Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has selected Wise Goat Productions’ Tsu Shan Chambers and Noble Savage Pictures’ Hayley Johnson as inaugural participants of its Leadership Diversity Mentorship program.
The pair will be mentored by SPA councillors and participate in council meetings and bespoke activities to develop skills and experiences, with the aim of creating pathways to membership, as well as other leadership roles in the sector.
CEO Matthew Deaner hoped Chambers and Johnson would gain insight into leadership styles from the experience.
“The SPA Council contains some of Australia’s most prolific and revered industry professionals and they, along with SPA want to foster new growth within the industry, paving the way for the next generation of leaders in our industry,” he said.
Chambers has already benefitted from mentoring provided by the organisation, having participated in SPA’s One to Watch program in 2018.
Her work as a producer includes romance drama feature Unsound, which was nominated for Best Indie Film at the AACTA awards and has obtained distribution in multiple international territories, including Netflix in ANZ and Fuse TV in the US.
She was awarded the Charlie’s Grant Residency with Australians in Film (AiF) in 2021 and is an inaugural member of the Diversity Justice Lens group for screen equity and inclusion.
Prior to joining Noble Savage Pictures in 2018, Johnson worked as a development and investment executive at Screen Australia where she oversaw projects including children’s series Little J & Big Cuz, gay rom-com A Chance Affair, Kiki & Kitty, Mystery Road, and many short films.
She has since gone on to produce the horror feature Dark Place, Aboriginal quiz show Faboriginal, and The Department for Shark Island.
SPA Council president Tracy Vieira said both Chambers and Johnson were “incredible producers”.
“Screen Producers Australia is striving to increase diversity and inclusion at every level of our organisation which includes at the highest level in council,” she said.
“I am absolutely thrilled that we actively supporting the next generation of leading producers and providing mentorship to support their success.”
Vice president Suzanne Ryan said the program would go a long way supporting and elevating new producers who wish to grow their skills.
“It’s wonderful to have Hayley and Tsu Shan be the first producers to be mentored by council and I look forward to working with them and support them in their new roles,” she said.