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Working Better Together | Mental Health During COVID

This free industry event, live-streamed to the AFTRS Facebook page, features key industry leaders discussing the importance of supporting the mental health of the film and television workforce in a COVID-safe production environment. The panellists will explore some of the recent real-life challenges and provide information and resources on where to access help.

When: Tuesday 6 October
Time: 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm AEST
Where: Live streamed on the AFTRS Facebook page

A recording of the event will be available for catch-up viewing on Facebook after the stream.

Links for further support

The Arts Wellbeing Collective is a consortium of arts and cultural organisations working together to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in the performing.

Links to resources and further information below.


  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
    For counselling and support
  • Support Act Wellbeing Helpline – 1800 959 500
    A sector-wide Wellbeing Helpline for anyone working in the arts and entertainment industry
  • Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
    A crisis support service that provides short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
    A free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years
  • Your local GP Access to a Mental Health Plan


Access EAP



National Coronavirus Helpline – 1800 020 080
Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19) or help with the COVID-Safe app. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

NSW Health Department Helpline – 1300 066 055

SafeWork NSW – 13 10 50


The Arts Wellbeing Collective also has an excellent resources list with arts and entertainment support organisations.

The Show Must Go On – Shining a spotlight on mental well being in the entertainment industry.


Moderator: Margaret Tillson
Chris Oliver-Taylor, CEO, Asia- Pacific, Fremantle
Stephen Tate, Head of Entertainment, Network Ten
Dee Brown, Senior HR Manager, Animal Logic
Annabel Davis, Acting CEO, Co-Curious
Luke O’Connor, Industry Relations and Partnerships Manager, Support Act

Margaret Tillson

Margaret Tillson is a creative business consultant, independent producer and owner of Front and Centre Media. She has worked at the intersection of screen production and creative business practice for twenty years. She believes that healthy workplace cultures are vital to the future of our work in the creative industries and that they begin with brave leadership.

After many years of juggling productions with family life and seeing work colleagues struggle with the pressures of the industry, she is fuelled by a desire to apply her skills in a new direction and has recently become an accredited Mental Health First Aider, partnering with industry to deliver much needed support services and improving the way we work together.

Her experience working in business support services and the Australian screen sector has given her a unique perspective on the daily challenges faced by companies striving to balance good people management, with creative and commercial concerns. She’s excited by the opportunity to help creative businesses design healthy workplace cultures that nurture their people, projects and their bottom line.

Annabel Davis

In her current role as Acting CEO at Co-Curious, Annabel Davis has been instrumental in developing a number of creative initiatives and screen projects with emerging writers from diverse backgrounds. Annabel has extensive screen industry experience and a successful history in creating proposals for key arts and film funding bodies.

Previously, she was the Partnerships Manager with CuriousWorks where she was responsible for forging new alliances with industry and strengthening the company’s existing relationships across industry, government and community arts organisations.

Prior to CuriousWorks, Annabel spent seven years with the Australian Writers’ Guild and played a key role in developing and managing its Pathways Program – linking talented writers with producers and key industry decision-makers.

Her background also includes working on a range of Australian and international television drama series and has worked for boutique film and video production companies. She is currently in pre-production on the feature film, Here Out West, produced by Sheila Jayadev and Bree-Anne Sykes.

Chris Oliver-Taylor

Chris Oliver-Taylor is the CEO Asia Pacific for Fremantle, one of the world’s biggest producers of content. Chris takes responsibility for all production across Australia, New Zealand, India and Indonesia.

Prior to this role, he was Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures from 2011-2018. During his tenure at Matchbox Pictures, the company produced multiple scripted and unscripted series including Emmy award-winning titles Safe Harbour and Nowhere Boys, as well as celebrated titles The Slap, Deadline Gallipoli, Mustangs FC, Secret City, Glitch, The Family Law, Devil’s Playground and Wanted. Matchbox won twenty Australian Academy Awards, nine Logies and nine Screen Producers of Australia Awards, including three times Producer of the Year with Chris at the helm. Chris was the Executive Producer of The Slap (NBC), Wanted (7/Netflix), Secret City (Foxtel/Netflix), Camp (NBC), The Heights (ABC/BBC) and Hunters (SyFy). Previous to joining Matchbox, he was Head of Production at ABC, with overall responsibility for the production and delivery of the entire ABC TV slate.

Chris currently sits on the Boards of VicScreen, AFTRS, Screenworks, MediaRing and the Fremantle Global Board.

Dee Brown

Dee Brown is a trusted HR, People and Culture professional with over 15 years’ experience working in media & entertainment, arts & culture, education, hospitality and sport sectors. In her most recent role as Senior HR Manager for Animal Logic, Sydney Studio, Dee led the recruitment and onboarding of over 500 creatives from around the world for the production of Peter Rabbit 2. A key component of the role involved providing practical people management, team building, conflict resolution development and mentorship for the team leaders and managers.

In her previous role as People & Culture Manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Dee delivered the Human Resources Strategy that supported the realisation of a $52M major building redevelopment project during a time of significant change and renewal. Pivotal to its success, was her leading contribution to the human component of the change management process.

Dee has also managed the People & Culture function of a number of small to medium-sized entities and is passionate about building a “heart-led” culture to create exceptional employee experiences; support people to feel engaged, purpose-driven, pragmatic and able to bring their whole selves to work. She is a strong advocate for the role of leadership in shaping experience and culture.

Luke O’Connor

Luke O’Connor is Industry Relations and Partnerships Manager for Australia’s music industry charity, Support Act. As a singer, songwriter and former booking agent, and with the career experience of working in mental health, Luke now manages Support Act’s mental health and wellbeing education program. With support from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Support Act is proud to deliver the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, a 24/7 service for those who work in the Australian arts industries.

Stephen Tate

Fast approaching 20 years’ service at Network Ten, Stephen started at the network as Head of Entertainment in 2001 and in subsequent years also took on the Factual slate, specialising in commercial integration.

During his tenure at Network Ten, Stephen has been instrumental in the identification, development, casting and executive production of what are now nationally recognised, award-winning household brands, including Rove Live, Big Brother, Australian Idol, The Circle, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, MasterChef Australia, The Living Room, The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia, Bachelor in Paradise, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, Todd Sampson’s BodyHack, Australian Survivor, and most recently, The Masked Singer Australia and The Amazing Race Australia.

Stephen has also overseen numerous major live outside broadcast events including the Aria Awards and the AACTA Awards.