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Gender Matters Taskforce

The Gender Matters Taskforce is a volunteer-based advisory body for the agency, comprised of women and gender diverse screen practitioners working across the Australian screen sector. The Taskforce is proudly committed to supporting systemic change within the industry, by creating opportunities and empowering women and gender diverse practitioners.

Current Gender Matters Taskforce members:

  • Rosie Lourde (Chair): Director, producer, writer and actor
  • Melissa Lee Speyer (Strategy Manager): Development Executive for Wooden Horse, writer for screen and theatre
  • Zaina Ahmed (Coordinator: January 2024 - present): Emerging Producer and Developer.
  • Donna Chang: Commissioning Editor for Stan
  • Sarah Christie: Senior Development Executive for Amazon Studios
  • Patrick Clancy (Digital Communications Officer): Writer, radio producer and casting professional
  • Tracey Corbin-Matchett: CEO of Bus Stop Films
  • Martine Delaney: Writer and producer for drama and documentary, social justice advocate
  • Joanne Donahoe-Beckwith: Cinematographer working across film, television and documentary
  • Sacha Horler: Award-winning actor in film, television and theatre
  • Samantha Alexis Laughton: Production professional and writer
  • Marissa McDowell: Head of Commissions for NITV
  • Nel Minchin: Award-winning documentary director, writer and producer
  • Emma Myers: Writer, actor and journalist
  • Deborah Peart ASE: Award-winning editor
  • Louise Smith: Commissioning Editor Scripted for ABC
  • Frances Wallace CEO for Sydney Film Festival
  • Heshi Wijerathna (Coordinator: May 2023 – December 2023) Production professional
  • Victoria Lord (May 2023 – May 2024): HR professional in video game development and publishing

Previous Gender Matters Taskforce members:

  • 2016: Deanne Weir (Chair of Taskforce, Producer), Imogen Banks (Producer), Corrie Chen (Screenwriter/ Director), Sandi Don (Head of Distribution at Hopscotch/eOne), Sophie Hyde (Director/Producer), Emma Jensen (Writer), Samantha Lang (Director/Writer), Sue Maslin (Producer), Miranda Tapsell (Actor) and Natalie Tran Vlogger (Actor/Writer).
  • 2018: Deanne Weir (Chair of Taskforce, Producer), Imogen Banks (Producer), Sarah Bishop (Actor/Writer/Director/Producer), Jo Bladen (Marketing director), Fiona Cameron (Former Screen Australia COO and co-creator of Gender Matters), Corrie Chen (Writer/Director), Sasha Close (Exhibition and programming executive), Lisa French (Dean of Media and Communication, RMIT), Michelle Guthrie (Former Managing Director, ABC), Sophie Hyde (Director/Writer/Producer), Emma Jensen (Writer/Development executive), Samantha Lang (Director/Writer/Producer), Deborah Mailman (Actor), Sue Maslin (Producer), Sharon Menzies (Film financier), Pearl Tan (Actor/Writer/Director/Producer), Joanna Werner (Producer), Caitlin Yeo (Screen composer), Julie McGauran (Producer, served temporarily).
  • 2020: Joanna Werner (Chair of Taskforce, Producer), Deanne Weir (Deputy Chair, Producer), Sarah Bassiuoni (Writer/Director), Tania Chambers (Producer), Liz Doran (Writer/Producer), Anusha Duray (Producer/Acquisitions Manager NITV), Bonnie Elliott ACS (Cinematographer), Lisa French (Dean of Media and Communication, RMIT), Rachel Griffiths (Actor/Director/Producer), Monique Keller (Producer, Managing Director), Rosie Lourde (Director/Producer/Writer/Actor), Kristy Matheson (Director of Film, ACMI), Que Minh Luu (Director of Content, Netflix),  Meg O’Connell (Producer), Rachel Okine (Producer), Fiona Tuomy (Writer/Director/Producer), Malinda Wink (Executive Producer), Sophia Zachariou (Executive Producer).

Gender Matters Taskforce initiatives include:

  • ElevateUs: a three-month mentorship program, delivered by WIFT and Screen Australia.
  • Credit Maker: opportunity for women directors, cinematographers and composers to attain a credit on a scripted production. Supported by Screen Australia in partnership with the Australian Director’s Guild, the Australian Cinematographers Society and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers.
  • Gender Matters Webinars: a series of webinars hosted by Screenworks and presented by women key creatives.
  • Gender Matters Connect: a mentoring program connecting women and gender diverse screen practitioners with industry mentors, delivered by WIFT Australia and Screen Australia.