AFTRS TV talks
TV Talks
AFTRS TV Talks TV Talks guest Manu Feildel with audience members
TV Talks
AFTRS' TV Talks AFTRS' TV Talks - dedicated TV industry panel discussions


TV TALKS is an opportunity to watch, listen and laugh along with a panel of engaging TV industry guests who talk about TV 'stuff' for TV 'people' complemented with some good, old-fashioned networking afterwards!

  • One Tuesday each month, February through to November.
  • All welcome - however places are limited and RSVP via Eventbrite is essential
  • Subscribe to our enewsletter and select TV Talks to be on the invite list



Murder. Sexual Violence. Heists. Accounting Fraud.

They're the subjects which fill our TVs every night of the week, across the genres. So what's with our enduring fascination with the darker side of society? 

TV Talks September will sit down with 4 of the best criminal minds in the business: The enthralled audience will get their insights into why crime works, how they work around the ethical issues, and how they make the unlikable relate-able.

Join MC Andrew Garrick as we discuss the criminal element on TV with John Edwards (Blue Murder), Basia Bonkowski (RBT), Jason Stephens (Mr and Mrs Murder) and Fiona Baker (Murder Calls) - 4 of the great producers, discussing a fascinating topic that crosses genres and generations.


  • Fiona Baker:  Executive Producer, Murder Calls
  • Basia Bonkowski:  Executive Producer, Screentime
  • John Edwards OAM: Executive Producer, Roadshow Rough Diamond
  • Jason Stephens: Producer, Wake In Fright
  • MC: Andrew Garrick

Guest Bios

Fiona Baker is a highly respected and successful television producer.  She has produced current affairs, lifestyle, reality and factual programs for all major Australian networks.

Fiona started her career as a researcher on the daily afternoon children's program Simon Townsend’s Wonder World. She produced on daily and weekly current affairs shows, including 60 Minutes, Willesee and 730 Report. She also turned her hand to lifestyle programs, including Money and Sex.

Fiona then successfully created and executive produced a number of prime time shows - notably, one of the longest running factual programs in Australia, RPA (Nine Network), and the highly rated true crime series Forensic Investigators hosted by Lisa McCune (Network Seven). Both these groundbreaking shows won local and international acclaim and awards.

Fiona has received an honorary award at the Walkleys for excellence in journalism, has reviewed true crime and crime fiction books, and earlier this year made the docu drama Murder Calls for the Nine Network.

She is currently researching and writing a new crime series.

Basia Bonkowski began her television career at SBS working as a producer, writer and presenter across a variety of formats. She then moved to Channel Ten where she presented Music Video and worked as a journalist for Good Morning Australia. From there she moved to Channel 7 where she continued working as a producer and journalist. She left television for a few years during which time she completed a masters degree and wrote two non-fiction books. Basia returned to television in 2007 and resumed working as a producer and writer on various formats ranging from ‘Find Your Family through to the documentary series, ‘Beyond the Darklands'.

In 2010 she began working for Screentime as the Show Runner for RBT for Channel 9. The series follows police as they test drivers for alcohol and drugs. It remains one of the most successful factual police series on television and has had a run of ten seasons so far. Basia has been the Executive Producer for the past four seasons. Screentime works closely with the NSW Police department who credit the Series with raising the profile of drink and drug driving and helping to reduce the numbers of drink drivers on NSW roads.

Basia is currently working as Co-Execeutive Producer for a new series for Channel 9, The Driving Test.

John Edwards has produced more than 600 hours of television drama. His productions have won 29 Logie Awards, 40 AFI and AACTA Awards, four People’s Choice Awards, eight ASTRA Awards, more than a dozen craft awards within Australia and a number of international accolades, including three New York Festival Awards and two Golden Globe nominations.

As a producer, the main focus of John’s work is one-hour series drama, and he produced and created both of the only two Australian episodic series ever commissioned for primetime in the UK: Police Rescue (produced with Sandra Levy) for BBC1 and ABC in Australia; and The Secret Life of Us (produced with Amanda Higgs) for Channel 4 and Network Ten in Australia.  John produced (with Claudia Karvan) the multi-award winning series Love My Way for Foxtel (series 1 and 2) and Showtime Australia (series 3), and Spirited (also with Jacquelin Perske) for W on Foxtel. He has also produced The Surgeon (with Judi McCrossin) for Network Ten, Dangerous (with Imogen Banks) for Fox 8, and Rush (with Mimi Butler) for Network Ten. With Imogen Banks, John produced Tangle for Showtime Australia, five series of the multi-award winning and audience favourite Offspring for Network Ten, Puberty Blues (Network Ten) and Party Tricks, also for Network Ten.

John has also produced a number of mini-series and telemovies including the Golden Globe nominated mini-series On the Beach (Showtime USA/Seven Network); Marking Time (ABC), winner of 7 AFI awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, AWGIE Award and others; Do or Die (Seven Network, BskyB); Children of the Dragon (ABC and BBC1); Tracy (Nine Network); six telemovies in the Cody series (Seven Network) and telemovie pilots for Police Rescue, The Secret Life of Us, Hard Knox (the only Australian-initiated pilot to be picked up by a US major studio, New Line), Fireflies and Offspring (series 1-3). John produced Beaconsfield for the Nine Network and Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo (with Karen Radzyner) for the ABC, becoming their highest rating drama for many years. Then followed the high rating and multi-award winning Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War (with Mimi Butler), Paper Giants: Magazine Wars (with Mimi Butler) for ABC and Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story (with Jodi Matterson) for the Nine Network. In 2014, John produced the eight-hour mini-series Gallipoli with Robert Connolly and Imogen Banks (Nine Network). In 2015, John produced The Beautiful Lie (also with Imogen Banks) for the ABC. In 2016, John executive produced Blue Murder: Killer Cop (with Richard Roxburgh and Julie McGauran) for Channel Seven.

In 2016, with Dan Edwards he joined forces with Roadshow Films to form the new production entity Roadshow Rough Diamond. John was appointed as a member of the Order of Australia at the Australia Day awards in 2017.

In mid-2015 Jason Stephens partnered with producer Helen Bowden to launch Lingo Pictures. This month their first production aired, a prestige pilot for Foxtel taking Maggie Beer to Japan. They have also just delivered their first drama, the highly anticipated mini- series for Network Ten based on the iconic novel Wake in Fright. In addition they have a mini series in advanced development with Foxtel and a boxing drama in development with SBS.

From 2010 - February 2014 Jason produced 5 dramas under a joint venture with FremantleMedia: Kiling Time (Foxtel); Devils Dust (ABCTV); Mr. and Mrs. Murder, (Ten Network); Better Man, (SBS); and Schapelle, (Nine Network). Previously, Jason Exec Produced/ Produced The King, The Graham Kennedy Story (TV1 and Seven Network), for Crackerjack Productions.

As well as producing in a joint venture with FremantleMedia, Jason held the role of Director of Development, from 2006 and then in 2010, Creative Director of FremantleMedia moving to Sydney to perform that role.

As Creative Director and Director of Development at FremantleMedia, Jason was responsible for new business, that is, getting original ideas sold to market. The role involved strong international exposure with Jason working alongside other FremantleMedia creatives around the world, particularly in London and North America, to create new intellectual property. Jason also traveled to Europe four times a year to attend television markets, Mip and Mipcom, the FremantleMedia development conferences, as well as numerous meetings with international distributors and producers around the world.

Andrew Garrick MC

Andrew has produced and directed major TV projects for all the free to air channels and committed very few crimes in the process. However Micro Nation, his first original TV project was about constitutional crime and governmental bureaucracy.

Andrew's developed shows with leading independent production companies including Screentime, Shine, Fremantle Australia, and Beyond Productions and has a long list of commercial producing and directing credits. He is an Executive Producer for the ABC Entertainment Department, and co-founder of Zedtown: a live zombie apocalypse for thousands at a time, as well as teaching Applied Storytelling at AFTRS Open.

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Past TV Talks


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.