Courtney Gibson named new chair of the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network

Courtney Gibson. 

South Australian Film Corporation CEO Courtney Gibson will succeed AFTRS CEO Neil Peplow as the chair of the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN).

SDIN was established last year with the aim of fostering a more inclusive screen industry. Its members include each of the broadcasters, the state screen agencies, Screen Australia, AFTRS, the Australian Screen Industry Group, ASTRA, FreeTV, MediaRING, the Australian Directors Guild and Screen Producers Australia.

All members have committed to a formal charter, which enshrines equal opportunities, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, disability or geographic location. The charter obligates each organisation, inter alia, to reflect the diversity of Australian society in both who they hire and stories they create, to establish benchmarks around diversity, and to commit to seeking out and supporting diverse emerging talent.

Gibson is a former CEO of Screen NSW (now Create NSW), where she established a gender equity target with regards to funding, and other programs focused on proving funding and opportunity for underrepresented groups, including Screenability NSW.

Since starting at the SAFC in April, Gibson has rolled out a an umbrella program ‘Delivering Diversity’, under which initiatives for under-represented voices in the screen industry, including women, Aboriginal content makers, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, regional South Australians, practitioners with disabilities and those from the LGBTQI community are planned.

Peplow said: “The SDIN Chair position moves between member organisation as an expression of our collective commitment to building a more representative screen sector. I am delighted to be handing the helm over to Courtney, a passionate advocate with an impressive track record in leading for change. She will continue the charge in developing strong policies and actions to foster a diverse and inclusive screen industry.”

Gibson said: “I am delighted to be taking on chairing the SDIN – together there is so much great work we can do in improving practices, building relationships and sharing learnings to create new pathways and opportunities for great Australian talent from underrepresented groups. Our influences, decision-makers and screen stories need to reflect who we are today.”

In 2018, SDIN plans to develop a measurement system that will track progress around participation in the industry, and will focus on creating Diversity Action Plans and opportunities for practitioners from underrepresented communities.