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Meet Sallyanne Ryan: Celebrating Women in Screen Business

To commemorate International Women’s Day 2024, we’re putting the spotlight on our incredible Master of Arts Screen: Business (MASB) alumnae, highlighting their achievements, their perspectives on leadership in the screen industry, and the impact of education on their careers as screen business leaders.  

Sallyanne Ryan is continually expanding her skillset, with two feature films in different stages of development and working as producer for ARN and ATN she believes in the power of leaders who lead from within the team and promote each other skills. 

Tell us a little more about your current role or focus area.

I am currently working in radio, while continuing to develop and broaden my skills in other areas of media and entertainment. My now thirty-plus years of professional experience has given me a wide range of transferable skills and knowledge. I don’t believe in pigeonholing people into a single job title. You, your abilities, and your potential are not summed up or defined by a title. I have two feature film projects in different stages of development as a producer. 

How do you approach leadership in the screen industry, and what perspectives can you share about fostering inclusivity and gender equality within this sector?

In my opinion, fostering inclusivity and gender equality within this sector depends upon opportunity being given. If a person, or underrepresented group is not given the opportunity to develop their skills and experience base the same as others are, they will remain underrepresented. It can be a competitive environment to work in and to deny underrepresented persons opportunity is in my belief, a form of oppression. I do my best, and am always willing to aim to do better, to keep myself in check by questioning myself, and giving due consideration when others to question me. 

In honour of International Women’s Day, could you elaborate on what tools and mindset you draw on to challenge traditional gender norms and advocate for diverse voices and stories in the screen business?

My mindset is that ‘I am capable.’ I have mostly worked in male dominant environments, at many times being the only female on the team. It can be difficult as a minority employee to have much impact on the culture of a workplace. This is why it is important to have diverse leadership and voices in screen business to advocate for change. Storytelling and the sharing of diverse stories is such a powerful vehicle for change. It provides us with the opportunity to see things from a different perspective, to learn about and from each other. It gives us the opportunity to take a stroll in someone else’s shoes. 

Is there a female or female-identifying leader in the screen sector whose work you have found particularly inspiring?

Oh my gosh! This would be such a ridiculously long list. A sample only: Marion MacGowan, Sue Maslin, Jane Campion, Gillian Armstrong, Rachel Perkins, Jocelyn Moorehouse, Leah Purcell, Coutney Act, Tracey Spicer, Margaret Pomeranz, Caitlin Yeo, Shannon Murphy – all strong, smart, courageous, and trailblazing who continue to light the way. 

Reflecting on your journey through the Master of Arts Screen: Business, how do see your leadership and the skills you developed advancing the screen industry?

For me, taking the Master of Arts Screen: Business was one of, if not THE BEST adult decision/s I have made. The knowledge of the industry and skills provided by the formal education of the course have given me a confidence of voice that I didn’t previously have. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been fairly outspoken. Empowering women through education to have the courage to think for themselves, speak up for themselves and for others is vital. I believe that as a Leader, you are still a part of a team as much as any other member of that team. A leader must have the courage and strength to be accountable.  

What leadership skills do you see as being essential for the next generation of screen leaders?

The screen industry doesn’t need anymore Cowboys! So, let’s go with the ones who do their best to dot their I’s and cross their t’s. The leaders who lead from within the team. The leaders who have enough confidence in their own capabilities to recognise the potential in others and to promote, or elevate them without fear or feeling threatened. 

What advice would you give someone considering studying the Master of Arts Screen: Business?

If you are thinking about it, take the next step and do it. You have nothing to lose, and EVERYTHING to gain. 

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Mid-Year Applications Now Open for the Master of Arts Screen: Business

Apply now for AFTRS’ Master of Arts Screen: Business, Australia’s foremost screen business program, and succeed as a leader in the screen business and media sector.

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Master of Arts Screen: Business (Mid-Year)

Designed for a new generation of screen leaders, AFTRS’ Master of Arts Screen: Business is Australia’s foremost creative screen business course.

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Mastering Leadership: Celebrating Women in Screen Business

This year International Women’s Day coincides with the launch of our Master of Arts Screen: Business (MASB) mid-year application window – a course that champions innovation and acceleration for current and future screen leaders.