ADG End of Year Message 2021
Well, 2021 has been an extraordinary year in so many ways, one where our members and our organisation’s resilience has been well and truly tested.
But challenging though 2021 was, I’m incredibly proud of what our members and our team have been able to collectively achieve.
Of course, innovation and determination in the face of adversity is part of a Directors’ DNA - and nowhere was this more evident than in the very public Make it Australian campaign in the face of some particularly regressive media reform announced by our government at the end of 2020.
With strong lobbying collaboration across the sector and the support of the ALP, Greens and the cross-benchers we achieved some great policy outcomes in Canberra:
- Retention of the 40% feature offset as well as the lower qualifying thresholds and the Gallipoli Clause,
- Increase of the TV offset from 20 to 30%, and,
- Retention of the NEDE scheme for subscription TV
This means more employment opportunities for our members, more opportunities for Australian stories to be told and great outcomes for Australian audiences with a proven appetite to watch them.
However on the negative side of the ledger, this government watered down long running Australian content quotas for Free to Air Commercial Networks and removed any obligation for Australian networks to produce Australian Kid’s content - SPA modelled a decline of $100m in production spend annually resulting from these changes.
And unlike other progressive international governments, our government has been tortoise-slow to regulate Australian content minimums on Streaming platforms that have exponentially increased their reach, influence and financial returns in Australia during the pandemic.
So, we look forward to continuing the fight for Australian stories on Australian screens in 2022.
With the pandemic continuing to wreak havoc with our in-person events and workshop calendar, we’ve innovated new ways to connect with our members.
Our weekly ADG-40 First-Hand on-line mentoring sessions have connected hundreds of our members to our established member brains trust, Mentors have generously shared their tips, their methods, their wisdom and lived experiences.
The productions for our Annual Diversity Showcase with the AWG, Screen Australia and the Equity Foundation were due to be shot in-Sydney but covid knocked that on the head.
Our five very talented Directors were able to innovate new ways of remote working to tell stories that were screened to a packed auditorium in Sydney on the 3rd of December.
And our Awards had the highest number of entries by a considerable margin this year, the stories never more entertaining, engaging, and diverse.
We live-streamed the nominations for the first time and the live-streamed Awards ceremony hit a fittingly celebratory and inclusive note to cap off an incredibly challenging year
A couple of hundred joined us in the audience in Sydney and many more attended our pop-up in-cinema live awards events in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.
We continued to expand our Learning and Development Partnerships with two intakes of the Director Pathways program with Screenworks providing bespoke Career Development for early-career directors living in Regional NSW.
We launched the Talent Gateway partnership with Australian’s in Film with an aim to bring Australian voices and stories to international audiences and provide access and connections to key US decision makers.
And with the conclusion of our DirectOne Shadow Directing program funding from Screen Australia, we’ve taken all the learnings from a very successful program into a very exciting new program called Local2Global.
We think it’s an industry game-changer, as for the first time it ties together all our workshops, attachments, shadow and mentoring programs into a cohesive annual curriculum.
We look forward to sharing more news on this exciting initiative with you in the new year.
Hopefully you’ve also noticed a major improvement to our member experience and digital content following the long-awaited launch of our new website in November. www.adg.org.au
If you haven’t done so already, we’d encourage you to log on, update your member information and take advantage of the resources exclusively available to members in the Members Hub.
You’ll find a host of useful information there including recommended rates, contract advice, recordings of the ADG-40 First-Hand sessions and of our Annual Awards.
And in some very exciting news, something we think will be quite transformative for both our members and the wider industry, we launch our searchable member database - THE DIRECTORY – in February next year.
This, for the first time, provides our members opportunity to showcase their work and be found - we’d love you to update your information and opt in.
The end of 2021 saw the end of an era with our formidable president Samantha Lang, stepping down after serving twelve years on the ADG board and six years in the role of president.
Sam oversaw an exponential growth in the number and diversity of ADG members, championed the Gender Matters program, expanded the range of professional development opportunities for ADG members and raised the Guild’s industrial influence and standing.
We thank Sam for her enormous contribution.
And we’re thrilled that Rowan Woods agreed to stand as ADG President and was duly elected as our new president in November.
We also welcome new board member Partho Sen-Gupta to the board.
Lastly, if you’ve not done so already, do make sure to renew your membership. Please click here to renew.
With our new member portal it’s never been easier and your fees are absolutely critical to funding all our advocacy, career development and industrial relations initiatives.
They are critical to us being able to support your careers and fight for your rights.
On behalf of everyone at the ADG, I wish you a safe and happy festive season and a wonderful and productive 2022.
ADG Executive Director