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Media Centre

12 07 2019 - Media release

Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department publish new strategy


Grace Besides MeDamari and GuyalaSpear

Screen Australia has today published The Next 25 Years – the Indigenous Department’s new strategy. The release of the plan is the culmination of extensive consultation that occurred throughout the Department’s 25th anniversary year (2018) and into 2019.

The plan details five pillars that address the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. These pillars have been created based on feedback from recipients of Screen Australia funding, Indigenous members of the creative and film community, state and territory agencies, broadcasters, and other key screen sector partners.

The pillars will underpin the Department’s future efforts and form the basis for the Department’s strategic decisions, including allocations of funding. The five pillars are:

  • Indigenous storytelling: continued support for Indigenous-authored works, with a focus on developing new voices.
  • Identifying stories and talent: evolving the way the Department identifies new talent by creating a Talent Development Pathway.
  • Developing talent: working with sister organisations to form a National Framework for Indigenous Professional Development to make funding opportunities more accessible.
  • Connecting talent: taking an industry leadership role to expose talent to domestic and international opportunities.
  • Advocating for Indigenous representation and leadership: increasing the prominence of the sector and using that profile to raise resources for an Indigenous Screen Fund.

Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia said: “The achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen storytellers have been extraordinary. Their visual narratives have filtered into the hearts and minds of local and international audiences, bringing an authentic sense of our country and our people. They give voice to our communities, share our experiences and of course, entertain.”

“This new strategy will guide the Department in future years so we can continue to deliver on our mission of identifying and nurturing talented Indigenous Australians to ensure their bold, distinctive voices are heard through the engaging stories they craft.”

The sector has also become a benchmark for what can be achieved when Indigenous and non-Indigenous creators genuinely collaborate, evidenced recently by Bunya Productions’ extraordinary hits Sweet Country and the Mystery Road series. That spirit is central to this year’s NAIDOC Week theme of Voice, Treaty, Truth - let’s work together for a shared future.

Screen Australia appreciates the assistance provided by PwC Australia in the preparation of this strategy and for facilitating the engagement with the screen industry.

The new strategy is available to view in full here


  • A history of the Indigenous Department is available here
  • Statistics relating to Indigenous Production trends are available here

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Media enquiries

Maddie Walsh | Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 5915  | [email protected]

Ted Rose | Senior Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 1091  | + 61 456 558 679 | ted.rose@screenaustralia.gov.au

All other general/non-media enquiries

Sydney + 61 2 8113 5800  |  Melbourne + 61 3 8682 1900 | [email protected]