Women in Film and Television (WIFT NSW) has launched an Australian chapter of Raising Films in partnership with the UK-based not-for-profit organisation.
Raising Films Australia (RFAU) aims to identify the major problem areas which prevent parents and carers from participating in the Australian screen industry. It will collaborate with federal and state agencies, industry organisations and personnel to develop initiatives to bridge this gap.
A study by Raising Films UK found 79 per cent of respondents stated their caring role has had a negative impact on their careers.
The UK organisation founded by Hope Dickson Leach has set up programs to help employees to better meet their work and caring commitments and to support the development of a more family-friendly industry.
The Australian chapter intends to establish similar initiatives for the screen industry with a national focus to benefit all states.
The collaboration happened after producer Leonie Mansfield and scriptwriter Nicole Dade contacted Dickson Leach early last year. That led to a brunch at the Sydney Film Festival attended by Hope Leach, WIFT NSW president Megan Riakos and founding team members Kate Separovich, Kristen Hodges and Shideh Faramand.
Riakos said: “WIFT NSW recognises that gender inequality puts up many hurdles for women working in the screen industry and that caring for children and other family members places significant strains on women’s access to sound employment in the sector.
“We are excited to have the support of the Raising Films team and to capitalise on their learnings and insight for the benefit of the Australian screen industry.”
Create NSW has provided a $15,000 grant to establish the strategy in Australia while the AFTRS and the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network (SIDN) have pledged to work alongside WIFT to support the initiative. The Raising Films Australia strategy will include:
- Creation of an advisory board to bring industry input and experience.
- A nationwide survey with comprehensive data analysis.
- An industry wide conference with industry leaders including funding bodies, production companies, distributors and exhibitors to discuss how companies can better support working parents and carers.
- A Raising Films Australia report including initiatives and recommendations including best practice guides for the industry.
Raising Films Australia also plans to investigate other initiatives such as the creation of a portable crèche bus/on-site crèche and a benevolent fund to financially assist parents and careers.
For more information go to the WIFT NSW website: www.wiftnsw.org.au/raisingfilmsau