Indigenous Alumni

Warwick Thornton in a cap with two young actors  peeking from behind his back
Warwick Thorton on the set of Samson and Delilah. Image courtesy of the filmmaker.

 

AFTRS INDIGENOUS AWARD COURSE GRADUATES, FELLOWS & HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS

  • PRODUCING
    Rachel Perkins , Priscilla Collins , Sam Conway
  • DIRECTING
    Erica Glynn , Ivan Sen , Adrian Wills , Darlene Johnson, Steven McGregor
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY
    Warwick Thornton, Murray Lui , Allan Collins , Jason Ramp , Cornel Ozies
  • EDITING
    Anne Pratten, Kim West, Dena Curtis
  • SCREENWRITING
    Marcus Waters, Romaine Moreton, Larissa Berehendt, Catriona McKenzie
  • TELEVISION PRODUCING
    Louise Glover
  • DOCUMENTARY
    Beck Cole,  Penny Smallacombe, Kelrick Martin, Natasha Lawrence
  • SCREEN COMPOSITION
    Jeff Dunn
  • LOCATION SOUND
    Sethy Willie
  • RADIO
    Carly Wallace
  • FOUNDATION DIPLOMA
    Ella Bancroft
  • HONORARY DEGREE
    Darren Dale
  • AFTRS INDIGENOUS FELLOW
    Wayne Blair


AFTRS INDIGENOUS TV TRAINING CERTIFICATE GRADUATES
  • Michelle Blakeney (1994)
  • Pauline Clague (1994)
  • Dianne Edwards (1994) 
  • Dwayne Elwood (1994)
  • Lawrence Emanuel (1993)
  • Ashley Epsworth (1994)
  • Jeremy Geia (1994), John Gibson (1993)
  • Tiffany Hilder (1994)
  • Craig Jamieson (1994)
  • Ilona Canuto (1993)
  • Dominic Kanak (1993)
  • Murray Lui (1994)
  • Ronald May (1994)
  • Shannon McKellar (1993)
  • Catriona McKenzie (1993)
  • Leo Mercy (1993)
  • Gillian Moody (1993)
  • Peter Newlin (1993)
  • Mark Olive (1994)
  • Leroy Parsons (1994)
  • Justin Rule (1993)
  • Rima Tamou (1994)
  • Jason Troutman (1994)
  • Doug Whaddy (1993)
  • Jamie Whitton (1993)
  • Lee Willis (1994).

 

WHAT ARE AFTRS INDIGENOUS ALUMNI UP TO?

 

  • Ivan Sen’s first feature Beneath Clouds screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and won the Premiere First Movie Award at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and the 2002 Best Director Award at the AFI awards  He completed his second Feature Film Dreamland in 2009 which premiered at the BIFF's 2009. His feature Toomelah won the UNESCO Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2011. Mystery Road premiered at the Sydney Film Festival plus screened positively at the Toronto and BFI London Film Festivals in 2013. Ivan is currently in pre-production for his next feature film Goldstone.

 

  • Rachel Perkins directed three episodes for the television series Redfern Now, which aired on ABC in 2013 & 2014. The series won a Logie award for Most Outstanding Drama Series (2013) and an AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series (2014). Rachel directed Mabo for Blackfella Films which screened at the Sydney Film Festival and aired on ABC in 2012. She also directed Bran Nue Dae, the second highest grossing Australian Film at the box office in 2010. The film screened at Sundance in 2010 to a standing ovation and was well received at the Berlin Film Festival the same year. Through her production company Blackfella Films, Rachel directed, co-produced and wrote the acclaimed series First Australians which screened on SBS Television in 2008. Rachel also curated the 2007 Message Sticks Film Festival with Darren Dale.

 

  • Wayne Blair is an actor, writer and director. He was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Film and TV at the 11th Deadly Awards (honouring Indigenous Australians in the fields of music, sport, entertainment and community service) in 2007. He directed the theatre play The Sapphires for its Perth season and went on to direct The Sapphires as a feature film to critical and commercial success. Wayne co-wrote the short Film Ralph with Deb Mailman which won the 2009 Holding Redlich Inside Film Award for Best Short Film.

 

  • Warwick Thornton swept the IF, AFI and Cannes Film Festival Awards in 2009, with his internationally and nationally acclaimed first feature film Samson and Delilah. In 2010 he completed Art & Soul, a six-part documentary series on Indigenous Art released on ABC. Warwick was cinematographer for feature film Here I Am by fellow AFTRS graduate Beck Cole in 2010 and cinematographer on the multi-award winning movie The Sapphires in 2012. Warwick also directed The Darkside - a collection of poignant, sad, funny and absurd true ghost tales from across Australia - which screened at the 2013 Adelaide Film Festival.

 

  • Beck Cole directed her first feature Here I Am in 2011 (produced by Kath Shelper). Beck has also directed an episode of Redfern Now, and is co-director of ABC's hit comedy series Black Comedy which aired on ABC in 2014. The series won an AACTA Award in 2015 for Best Direction in a Television Light Entertainment or Reality Series (Beck Cole and Craig Anderson).

 

  • Dena Curtis' short film Jacob was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2009 IF Awards. She edited Momentum, a current affairs show for NITV and is former Commissioning Editor, Indigenous at ABC Television. Dena Also directed the 8MMM, a new comedy series, a new comedy series set to air on ABC in 2015.

 

  • Murray Lui was B-Camera on feature films Prime Mover and Lou in 2009. At the 2009 NSW ASC Awards he won a Gold Award for Jacob and a Bronze for Daniel's 21st.

 

  • Adrian Wills’s documentary Boxing for Palm Island was released in 2010. He is also a writer/director of the ABC Drama Series Redfern Now and a director of The Gods of Wheat Street which aired on ABC in 2014. Adrian has completed two short dramas, Bourke Boy and Daniel's 21st, and is now penning his first feature film.

 

  • Gillian Moody is a former Development & Investment Manager of the Indigenous Department at Screen Australia for 8 years. Prior to this she worked across production at SBS Television for 10 years. In 2009 she produced the short drama Daniel's 21st (written by Adrian Wills). Gillian works as a freelance producer.

 

  • Erica Glynn was Head of the Indigenous Department at Screen Australia (and predecessor agency the AFC) for 11 years. Erica’s award-winning short film My Bed, Your Bed (1998) was an international success. Erica has also made the documentary A Walk with Words (2001) with Romaine Morton, to name one of many. Erica works as a freelance producer.

 

  • Catriona McKenzie has directed numerous television dramas including Redfern Now, My Place, Satisfaction, Dance Academy and The Gods of Wheat Street. She also co-directed Remote Area Nurse (RAN), a Chapman Productions mini-series set in the Torres Strait Islands. Catriona’s first feature directing credit was Satellite Boy (2013) staring Cameron Wallaby, David Gulpilil and Joseph Pedley.

 

  • Penny Smallacombe is Head of the Indigenous Department at Screen Australia. She produced Yarning Up 2 – five short films from the Top End, and worked as a Senior Programmer at National Indigenous Television (NITV)/ Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia. Penny also worked on the Songlines on Screen initiative with NITV and Screen Australia.

 

  • Alan Collins was cinematographer on feature film Mad Bastards in 2010 and directed Sunset to Sunrise in 2006.

 

  • Mark Olive ran the successful TV cooking show Outback Café and is well-known on screens around Australia. Olive had a cooking segment on the ABC's Message Stick TV series.

 

  • Rima Tamou directed a short film First Contact in 2009, which screened in Berlin. He currently works as a Producer for NITV.

 

  • Pauline Clague produced First Contact. She was Indigenous Program Manager at AFTRS from 2009 to 2013 and is currently working as Commissioning Editor at NITV.

 

  • Grant Saunders has produced half-hour documentaries for ABC's Message Stick program. He won a Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking award at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2007 for his student film B.L.A.C.K. Grant also won the John Newfong Award for Best Indigenous work in 2009 for his documentary Freak Show to Big Top.

 

  • Steven McGregor directed the 2009 documentary series In a League of Their Own. He also produced Cold Turkey and wrote two episodes of the ABC Drama Redfern Now and the documentary Croker Island Exodus, which he also directed. Other directing credits include My Brother Vinnie.

 

  • Justin Rule is a TV cameraman and has worked on MasterChef Australia, NRL on Fox Sports, Top Gear Australia and the MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007, to name but a few.

 

  • Kelrick Martin is a writer, director and producer. He is also the Indigenous Manager at ScreenWest and the director of Spear Point Productions. He wrote documentaries Yagan and Mad Morro and produced, directed and wrote the TV series Straight Shootin’ which screened on NITV in 2011. Kelrick also produced, directed and wrote the TV mini-series Outside Chance which screened on ABC in 2014.

 

  • Leroy Parsons became an actor and has worked on the shorts Jacob and Something Fishy as well as the TV Series The Circuit.

 

  • Dr Romaine Moreton wrote and directed short film The Farm, which premiered at the Message Sticks Film Festival in 2009 and aired on the ABC later that year. She is a writer of poetry, prose and film and is a published author.

 

  • John Harvey is a producer, writer and director who runs his production company Brown Cab Productions with his sister, Margaret Harvey. He produced The Farm which premiered at Message Sticks Film Festival in 2009 and aired on the ABC later that year.

 

  • Lee Willis directed and wrote Flour, Sugar, Tea which was nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2007 SBS IF Awards.

 

  • Dominic Y Kanak is a former Deputy Mayor of Waverley Council in Sydney. He continues to serve as a Councillor in 2013 and sits on many planning committees for Waverly Council.

 

  • Marcus Waters was the first recipient of the Macquarie Bank Indigenous Scholarship at AFTRS in 2004. He is currently the convenor for Writing for Performance at Griffith University's Gold Coast Campus. His play Green Light, which was developed by the Pacific Film and Television Commission, was sold to Kooemba Jdarra in a joint production with Yirra Yaakin in 2010.

 

  • Sam Conway starred in Sam Watson's play The Mack (Kooemba Jdarra*) in March 2006. Sam also played Norman Myles in an episode of Redfern Now.
    * Kooemba Jdarra produced 2006 Myer Fellow Wayne Blair's Njunjul the Sun in 2006.

 

  • Priscilla Collins created and co-executive produced TV drama series Double Trouble. It was directed by Wayne Blair.

 

  • Lou Glover produced Cos I'm Free: Cathy Freeman for ABC TV.


Watch an AFTRS student film spanning 40 years of work by graduates of the School.

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Acknowledgement

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.