News & Events
SAFC celebrates First Nations creatives and voices in 2021
14 December 2021
In 2021 the SAFC entered into the second year of our First Nations Screen Strategy 2020-25 and Reconciliation Action Plan: Innovate 2020-22, reaffirming our commitment to supporting and amplifying the extraordinary stories and creative voices of South Australia’s First Nations screen sector.
First Nations Screen Strategy – 2021 Highlights and Achievements
In 2021 the SAFC supported six First Nations practitioners to undertake attachments across major productions including MaveriX (Keith Gilbey Warrior and Adam Dixon-Galea), Firebite (Keith Gilbey-Warrior, Kiara Karpany-Day and Thibul Nettle) and Heartbreak High (Sierra Schrader), as well as supporting four South Australian First Nations crew to work on award-winning filmmaker Rolf de Heer’s new feature film The Mountain, providing them with their first feature film credits as Heads of Departments: Production Designer Maya Coombs, Gaffer/Grip Damian Wanganeen, Sound Recordist/Sound Designer Adam Dixon-Galea and Editor Isaac Lindsay.
First Nations practitioners were also supported to participate in the full range of SAFC programs including the Master Apprentice Mentorship presented in collaboration with Mercury CX; micro-credential training initiative Skilling SA; and round two of the Film Lab: New Voices feature film skills development program, which this year guarantees one of the three teams selected for development will be First Nations led.
And with the SAFC’s support, SA First Nations practitioners have participated in national workshops and training programs such as Spotify’s Sound Up Australia podcast workshop, Australians in Film’s Untapped program, Act Now Theatre’s Writers’ Fellowship and Mercury CX’s Springboard program, as well as major national screen conferences including MIFF, SPA and AIDC.
The SAFC’s Regional Podcasting Workshop, presented in partnership with Country Arts SA and Riverland Youth Theatre, saw First Nations creatives from across the state develop their skills in audio recording, editing and production, resulting in a series of compelling new podcasts that launched across ABC radio networks and on indigiTUBE.
Launched in late 2020, our new partnership with community broadcaster Channel 44 has already proven a success in its first year with seven First Nations practitioners undertaking internships as part of the SAFC and Channel 44 First Nations Mentorship Program and another two preparing to start in the new year.
The initial round of the program saw four talented First Nations screen creatives receive on-the-job training at Channel 44’s studios in Collinswood, gaining valuable hands-on experience in television production, learning new skills and creating original content for broadcast, including new First Nations Talk Show Mob Talks, set to shoot in 2022.
As part of the SAFC’s aim to form stronger partnerships with broadcasters to increase interest in South Australian First Nations screen content, we are pleased to extend our partnership with Channel 44 for another 12 months, working with the station to promote and screen more First Nations content, and to create further internships and employment opportunities for emerging First Nations screen practitioners.
The SAFC also worked collaboratively with other organisations to deliver programs and strategic initiatives for the emerging First Nations screen and digital sector, including partnering with SBS/NITV on the Curious Australia initiative, offering $120,000 to a First Nations led creative team to make a half-hour documentary to screen on NITV, and supporting Country Arts SA’s Nunga Screen program.
And the SAFC sponsored a new award at the 2021 Mercury CX South Australian Screen Awards – the inaugural prize for Best First Nations Talent, which was presented to actor Natasha Wanganeen for her compelling performance in SAFC supported short film Djaambi. Congratulations to Natasha on this prestigious honour, an exciting new initiative to celebrate the work of First Nations South Australian practitioners.
We were also thrilled to see former SAFC First Nations Screen Strategy Executive Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin honoured with the Stevie Gadlabarti Goldsmith Award at the 2021 Ruby Awards earlier this month. Lee-Ann left the SAFC in August after six years to take up a new role to drive the planning, programming and curation for the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre at Lot Fourteen.
Operationally, the SAFC’s new First Nations Advisory Committee meets regularly to guide, inform and support the SAFC’s work with the First Nations screen sector, and SAFC First Nations Industry Development Executive Nara Wilson facilitates ongoing production inquiries connecting non-Indigenous producers or production companies with SA First Nations practitioners, while the Adelaide Studios Pirrku Kuu Hub continues to provide a shared creative workspace for First Nations filmmakers at the SAFC.
Reconciliation Action Plan – 2021 Highlights and Achievements
The SAFC’s RAP Working Group meets four times per year to review the goals and strategic aims of the agency’s Reconciliation Action Plan, to ensure it remains on track.
Among the highlights of the SAFC’s achieved RAP actions in 2021 were:
- All SAFC staff and a number of SAFC Board members, as well as representatives from partner agency Mercury CX, underwent Cultural Awareness training in May. Facilitated by Tauondi Aboriginal College, the training session explored the history of First Nations cultures in Australia as well as contemporary Aboriginal community and culture, including the purpose and significance behind cultural protocols, and how to best engage with First Nations communities;
- The SAFC Executive Leadership team participated in an Anti-Discrimination Training session conducted by Leed Consulting, while SAFC CEO Kate Croser also attended an Executive Leadership Anti-Racism and Unconscious Bias training session run via the Department for Innovation and Skills (DIS);
- SAFC CEO Kate Croser also participated in a full day workshop as part of the DIS Leader to Leader program, designed to connect SA government agency leaders with SA First Nations community leaders in order to build better and stronger relationships and improve the success of First Nations people in skills pathways, employment and participation in programs;
- We expanded the suite of First Nations South Australian companies the SAFC does business with, this year newly engaging graphic designers Dreamtime Creative and Indigenous food suppliers Something Wild on various projects, and launching a new arrangement with Tauondi Aboriginal College to employ graduates as part of our pool of casual temp workers for casual administration roles;
- We continued to work closely with First Nations owned and run business Ochre Dawn for engaging Kaurna Elders and leaders to provide a Welcome to Country and other appropriate cultural protocols at all significant events;
- We marked National Reconciliation Week 2021 with the inaugural SAFC First Nations Screen Industry Speed Networking event, held at Sparkke @ The Whitmore, where First Nations practitioners were able to connect with some of South Australia’s leading screen producers;
- We celebrated and promoted SA First Nations practitioners through our online and social media platforms across the year, including profiling the four emerging creatives taking part in the SAFC Channel 44 First Nations Mentorship program;
- We celebrated NAIDOC Week 2021 with a special “In Conversation” event with award winning First Nations filmmaker Warwick Thornton at Tandanya, with the talk filmed by partner organisation Channel 44 and made available for later viewing on the SAFC website;
- The SAFC also reviewed HR policies and procedures to remove barriers to staff participating in NAIDOC Week by allowing all SAFC staff to attend at least one event during work hours, and we continued to provide opportunities for our First Nations staff to participate with their cultures and communities during NAIDOC Week;
- Fulfilling the SAFC’s Innovate RAP action to investigate local cultural immersion opportunities, in December SAFC staff attended a Kaurna cultural tour at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre and Warriparinga Wetlands in Bedford, a Kaurna owned and operated business, which offered a guided tour about the history of the location and its traditional cultural significance;
- And the SAFC became an official member of Reconciliation SA, with Reconciliation SA Board member Sam Yates attending one of our RAP Working Group meetings, and SAFC Head of Production and Development Beth Neate and SAFC First Nations Industry Development Executive Nara Wilson attending the Reconciliation SA Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2021.
SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “I would like to thank SAFC First Nations Industry Development Executive Nara Wilson and recently departed SAFC First Nations Screen Strategy Executive Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin for their energy, dedication and leadership throughout 2021, which has helped result in these amazing outcomes for both the agency and the wider screen sector. We at the SAFC look forward to another exciting and successful year for the First Nations Screen Strategy and Reconciliation Action Plan in 2022.”
To find out more about the SAFC’s First Nations Screen Strategy and Reconciliation Action Plan, go to safilm.com.au/first-nations-screen-strategy
Main image: Marika Davies at the First Nations Podcasting workshop, photo credit Jannette Fulham Photography; Natasha Wanganeen at the 2021 SASA Awards, photo supplied; Trevor Jamieson and Nancia Guivarra at the SAFC First Nations Speed Networking event, photo by Naomi Jellicoe.