Press release from ASTRA

The subscription industry peak body, ASTRA today announced the launch of the second annual ASTRA Graduate Program, which will provide three-month contracts for graduates of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) Foundation Diploma to work in subscription television in 2012. The ten positions will be hosted by Premiere Media Group (FOX SPORTS), FOXTEL, BBC Worldwide Australia, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, TVSN & Expo Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN and STVDIO & World Movies.

“Subscription television channels and the platforms have been very enthusiastic and supportive to continue the program in 2012. Last year’s program was extremely successful, with seven out of ten participants continuing to work in the industry either on contract or in permanent roles,” said Petra Buchanan, CEO of ASTRA. “The ASTRA Graduate Program underscores STV’s commitment to investing in and nurturing talent. We are pleased to be able to provide these opportunities to a new group of graduates this year.”

The subscription television industry employed 4,643 people in 2009 and invested over $500 million into the production of Australian content.

Neil Peplow, Director Screen Content of AFTRS said, “The ASTRA Graduate program provides an excellent opportunity for training and professional work experience. The success of last year’s participants is a testament to both the quality of preparation AFTRS provides to its students and their individual enthusiasm and initiative. We are delighted to be collaborating with ASTRA again this year, to provide this much needed opportunity for new graduates.”

The Program is the only one of its kind for AFTRS, and is rare in the television industry in that it offers structured, short-term employment opportunities to recent graduates. The roles will encompass a variety of tasks and are in the areas of production, promotion, programming and broadcasting.

Jonathan Rudd, Director of Programming for Discovery Networks ANZ said, “We are thrilled to participate in the ASTRA Graduate Program for a second year, offering a short-term contract position in our Sydney office. This is a wonderful initiative and just another example of how subscription television is contributing to the media landscape in Australia.

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