Spotlight On: Diversity Consultancy

27 October, 2020 7:00 PM - 27 October, 2020 8:00 PM

Event is not bookable.

PLEASE NOTE: Registrations for this event have now closed. If you would like to join the webinar from 7pm tonight (AEDT), click HERE.

Benjamin Law discusses diversity and inclusion in the screen sector with Screen Australia’s Head of Indigenous Penny Smallacombe, Screen NSW’s Sector Investment Manager Sofya Gollan, award-winning screenwriter Niki Aken (The Hunting, Upright) and screenwriter Mithila Gupta (Bump, Five Bedrooms). The panel will discuss definitions of diversity and consultancy, how to build successful, inclusive writers’ rooms and the evolving landscape of Australian television. 

Join us on Tuesday for the next in our Spotlight Series.

WHEN Tuesday 27 October 2020, 7pm AEDT / 6.30pm ACDT / 4pm AWST

WHERE  Via ZOOM online. 

RSVP: Essential for all attendees. RSVP via the link above. Attendees will receive a link to the panel one hour before the start time. 

For those who cannot attend, the Spotlight Series is being recorded and made available to AWG members on AWG On Demand.


Benjamin Law is a Sydney based Australian writer and broadcaster. He is the author of The Family Law (2010), Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012), the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 (2017), and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). He has also written for over 50 publications in Australia and beyond including the Monthly, frankie, Guardian, Monocle and Australian Financial Review. Benjamin created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, based on his memoir, and his sold-out debut play Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company) ran February–March 2020. He has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC RN’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything and interviews public figures for Good Weekend

Niki Aken co-wrote The Hunting for SBS / Closer Productions which won the 2019 AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television for Episode 3 “#shittyboys”. Niki script produced the critically acclaimed comedy-drama series Upright, starring Tim Minchin, for Foxtel and Sky UK.  She also script produced Why Are You Like This, an upcoming comedy for ABC, and wrote on series two and three of acclaimed legal thriller Janet King for ABC.  She also co-wrote the historical WW1 mini-series ANZAC Girls, which was the highest-rating drama on ABC in 2014 and won the 2014 Best Adapted Screenplay AWGIE. 

Mithila Gupta is an Indian born, Aussie bred screenwriter/ creator who started her career in the story room at Neighbours in 2010 where she introduced an Indian family to the regular cast of Ramsay Street. Mithila most recently wrote on Bump (Stan), both seasons of Five Bedrooms (Ten, Peacock & BBC One) and was head writer on Aquarius Films’ The Unlisted (ABC & Netflix) on which she wrote several episodes including the pilot. Both series feature Indian leads and celebrate family and culture. She has also written on Doctor Doctor/ The Heart Guy (Nine), The Heights (ABC), Playing for Keeps (Ten), Winners and Losers (Seven), Home and Away (Seven), Trip for Biscuits (ABC), and Toybox (Seven). She was the assistant script editor on Cleverman (ABC & AMC).

Penny Smallacombe is a Member of the Maramanindji people, from the Northern Territory. She has completed a cadetship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and has a Masters of Arts (Documentary Producing) from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. Between 2004 and 2005 Penny worked in the Indigenous Programs Unit at the ABC, where she produced and directed for series 6 and 7 of Message Sticks. Penny’s ABC stories Leila Murray and the Long Grassers were nominated for Human Rights awards. Penny also produced the ABC’s highly successful Yarning Up series 1 and 2 and was a part of the Screen Australia Indigenous Department’s Producers Initiative in 2011. She produced a series of shorts called The Forgotten Ones in 2010, directed by prisoners from the NT, and before beginning her role at Screen Australia, Penny was working as a Senior Programmer for NITV, National Indigenous Television, a division of SBS.     

Sofya Gollan is an award-winning screenwriter, director, playwright, producer and developer working across storytelling genres and platforms. She also identifies as a creative with disability, whose range of accomplished films and plays have been informed by that lived experience. She leverages +20 years’ experience in diversity and disability advocating for change in cultural practices, change in the workplace and representation on screen of the broad and diverse audience that exists within Australia.  As well as being a creative practitioner, she is a leader in the design and delivery of disability-led arts programs and works in leadership roles across the screen, arts, literary and disability sector.

The AWG Spotlight Series is made possible with support from Screen NSW.

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