Kelrick Martin and Michelle Cheng named SDIN co-chairs

SDIN co-chairs Kelrick Martin and Michelle Cheng.

ABC’s Kelrick Martin and SBS’s Michelle Cheng will co-chair the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network (SDIN) for 2021-22, succeeding Benjamin Law and Jo Dillon.

The ABC’s head of Indigenous, Martin is a Ngarluma man from Broome WA. His commissions at the pubcaster include Cleverman S2, Kiki and KittyBlack Comedy S3 and S4, Maralinga Tjarutja and Total Control.

Martin was the inaugural presenter of ABC TV’s Message Stick. In 2002 he completed his Masters in Documentary Writing and Directing at AFTRS, and in 2007 returned to WA to become NITV’s commissioning editor. He formed Spear Point Productions in 2010, with credits including Prison Songs. Prior to joining the ABC in 2016, he was the Indigenous manager for Screenwest.

Cheng is the SBS content industry diversity manager for TV and online. Her role sees her work to improve career pathways for diverse TV creatives and investigate international best practice for screen diversity. She has also steered the roll out of SDIN’s The Everyone Project at the broadcaster, which aims to measure diversity on and offscreen on all commissioned productions.

Cheng has previously worked as a journalist, and from 2016 to 2020 was a writer for ITV Studios and Seven for quiz show The Chase Australia. In 2018 she was apanellist on more than 75 episodes of the ABC quiz show Think Tank.

The SDIN was formed in 2017, with the aim of fostering a more inclusive screen industry. Its members include each of the broadcasters, the guilds, the state screen agencies, Screen Australia, AFTRS, FreeTV and MediaRING. Its members have committed to a charter, and the organisation aims to support greater inclusiveness via workforce, talent development, training and partnerships.

Outgoing chairs Law and Dillon said they were proud of everything the SDIN had achieved in the last year, particularly The Everyone Project, and were thrilled to see Chang and Martin step up.

“SDIN’s mission has always been to foster, celebrate and showcase Australian diversity on our screens, and their combined industry experience speaks for itself. It’s also a wonderful milestone to have two people of colour – the first Asian-Australian woman and First Nations person – lead the organisation,” Law and Dillon said.

Martin and Chang will begin their roles June 1.