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Screen Australia announces new Gender Matters Taskforce

Screen Australia is pleased to announce the 18 members of the fourth iteration of the Gender Matters Taskforce. The Taskforce will provide independent advice to the agency and work beyond Screen Australia’s direct sphere of influence to develop pathways and find opportunities to support the screen industry’s efforts to achieve gender parity.

L-R: Tracey Corbin-Matchett, Rosie Lourde, Donna Chang

Formed in 2016 and updated in 2018 and 2020, the Gender Matters Taskforce is a volunteer advisory body made up of women and people of under-represented genders working across the Australian screen sector and will meet three to four times a year.

Gender Matters incoming Chair Rosie Lourde said, “I’m thrilled to steer the Taskforce and collaborate with these talented 17 people who bring a range of expertise across the screen sector. We are committed to helping develop next steps together with Screen Australia and the broader industry, to continue the push for gender parity. I’m grateful for the gains already made but know there is still a long way to go and I look forward to working with the new Taskforce on improving outcomes for all women and people of under-represented genders.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Grainne Brunsdon said, “On behalf of Screen Australia I want to thank all current and former members of the Gender Matters Taskforce for their passion and commitment to creating opportunities for women and underrepresented genders in the sector. I’d particularly like to thank outgoing Chair of the Taskforce Joanna Werner for her dedication to this program over many years. She leaves a lasting legacy and has made a profound impact on gender representation in the screen industry.”


  • Donna Chang: Donna Chang is currently the Commissioning Editor, Scripted at SBS and Board Member of the Arts & Cultural Exchange in Western Sydney. Prior to this, Chang was Head of Development at Lingo Pictures from 2018. She has worked for many years as an external assessor for Screen Australia and was a Development Executive for the agency in 2018. Chang has also worked in London as a Production Executive at Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Films. She has also been a producer across award-winning documentaries and films.
  • Sarah Christie: Sarah Christie is the Senior Development Executive at Amazon Studios, where she oversees the creative development of Australian scripted originals and all creative aspects of scripted development, production and post-production. At Amazon, Christie has worked across Class of ’07, Deadloch and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. Previously, Christie was the Development Producer at Goalpost Pictures, where she oversaw the company’s film and television slate. At Goalpost, she was a co-producer on Black Snow (Stan, Sundance Now) and worked across projects such as New Gold Mountain (SBS TV), Unjoo Moon’s I Am Woman, Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding, Fighting Season (Foxtel), Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade, Cleverman (ABC TV, SundanceTV) and Neil Armfield’s Holding The Man. Christie also served as the Development Producer on James Vaughan’s debut feature film, Friends and Strangers. She previously worked as an entertainment lawyer at Media Arts Lawyers and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Bachelor of Laws from UTS.
  • Patrick Clancy (Digital Communications Officer): Patrick Clancy has a storied media industry background, starting as radio producer at 2SER and going on to host their station's flagship Queer show ‘It’s a Gay Area’. Clancy has also worked in casting across film, TV, web content and advertising. In addition, they've also worked in copywriting, journalism and more, with a particular passion for the administrative side of the industry. Above all, Clancy is a proudly Transfeminine person, who at the core of everything they do, aims to champion and advocate for their community.
  • Tracey Corbin-Matchett: Tracey Corbin-Matchett is a proud hard of hearing woman. As CEO of Bus Stop Films, she leads their advocacy work and is Executive Producer on their growing slate of award-winning productions. Her 25-year career has spanned social housing and women’s domestic violence services, including six years as the State Manager of Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Program. Her advocacy work in the screen industry has seen her lead on strategies including “Screenability” and “She Shoots” at Screen NSW and WIFT’s Raising Films Australia. Corbin-Matchett is an IncludeAbility Ambassador to the Australian Human Rights Commission and a Director of Deaf Sports Australia and Northcott (Disability Services). She is also a member of the Screen Producers Australia Respectful Workplaces Reference Group and TAFE NSW Creative Industries Taskforce.
  • Martine Delaney: Before screenwriting, Delaney made her mark in areas as varied as youth justice, Aboriginal community development, child protection, artist management and event promotion. For the past 20 years, she’s also played significant roles in achieving major LGBTIQA+ reforms, at both state and federal levels. More recently, Delaney has written for an Emmy-nominated kids’ series, created, written and co-produced an SBS-acquired documentary and currently has projects optioned and in development with a number of major Australian production companies. As a board member of WIFT Australia, she’s constantly pushing for Tasmanian women to have greater representation in both the creation and production of Tasmanian screen stories.
  • Joanne Donahoe-Beckwith: Joanne Donahoe-Beckwith is a creative, innovative and resourceful Cinematographer with an adventurous nature her credits include film, television and documentaries. Her groundbreaking cinematography began in TV commercials and short films which led to ‘Camera and Lighting’ on ABC comedy Frontline and cinematographer on Utopia and the award-winning series A River Somewhere. Donahoe-Beckwith’s recent cinematography work includes Series Mania winning Fisk and feature documentary Splice Here: A Projected Odyssey. Donahoe-Beckwith is excited by the current changes taking place in the industry and is passionate about career development and mentorship in the camera department. Antarctica is the only continent she hasn’t worked on and she would like to change this.
  • Sacha Horler: Sacha Horler is one of Australia’s most loved and respected actors working in Film, TV and Theatre. She has recently been appointed to the Screen Australia Board and was a Judge at Flickerfest. Horler is a passionate MEAA member and a campaigner for her industry. You can see her in the comedy Colin from Accounts, the two-time ACCTA award winning comedy The Letdown, cult classic The Moodys and plays the title role in TV comedy Sando. Horler has won three AFI awards and her most recent Theatre lead role was in The Wayside Bride at Belvoir St Theatre, an Alana Valentine premiere. She starred in Kodie Bedford's Cursed and Valentine's The Sugar House both at Belvoir St Theatre and has appeared in other plays at Melbourne Theatre Company, ENSEMBLE and Sydney Theatre Company. She is a passionate advocate and mentor to the casts, crew and creatives in her Industry.
  • Samantha Alexis Laughton: Samantha Alexis Laughton (Eastern Arrernte) of Honey Ant Productions recent credits include 3rd Assistant Director and VFX Coordinator on Jon Bell’s The Moogai in 2022, VFX Coordinator on Warrick Thornton’s The New Boy in 2023 and 3rd Assistant Director on television crime-drama series True Colours in 2021. Laughton was shortlisted for the 2022 SBS Emerging Writers Incubator and her debut screenplay The Boundary Rider, a revisionist Western, was shortlisted for the 2019 Sundance Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and placed Top 5 in the 2020 Australian Film Industry/AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes. The Boundary Rider is currently in development with Brindle Films with support from Screen Territory.
  • Melissa Lee Speyer (Strategy Manager): Melissa Lee Speyer is a Development Executive for Wooden Horse, working across a slate of premium film and television projects. She was also a Development Executive at Screen Australia. As screenwriter and playwright, she has a variety of television credits and was the inaugural recipient of the Silver Gull Play Award. She is represented by RGM Artists.
  • Victoria Lord: Victoria Lord is an HR leader with 20 years’ experience working across AAA Video Game Development and Publishing. She has worked in start-up, and global game companies across the UK, USA and Australia for Sony Computer Entertainment, Team Bondi/Rockstar Games, Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Riot Games. She worked on the critically acclaimed L.A. Noire and from 2013-2021 at Riot Games, where she worked on building the Oceanic team and supporting the establishment of esports into ANZ. Lord is currently the Head of People and Culture at Showpo and sits on the NSW State Council for the Australian HR Institute. She believes in lifelong learning with the ultimate challenge; balancing professional work and motherhood.
  • Rosie Lourde (Chair): Rosie Lourde is a filmmaker traversing roles, formats and genres, who also has a passion for advocacy. Lourde’s feature directorial debut Romance on the Menu trended on Netflix and was nominated for a Director’s Guild award. Her horror short Dashcam screened in competition at CanneSeries as part of anthology series Deadhouse Dark and her digital series Starting from Now has amassed almost 200 million views online. Lourde was formerly an Investment Manager of Screen Australia’s Online Production fund, was co-Vice President of WIFT NSW and has been a member of the Gender Matters Taskforce since 2020.
  • Marissa McDowell: Marissa McDowell is a Wiradjuri woman who has 15 years’ experience working in the First Nation multi-media storytelling space and is currently employed by SBS as the Head of Commissions for NITV. She is passionate about working with the film industry to share creatively ambitious and diverse First Nations stories that have global appeal. Previously she was a creative producer and director for a number of short documentaries commissioned by NITV and other organisations, art galleries and museums. She is the chair for Us Mob Writers and a member on the Minister’s Creative Council for the ACT Government. She has recently received her Master of Arts Screen Business and Leadership at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and her Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage at Charles Sturt University.
  • Nel Minchin: Nel Minchin is an award-winning documentary director, writer and producer with a reputation for making smart, thought-provoking and engaging films. Her feature documentary Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra, co-directed with Wayne Blair, screened at 35 festivals across the world and won the European Rose D’Or for Arts programming, the Walkley Documentary Award, an Australian Directors' Guild Award, the AACTA for Best Documentary and the Adelaide Film Festival Documentary Award. Minchin has also directed and produced multiple prime time TV documentaries including soon-to-be-aired Folau, AACTA-nominated Matilda and Me (co-directed with Rhian Skirving) and The Truth about Anxiety with Celia Pacquola, which won the West Australian Mental Health Award for News Media. She has recently moved to Western Australia and has established a documentary production company.
  • Emma Myers: Emma Myers is a screenwriter, actor and journalist with cerebral palsy based in Newcastle. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and subsequent 1st Class Honours degree on the representation of women, disability and intimacy in contemporary culture. She is a co-creator and writer of the critically acclaimed 2022 SBS Digital Originals’ series Latecomers, which gained a Series Mania nomination in 2023. Myers is one of this year’s recipients of Screenworks’ Inside The Writers Room program. She has worked as part of the media team during the 2018 Invictus Games and has experience in public speaking, winning a Lions Youth of the Year Award, as well as holding the title of Miss Cessnock City for two years. Myers was also the recipient of the ABC Regional Storyteller Scholarship in 2020 and has two years’ experience working as a Features Reporter for ABC News.
  • Deborah Peart ASE: Deborah Peart ASE is one of Australia’s leading screen editors. Whilst applying her craft across various forms, she is a mainstay in the television drama space having edited some of the country’s most critically acclaimed and internationally prolific series’ including Mystery Road Season 1 and Lambs of God (which both screened in competition at Series Mania) and Total Control Season 1, which became the first Australian series to premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. Recent work includes the feature Seriously Red and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. A multiple AACTA and ASE award winner, Peart is a former president and accredited member of the Australian Screen Editors Guild. She also guest lectures at AFTRS.
  • Louise Smith: Louise Smith has been working in the production of television and feature films for over 25 years. She is currently at the ABC, where she has been an executive producer on scripted dramas and comedies including Significant Others, Bay of Fires and the reimagining of Mother and Son. Prior to the ABC Smith produced the ten-part television series The End for Foxtel and the AACTA Award winning telemovie Riot for the ABC. She produced the feature film The Square, co-produced the feature film The Rage in Placid Lake and was an executive producer on Dance Academy: The Movie.
  • Frances Wallace: Frances Wallace is currently the CEO at Sydney Film Festival, having recently returned to Australia after over 20 years in the US. She is a globally recognised non-profit film and cultural leader with decades of experience in large scale festivals and events. She is renowned for being an optimistic builder, visionary and creative strategist. Wallace’s most recent position was as Executive Director of Frameline, the world’s largest film non-profit dedicated to expanding social justice and cultural strategy through LGBTQIA+ media across the US. In the pandemic, Wallace trained as a leadership coach and has guided leaders in non-profit film, working towards creating more equitable models of growth and sustainability.
  • Heshi Wijerathna (Coordinator): Heshi Wijerathna is an industry newcomer, Swinburne University of Technology graduate, short film producer and production office crew member working across drama series for Fremantle Australia, Matchbox Pictures and Easy Tiger productions. Together with her Swinburne peers, Wijerathna produced award winning short film Mother Tongue, which screened across international film festivals. Wijerathna has sought a holistic approach to production, experiencing all below the line production office roles. As with many others, Wijerathna’s first screen credit was on Neighbours, where she realised the importance of having supportive training environments and structures for industry newcomers and underrepresented screen practitioners.  


Gender Matters is the umbrella name of Screen Australia’s efforts to address the underutilisation of women in key creative roles in the Australian screen industry.

In October 2022, Screen Australia met the KPI of at least 50% of key creative roles across all projects that receive Screen Australia development and production funding to be women, across a three-year average (2019/20 to 2021/22). This KPI has been extended for another year while the method is reviewed to determine how it fits in with a broader strategy around intersectionality and diversity. For more information click here.