Screen Queensland and Screenworks announce North Queensland Screen Advisory Committee

Top Row L-R: Jan Cattoni, John Baker, Riannon Belcher, Rowena Billard, Gabriel Deveraux. Bottom Row L-R: Aaron Fa'Aoso, Karen Jackson, Daniel Mulvihill, Caden Pearson, Tamera Simpson.

Screen Queensland and Screenworks have formed a Far North and North Queensland Screen Advisory Committee to support the $4 million North Queensland Regional Program.  

Jan Cattoni, John Baker, Riannon Belcher, Rowena Billard, Gabriel Deveraux, Aaron Fa’aoso, Karen Jackson, Daniel Mulvihill, Caden Pearson, and Tamera Simpson will provide recommendations to help shape the skills development initiative across the next three years.

It comes after nominations for the committee opened in May, with the 10 representatives drawn from a broad cross-section of the region’s screen sector.

Chair of the Far North Queensland Studios Implementation Group and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said that the appointment of the committee was the next step in securing a robust screen production industry.  

“Forging a new multi-million dollar industry based in Far North Queensland is more than just building a sound stage and production studio,” he said.  

“It was always my intent that we engage and work with local industry practitioners to ensure the longevity of the industry and authenticity of local and First Nations content. 

“The committee will ensure that we continue to develop the educational components associated with production, to ensure that we’re not only providing great locations but can back that up with access to screen practitioners and production experts.” 

Delivered in partnership with Screenworks, the North Queensland Regional Program is designed to build the production capacity of the local screen industry across North Queensland and Far North Queensland through targeted skills development.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said the primary goal was to increase screen production opportunities for the region through locally produced projects as well as those attracted from interstate and overseas.  

“We have proudly appointed a committee of diverse and accomplished local practitioners with the knowledge and perspectives to inform a rigorous, strategic program focused specifically on nurturing local production talent,” she said. 

“Not only do we want to see more Queensland-made productions telling authentic regional stories, but also it’s essential that we create a strong local crew base, primed to work on a range of productions, including those that will occupy Screen Queensland Studios: Cairns from 2023.”  

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said the opening of the Cairns facility next year would mark an exciting new era for the screen industry in the north of the state.  

“The inaugural members of our advisory committee have a wide range and depth of experience in the sector and we’re confident their insights and advice will be invaluable in helping guide the North Queensland Regional Program,” he said. 

“This will ensure that crews in the region are appropriately skilled and ready for the anticipated production boom.”