1. May 01

    It used to be that there was a brick divide between advertising, digital and TV. But not any more: everyone's doing everything everywhere for everybody. What even is a Digital Producer? Creating online content is no longer a way to pay your bills while you try to get your passion project made - it's all pitching: be they a brand, a broadcaster, a media agency or an investor in your start-up. Four of Australia's creative industry brains, who have worked across the spectrum of content, television, media, advertising, and audience, share their secrets and predictions.


    • Grant Anderson: General Manager TVC, Content & Post Production, Hogarth Australia
    • Lauren Joyce: Commercial Director, BROAD Mamamia Women’s Network
    • Scott Nowell: Co-founder and Group Chief Creative Officer, The Monkeys
    • MC: Andrew Garrick

    Guest Bios

    GRANT ANDERSON has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of content development production and distribution including TVC, Long Form, Digital and Social. He started his career in news and current affairs and has built and managed teams for production companies, broadcasters and agencies. His roles include Broadcast Evangelist @ Yahoo!, EP of Commercial Production @ Network Ten, Head of Content @ ENSEMBLE, Founder and GM of AGILE Content productions. Most recently has built the TVC, Content and Post Production team @ HOGARTH Australia.

    Grant has the ability to identify way that disrupt old habits and provide practical solutions that balance the importance of delivering creative outcomes no matter the budget. Grant has broad experience across a range of categories and clients that include: Government, FMCG, Telco, Consumer Electronics, Motor Vehicle, Banking & Finance. He has produced and managed work for local and International Broadcasters and Publishers as well as Media, Creative, Social and Digital Agencies,  

    LAUREN JOYCE is the Commercial Director and Head of BROAD at the Mamamia Women’s Network.  Lauren joined Mamamia in 2016 to establish the strategic consultancy; BROAD and was promoted to Commercial Director across the broader business in October 2017.  Lauren leads a national team of 40 people across the disciplines of sales, strategy, and research to deliver communications solutions for clients, seeking to connect with women across Australia.  Beyond this, she is part of the senior leadership team tasked with driving the vision for the business and strategic growth plans.

    Lauren has had a diverse career spanning media buying, communications strategy and branded content development.  Before joining Mamamia Lauren was the Head of Creative Strategy at Ensemble for four years and led successful pitches for clients such as the Australian Grand Prix Association, Bunnings, BUPA, Volvo Cars Australia and Moose Toys.  Prior to this Lauren was a Group Director at UM. In both of these roles Lauren was required to be a true strategic partner with her clients while driving positive commercial outcomes for the business.

    Lauren’s work has been recognised at Spikes Asia and the MFAs, and she was the first Australian to win a Gold Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival in the Young Lions Media category. In the same year, Ad News recognised Lauren as one of their 40 under 40.

    SCOTT NOWELL started The Monkeys with Mark Green and Justin Drape in June 2006. In 2012 Scott, Mark and Justin also started design company Maud along with David Park. In ten short years they’ve grown from three founders to over 120+ employees.

    Scott has judged numerous award shows including Cannes Lions, Clio, AWARD, MADC, Caxtons, Cannes Young Lions and has been a keynote speaker at the Caxtons, Semi-Permanent - the world’s biggest design conference - and AWARD. The Monkeys have won over 200 creative awards at every major award show.  Scott has written and directed award winning short films, documentaries, web and television series, including teaming with Andrew Denton’s Zapruder’s Other Films to create, write and produce the critically acclaimed comedy drama :30 Seconds, nominated in the 2010 Logies, the AFI Awards and The Australian Writers Guild Awards. Scott has written and produced long-form brand-funded content for major brands such as Telstra and Ubank, and script edited and produced the ABC Documentary Art Irritates Life on the story of cult art movement and surf brand Mambo.

    Scott is an integral part of the The Monkeys’ success, having helped Australia’s biggest brands grow and succeed with campaigns for the likes of Telstra, Parmalat, Ubank, IGA, Ice Break, Oak, Blackmores and award-winning campaigns for MLA’s Australia Day and diversity work.

    In 2016 The Monkeys were named Effective Agency of the Year at the Australian Effie Awards and they also picked up the coveted 'Grand Effie' for Meat & Livestock Australia's 'Operation Boomerang'. The same year they were named Creative Agency of the Year at the Campaign Asia Awards and B&T Advertising Agency of the Year.

    MC ANDREW GARRICK is the Executive Producer of Tonightly with Tom Ballard on ABC Comedy, and the founding director of Production Group an advertising and production company. Before working at the ABC he was the Executive Producer at Ensemble Australia, MediaBrands' multi-platform creative and production agency.

    Andrew's written, produced and directed major ad campaigns, online digital series, and TV projects for all the Australian Networks, and developed for leading independent production companies including Endomol Shine, Screentime Banijay, and Beyond Productions. He is also the co-founder of Zedtown: a live zombie apocalypse game for thousands at a time, as well as teaching Applied Storytelling at AFTRS Open. What a busy fellow.

  2. Apr 10

    Three of Australia’s most prolific TV creatives talk through what it takes to get their ideas on to the screen. With varied experience across drama, comedy and light entertainment, they reveal what it’s like in a writers’ room vs making work on their own. Plus, what do the networks say they are looking for, how are they commissioning, and how collaborative is the process really?


    • Tony Ayres: EP/Showrunner/Writer/Director – Matchbox Pictures
    • Sophie Braham: Writer/Producer
    • Greg Waters: Writer/Producer
    • MC: Andrew Garrick

    Guest Bios

    Tony Ayres is an executive producer, showrunner, writer and director. Most recently Tony was the EP of Seven Types of Ambiguity,The Family LawWanted (nominated for a 2017 International Emmy for Best Drama Series), Barracuda and the feature film Ali’s Wedding.  He was also the EP and co-creator of both Glitch (winner 2015 AACTA and Logie for Best Drama Series) and Nowhere Boys. Nowhere Boys s1 was nominated for the 2013 International Emmy for Best Teen Series and 2013 BAFTA. Series 2 won the 2015 International Emmy in the same category. Previously, Tony has EP’d Old SchoolDevil’s Playground (AACTA and Logie winner), UndergroundThe Straits, Maximum Choppage, Nowhere Boys - The Book of Shadows (feature film).  He was the showrunner on The Slap, which won the 2011 AACTA and Logies for Best TV mini-series was nominated for BAFTA and Emmy awards. Tony’s other scripted television work includes producing Bogan Pride, and directing Saved. His feature credits include directing multi-award winning films Walking on WaterThe Home Song Stories and Cut Snake

    Sophie Braham is Head writer of ABC TV's Gruen and writer on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering. She’s also worked on Kitchen Cabinet with Annabel Crabb, Reality Check, How Not To Behave, Spicks and Specks and Can of Worms. She is currently working on the new Channel 7 sketch show Orange is the New Brown.

    Following a career in politics as an advisor to the NSW Deputy Premier and a Councillor for City of South Sydney, Greg Waters completed an MA in Screenwriting at AFTRS. He worked as a writer, script editor and script producer across adult drama (Fireflies, The Alice), children’s drama (Dance Academy, My Place) comedy (Double The Fist) and feature films (The Final Winter, Accidents Happen). As Development Manager in the Drama Department of ABC TV, he was network script executive on Paper Giants, Crownies, Janet King, Devil’s Dust, The Straits, Hiding, Dangerous Remedy, Secret River, Anzac Girls and executive producer of Rake, Accidental Soldier and Soul Mates. Since leaving ABC he has been writer and script producer of Secret City, writer and script editor of Ready For This, script producer of The Other Guy and The Letdown and series producer of Soul Mates II. He wrote the screenplay for the recent ABC telemovie, Riot. Greg has taught screenwriting at NIDA open and the Writer’s Centre and has spent many years working with emerging screenwriters to develop their early projects.

    MC Andrew Garrick is currently the Executive Producer of Tonightly with Tom Ballard on ABC Comedy. Andrew's written, produced and directed major TV projects for all the Australian Networks and also developed for leading independent production companies including Endomol Shine, Screentime, and Beyond Productions. He is also the co-founder of Zedtown: a live zombie apocalypse for thousands at a time, as well as teaching Applied Storytelling at AFTRS Open.

  3. Mar 06

    To celebrate International Women’s Day, we welcome five incredibly impressive female media executives to AFTRS to talk about their careers and mentors, leadership, gender diversity, #metoo and how to future proof your career in the Australian industry. All genders welcome!


    • Beverley McGarvey: Chief Content Officer, Network Ten
    • Bridget Fair: CEO Free TV
    • Robi Stanton: VP & GM, Turner Australia
    • Therese Hegarty: Director, Content Distribution & Rights, Seven Network
    • MC: Anita Jacoby

    Guest Bios

    Beverley McGarvey is Network Ten’s Chief Content Officer, a title she took on September 2016. Before that, she had been Network Ten's Chief Programming Officer since October 2012.

    Beverley joined Network Ten as Network Head of Programming in 2006 from TV3 in New Zealand, where she was Director of Programming for two years. Before TV3, Beverley spent four years as Head of Program Scheduling and Promotions for TV3 Ireland.

    Earlier in her career, Beverley worked for ITV’s Meridian Television in Southhampton. She holds an honours degree in media studies from the University of Ulster, Coleraine, in Northern Ireland.

    Bridget Fair is the Chief Executive Officer of Free TV Australia, the industry body that represents Australia’s commercial television licensees. She previously held a number of senior roles with Seven West Media, most recently Group Chief of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs.

    Prior to joining Seven, Bridget has worked as General Counsel for SBS, legal counsel for the ABC and in private legal practice. She is also a former Chairman of Screenrights and has been on the Boards of OzTAM and Freeview. She is also a non-executive Director of iSelect.

    Bridget holds a BA/LLB from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and is a Graduate of the AICD.

    Robi Stanton is a respected and experienced media executive having held senior roles across Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia. She is currently Vice President & General Manager of Turner Australia and on the senior management team at Turner Asia Pacific.

    As General Manager for Turner’s operations in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Territories, Robi oversees all commercial streams for the business. This includes networks management, content sales, entertainment advertising sales, off-channel business management and monetization of Turner’s growing catalogue of app, games and digital products.

    The current portfolio of kids and entertainment brands under her remit is Cartoon Network, Boomerang, truTV, Adult Swim and TCM Turner Classic Movies. She also spearheads the syndication business for Turner content, including original content from US-based networks TNT, truTV and TBS and the distribution of CNN on different platforms via different technologies in her territories.

    Robi has a degree in theatre studies from UNSW and completed her MBA in 2001. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and on the board of ASTRA and Performing Lines. Robi is a member of Chief Executive Women and an angel investor in Scale (which helps deliver funds to female-led businesses). She has three children who share their mum’s passion for great content!

    Therese Hegarty is Director of Content Distribution and Rights for the Seven Network. Seven’s content creation and distribution division 7Studios produces more original content than any other Australian production company.  This year 7Studios will commission, create and produce nearly 800 hours of television In her role, Therese manages commercial and operational aspects of the Network’s extensive slate of Australian produced and commissioned programs, oversees Seven’s third party investment and acquisition strategies related to content creation in the domestic and global markets, and is responsible for the off network management of Seven’s catalogue of program rights both in Australia and internationally.

    Therese sits on the board of directors for  Great Southern Film & Television (Auckland), 7Wonder (London), and Slim Film & Television (London).

    Therese Hegarty began her career at George Patterson Advertising as a Creative Department assistant which involved a lot of quite boring filing, and she decided that TV production looked much more interesting.  Finding a role as a production assistant at Sprowles, Robertson television commercial producers provided her first television production experience. She moved through various lowly television production roles including a stint at Simon Townsend’s Wonder World, and a year agency temping in London.  She found her dream job in the production department at Beyond 2000, the highly successful science based magazine television show produced by Beyond International.  Working her way through the ranks and across various programs being produced by Beyond International for the Australian and US markets, she was promoted to Vice President Production (Business) where she managed the operational and business affairs for Beyond in Australian and the USA until she joined the Seven Network in 2012 as Head of Production.

    MC Anita Jacoby has created award-winning content across most genres for every FTA broadcaster and Foxtel. Most recently she was Managing Director of ITV Studios Australia where she was responsible for the implementation of new digital, commercial and content strategies as well as the commissioning of ‘The Chase’ and ‘I’m A Celebrity’. Prior to that she managed Zapruder’s others films for ten years alongside Andrew Denton, creating hundreds of hours of original programming including ‘Enough Rope’, ‘The Gruen Transfer’ and “Elders’. She currently sits on the ACMA (Australian Communications & Media Authority), Women in Media's national steering committee, is a member of Chief Executive Women and a non-executive director on a number of boards.

  4. Feb 06

    While many are worried about the state of Australian drama, it seems that Aussie comedy is laughing! Free of traditional sit-com formats Australian TV comedy is more diverse, hybridised, and vibrant than it’s ever been and seems to be finding great appeal with international audiences. Moreover, TV comedy is once again serving as the great spring board for new creative talent as the YouTube generation find access to huge audiences and local production companies are thinking smart about how to generate high concept but low-budget productions. This panel will explore both the creative and business ends of TV comedy - making it, developing it, and selling it. At our first TV talks for 2018 MC Mike Jones will shoot the breeze with Rick Kalowski (ABC TV), Mike Cowap (Princess Pictures), Adele Vuko (Skitbox), Alison Bell and Sarah Scheller (The Letdown) and Jason Burrows (Jungle).

    • Jason Burrows: Executive Producer, Jungle
    • Mike Cowap: Senior Producer, Princess Pictures
    • Rick Kalowski: Head of Comedy, ABC TV
    • Adele Vuko: Writer/Director/Producer/Performer, Skit Box
    • Alison Bell: Producer/Writer/Actor, The Letdown
    • Sarah Scheller: Producer/Writer, The Letdown
    • MC: Mike Jones
    Guests Bios

    Jason Burrows established Jungle in his apartment and has built it up to be one of the top production companies in the country. Jason’s Executive Producer television credits include No Activity (the original in Australia and the US remake), the upcoming Mr Inbetween (FX), Squinters (ABC) and Sando (ABC) as well as Here Come the Habibs (Channel 9), A Moody Christmas (ABC), The Moodys (ABC), and The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting (ABC). In the factual sector, his credits include Between a Frock and a Hard Place and As You Dreamt It for the ABC, and comedy documentary The Super Dave Odyssey for Channel 10. In television commercials, he has worked for all of the top advertising agencies in the country, on spots that have received awards at AWARD, D&AD and Cannes.

    Squinters is Jungle’s latest comedy and it goes to air on the ABC on 7 February. The six part series, Created by Trent O’Donnell and Adam Zwar, is to set entirely in cars, featuring mutli-cultural commuters from Sydney’s western suburbs as they drive to work

    Mike Cowap is Senior Producer, Scripted & Unscripted, with Princess Pictures (Summer Heights High, We Can Be Heroes, 8MMM, It’s a Date). Previously, Mike worked at Screen Australia since it was founded in 2008 and before that with predecessor agency the Australian Film Commission since 2005. In his role as Investment Manager at the Federal Government’s key screen agency, Mike managed many award-winning projects including online content, TV series, feature films, apps, interactive drama & documentary, and video games, and conceived and ran many initiatives, conferences, and training opportunities. Mike had special responsibility for innovative digital production, exploring new platforms, finance, and revenue models. Amongst several special programs, Mike initiated and managed SKIP AHEAD with Google/YouTube to support content creators to grow online subscribers, and FRESH BLOOD with ABC TV/iview to find the next wave of comedy filmmaking talent.

    Rick Kalowski has been the ABC TV Head of Comedy since late 2013, Rick is an award winning comedy writer/producer, frequently named among The Age/Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Most Influential People in Television’. For ABC TV and iview, he has overseen some 40 TV and webseries of AACTA- and Logie award-winning, internationally broadcast comedy including the currently airing Rosehaven Season 2, The Ex-PM Season 2 and The Letdown, as well as Utopia, Get Krack!n, Ronny Chieng: International Student, The Katering Show Season 2, Upper Middle BoganPlease Like MeThe Edge of the Bush, the ABC Comedy Showroom pilot season and forthcoming series SquintersSando and Back in Very Small Business. His own credits as co-creator/writer/producer include ABC’s controversial hit At Home with Julia and late night political satire Wednesday Night Fever.

    Sarah Scheller is a writer. Her first television script, The Letdown, aired on the ABC as part of the Comedy Showroom series. Co-written with Alison Bell, the Letdown won the AACTA award in 2016 for Best Television Screenplay. The ABC commissioned a full six-part series in 2017, as a co-production with Netflix International, and the series aired  October 2017. Sarah and Alison are currently developed the second season for the ABC.

    Previous screenwriting work includes contributions to the ABC's The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting and Stan's No Activity. Sarah started her career in public relations and then fashion journalism. As a freelance writer, she has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Harper's Bazaar and The Guardian.

    Adele Vuko is an actress, writer, director and producer and is one third of the comedy trio Skit Box, who have achieved over 100 million hits (facebook and Youtube) online for several viral videos including the parody music video Activewear and I Got That Flow Skit Box’s sketch television series Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, which Adele co-created, co-wrote and co-directed, screened on ABC and SEESO in the US in 2016. The pilot episode of Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am was commissioned through ABC iView’s Fresh Blood initiative.

    Most recently, she has worked on Foxtel’s new comedy series The Slot as both the show’s host, and as a performer with Skit Box. The series features prominent Australian Youtube stars and comedians and will screen on FOX8. Adele is currently developing a feature with Jungle as a writer/director, The Hitchhiker. She and the other members of Skit Box are also in development on a self-titled original comedy webseries, which has received funding through Skip Ahead.

    Her writing began with Short + Sweet, the world’s largest short play festival. From this Sydney-based festival, her plays went on to win galas, and were produced in Short + Sweet festivals around the world, including Dubai, Mumbai and Bangalore, and the Fringe Comedy Festival in London. Adele has worked on various television productions and TVCs within Sydney, including producing the hit web series Bondi Hipsters and has starred on-screen in television including upcoming series Sando for Jungle, Underbelly: RazorSoul Mates IIDeadbeat Dads, sketch comedy shows The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting and This is Littleton, and in the Australian film Not Suitable For Children. In 2014 she appeared as the lead in the comedy feature Me and My Mates vs the Zombie Apocalypse..

    Alison Bell is the co-creator/co-writer/associate producer and star of The Letdown, an ABC/Netflix International co-production. The Letdown is the first Australian comedy commissioned by Netflix International. The pilot episode won Alison and Sarah Scheller (co-creator/co-writer/assoc producer) the AACTA Award for Best writing for Television in 2016.

    Prior to The Letdown Alison, a multi-award winning actress was perhaps best known for her work on the MTC, Belvoir, STC, Malthouse and STCSA stages. She has also appeared in many Australian television series and starred in the AACTA award winning Comedy, Laid.

    MC Mike Jones is a writer, script editor, and story producer. He has worked in script development with companies including the ABC, WarnerBros, Porchlight, and Jungle. He has served as script-producer for Everycloud Productions and Princess Pictures, leads long-form script labs for Google/YouTube, and is story consultant to ABC Signature studios in the US.  Mike is also a regular collaborator with SweetPotatoFilms whose recent success in includes the multi award-winning mystery drama series, ‘The Kettering Incident’. Most recently Mike script-produced a range of projects for the ABC including youth-drama series 'Deadlock' and the 'Long Story Short' slate of comic-drama series including 'F*cking Adelaide', 'Other People's Problems', 'Wrong Kind of Black', and 'Edge of the Bush'.  Mike was co-creator of the virtual-reality detective-thriller ‘VRNoir: A Day Before the Night’  and is co-writer of forthcoming speculative-fiction VR thriller, ‘Awake’. He previously served as development consultant with ScreenAustralia and lectured in story & writing at the Australian Film TV & Radio School.


The Australian Film Television and Radio 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.