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AFTRS and Bus Stop Films Announce Two Internships for Young Adults Living With Disability

Audrey O’connor and Oliver Williams

The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) is continuing its commitment to diversity and inclusion with two year-long paid internships through its partnership with Bus Stop Films.

Audrey O’Connor and Oliver Williams, both young adults who live with intellectual disability and attend Bus Stop Films’ Accessible Films Studies Program hosted at AFTRS, were selected for the internships and will work within the AFTRS production team over the coming year.

The inclusive and accessible recruitment process included a tour of the AFTRS production work area to familiarise internship applicants with the workplace and to support the production team to get to know the potential new recruits.

The partnership between AFTRS and Bus Stop Films also includes Bus Stop Films’ Inclusion In Action training for staff, which equips attendees to be more confident about and open to employing and working alongside people with disability within the screen industry. The training is underpinned by the principles of inclusive filmmaking developed by Bus Stop Films.

Bus Stop Films, co-founded by AFTRS alumni Genevieve Clay-Smith, has delivered its award-winning program on campus at AFTRS for over five years, with the national screen and broadcast school providing classroom and studio space to support the Program’s inclusively made films.

Nell Greenwood, CEO of AFTRS, said: “We are expecting this internship program to be transformational – for the selected interns, for AFTRS staff and for AFTRS students who will work alongside Audrey and Oliver. It is our intention to run this internship program annually with Bus Stop Films, giving more people with disability an opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience as they embark on careers in the industry.”

Tracey Corbin-Matchett, CEO of Bus Stop Films, said: “AFTRS’ support for Bus Stop Films has been critical to the success of our Program and the transformational outcomes it offers to our students to improve their confidence, literacy and work-ready skills, in addition to making amazing films. Audrey was actually involved in the development of our Inclusion in Action training, so to now see her being employed off the back of it, is such a brilliant full-circle moment. Congratulations Audrey and Oliver.”

With Bus Stop Films’ recent Pathways partnership with the ABC also opening up employment opportunities for people with disability in the screen industry, the Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy 2020-25 launched by the Prime Minister on International Day of People with Disability 2020 has great support from the Government’s leading screen industry agencies.

Inclusion in Action was funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through an Information Linkages and Capacity Building grant and developed by Bus Stop Films and with the support of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).