TV Talks

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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!

  • First Tuesday of the month, February through to November.
  • All welcome - however places are limited and RSVP is essential
  • To be placed on the invite list please email
  • You can RSVP to the current event by clicking on the following link and registering your details through Eventbrite:

Reality shows jumped on the Diversity bus years ago - but has comedy finally got on board?

The Habibs! Are Coming to Channel Nine, The Family Law is on SBS and Black Comedy is back on the ABC.  All in Prime Time and all at the start of the crucial start of ratings. And all are broad-appeal comedies, conceived and driven from within Australia’s cultural diversity.  But are we on the cusp of something which finally reflects contemporary Australia - or is it all just a blip?

Benjamin Law, writer and creator of The Family Law, Rob Shehadie - creator of and actor in Here Come the Habibs!, Nakkiah Lui - actor, writer and Associate Producer of Black Comedy and Debbie Lee from Matchbox Pictures open TV Talks for the year with stories about their new shows and a discussion of how we got here and where we’re headed. 

MC is Denise Eriksen.

  • Benjamin Law: Author, Series Creator/Co-writer, The Family Law
  • Debbie Lee: Director, Scripted Development, Matchbox Pictures.
  • Nakkiah Lui: Actor, writer & Associate Producer: Black Comedy (series 2)
  • Rob Shehadie: Co-creator & actor, Here Come the Habibs!

Guest Bios:

Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based TV screenwriter, journalist and newspaper columnist, who has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies.

Benjamin the author of two books: The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). Both of his books have been nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards. The Family Law is now in its fourth reprint and has been translated into French. He is the creator and co-writer of the major SBS TV series of the same name. Gaysia was published in India in 2013 and North America in 2014.

Benjamin is the co-author of the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his sister Michelle and illustrator Oslo Davis and is a frequent contributor to Good Weekend (The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age), frankie and The Monthly. He has also written for over 50 publications, businesses and agencies in Australia and worldwide.

Debbie Lee is Matchbox Pictures’ Director of Scripted Development. Debbie provides creative leadership to the development of scripted content across a broad range of genres and markets. Other roles have included Head of Comedy at ABC TV, Commissioning Editor Drama and Comedy at SBS Independent, Series Producer, eat carpet, SBS.  During her time at the ABC Debbie commissioned and executive produced many shows including A Moody Christmas, Laid, Lowdown, Please Like Me and Angry Boys. At the SBS Debbie's commissions included The Circuit, Kick, Wilfred and John Safran vs. God.

Nakkiah Lui is a writer & actor and Gamillario/Torres Strait Islander woman. Nakkiah is a co-writer/associate producer and star of Black Comedy (ABC TV) and is a monthly columnist for The Australian Women's Weekly Online. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company and was playwright in residence at Belvoir from 2012 to 2014.

In 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council. The same year, she was also the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award. In 2014, Nakkiah was the recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production.

Nakkiah’s previous theatrical works include; This Heaven, Belvoir 2013 and Finborough Theatre 2015, I Should Have Told You Before We Made Love (That I’m Black), You Are Here Festival 2012, Stho Sthexy, MKA Melbourne 2013, Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owners of Death, Bondi Feast, Tamarama Rock Surfers 2013. Sovereign Wife ( Dramaturg), Melbourne Theatre Company 2013, Blak Cabaret, Sydney Festival/Malthouse Theatre Company 2015 and Kill the Messenger Belvoir 2015.

She is also a broadcaster with ABC, having hosted the Radio National Awaye program and NAIDOC Evenings for ABC Local Radio, broadcast nationally.

Nakkiah is also a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community and has contributed to The Guardian and Junkee. She has appeared on Q&A and The Drum on ABC.

Rob Shehadie is co-creator of Channel Nine’s new comedy-drama, the six-part Here Come The Habibs!, as well as actor, associate producer, story consultant and creator of the original concept. Wanting to come up with a family show that represented multi-cultural Australia, together with co-creators Tahir and Matt Ryan-Garnsey, Here Come The Habibs! is the story of a Lebanese family who move from Sydney’s west to ultra-rich, ultra-white Vaucluse after winning the lottery.

Rob is best known for starring in the hit TV comedy, Fat Pizza, playing Rocky for the past 16 years. The Fat Pizza movie, which Rob also featured in, broke box office records around Australia. For his role on Fat Pizza, Rob was nominated for a TV WEEK LOGIE in the category “Most Popular New Talent” – making him the first Australian Lebanese to be nominated for a Logie. Rob also keeps very busy with live comedy, stand up and MC work. He created the hit comedy, Lebanon with Love (parts one and two), which has been hailed as one of the most successful and celebrated independent theatre shows Australia has seen in recent years, With more than 40 shows performed in Sydney alone and over 70,000 watched the show at the Enmore Theatre.

Before turning to acting and comedy, Rob was a full time Rugby Union player, representing Australia and New South Wales in schoolboy, under 19′s and under 21′s. He also represented Lebanon in Rugby League and has been a major part of NRL Rugby League and Cricket Australia entertainment.

Rob has also done cameo appearances on Bondi Rescue – Channel Ten, Renovation Rescue – Channel Nine, Australian Idol – Channel Ten, The Footy Show (NRL) – Channel Nine, Music Max – Foxtel, Swift and Shift – SBS TV, Bogan Hunters – Channel 7mate, Housos – SBS TV , Housos Vs Authority – feature film and Fat Pizza Vs Housos – feature film.

Not to shy away from music clips, Rob also plays a big role in the hit song by Beau Ryan, Where You From.

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Past TV Talks