Australian Directors' Guild
This year we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the Australian Directors' Guild. Here is some information about our team, board, chapter heads and our history.
For the whole local Australian industry to thrive, conditions must be right. For four decades the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) has been fighting for appropriate regulation and resources on top of advocating for better rights, opportunities and recognition for screen directors.
The Australian Directors’ Guild is a not-for-profit industry association representing the interests of over 1,000 Screen Director members working across film, television, streaming and digital media.
We aim to improve professional standards, conditions and remuneration for Australian Screen Directors, protect and advance the creative rights of our members and promote a cultural voice that is truly representative of Australia’s innate diversity. As a cultural organisation we also seek to advance our understanding of the director’s role by sharing and exchanging future-focused knowledge and skills.
We are the collective voice of directors and represent directors’ interests to federal & state governments, to state and screen funding agencies and regulators, to broadcasters, studios, to other industry bodies and to the media.
Our development and industrial relations programs provide valuable services and benefits to our members and ensure they are involved in the profession and as a community. Our Annual awards loudly celebrate the craft of directing and shine a light on emerging new directing talent.
You may be one but together we are many and as Union members we all work together to protect your rights, further your careers and develop our industry.
Strategy & Development Executive
Senior Development Manager
Digital & Events Coordinator
The ADG is governed by an elected board that includes some of Australia’s most celebrated Directors selected across film, television, and interactive/new media.
Rowan Woods (President)
Stephen Wallace (Treasurer)
Daina Reid (Secretary)
Within each state there is an ADG Chapter Head, with whom members can liaise and who organises events on the Guild's behalf for their local membership base. You can connect with your local chapter via social media groups or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Heads are voluntary positions and the ADG are very grateful to all our Chapter Heads for all the time and effort that they put in to support the Guild.
NEW SOUTH WALES Chapter Head
VICTORIA Chapter Head
QUEENSLAND Chapter Heads
Mairi Cameron with Tam Sainsbury
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Chapter Head
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Chapter Head
Dave De Vries
TASMANIA Chapter Head
In early 1981, news broke that a project fully funded by the NSW State Government, ‘HOODWINK’, was to be directed by an English director. Australian directors staged protests to the Producer, to State Government and to the Australian Theatrical and Amusements Employees’ Association (AT&AEA) then the sole representative of directors. But nothing changed so they took matters into their own hands.
One evening, Gillian Armstrong arranged a meeting around her dining table in Rozelle with Phil Noyce, Stephen Wallace and James Ricketson. Other directors joined the cause and Gillian agreed to be the first president of a new organisation AFFDA (Australian Feature Film Director’s Association), to ensure Australian directors were given a voice.
In January 1982, it was officially changed to the Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA). President of ASDA, Phil Noyce suggested a 2% fee on all contracts backed by ASDA to fund legal services and pay for the administration. This was the forerunning suggestion for a union – it was Phil’s notion that we had to become a union, to protect our members.
But it wasn’t until 1994, when ASDA was invited to Toronto by the Canadian Director’s Guild President, for a meeting with the DGA that it was pointed out by their director, Gene Reynolds, that Australian directors weren’t really protected until it was formed into a union unless you could go to arbitration.
In 1999, ASDA’s CEO Richard Harris began to make moves to register as a union. In 2003 eight directors contributed to an $8000 fighting fund for registration. In 2007, under Ray Argall’s presidency, lawyer Greg Duffy was brought onboard to take up the case for unionisation and for director’s copyright and the retransmission scheme.
The final unionisation process began on the 17th of November 2012 under CEO Kingston Anderson with the support of the full members. The ADG was asked to take a vote among full members at a hearing held at the Fair Work Commission on the 21st of November 2014. The vote required 75% of members to support the amended unionised constitution. The vote happened at an Extraordinary General Meeting at The Writers Centre in Rozelle, Sydney on the 16th of December 2014. There were 273 votes in favour - most by proxy, no abstentions, and no votes against.
On the 13th of February in 2015, Greg Duffy notified the Fair Work Commission of the outcome of the Extraordinary General Meeting. The Australian Directors’ Guild was approved. We were now a union, the sole union for screen directors in Australia. It had taken 33 years. It was a historic day.