversity & Inclusion Commissioning Guidelines, the Pathways Strategy will enable people with a disability to share their creativity and talent with our audience, bringing greater diversity and inclusion and outstanding content to Australian screens.”
Tracey Corbin-Matchett, CEO of Bus Stop Films, said: “The Pathways Strategy is about clearing away the barriers people with disability face in gaining work within the screen industry and allowing them to add their unique insights to both sides of the camera.
“The Pathways Strategy will enact critical change within the Australian screen industry and production companies. Bus Stop is thrilled to continue championing inclusive filmmaking through our partnership with the ABC and I can’t wait to see the strategy in action.”
The Pathways Strategy underlies the ABC’s commitment under its Five-Year Plan 2020-25 to look and sound like contemporary Australia. The strategy is supported by the ABC Diversity & Inclusion Commissioning Guidelines – Screen Content and Diversity & Inclusion Plan 2019-2022.
Applications from production companies wanting to participate in the Pathways Strategy are open now and close on 12 March 2021.
Applications from individuals with a disability are open from 5 to 30 April.