AFTRS has announced the appointment of seven senior staff who will take up new Discipline Lead roles in 2023 and the appointment of a new head of the School’s Masters program.
Juliet John is AFTRS’ new MA Screen Program Convenor. The new Discipline Leads working with Juliet in the MA program are Pearl Tan (Directing), Natalie Beak (Production Design), Dr. Tara Lomax (Screen Studies), and Kate Stone (Screen Writing). Acting as Discipline Lead, Cinematography is Steve Arnold and acting in the role of Discipline Lead, Producing is Bethany Bruce. Richard Welch (Documentary), Roland Gallois (Editing) Stephen Murphy (Sound) and Cameron Patrick (Screen Music) will continue in their current positions as Discipline Leads.
Andrea Ho joins AFTRS and the radio team as Discipline Lead for Radio and Podcasting.
Reflecting the growth and changes in industry, AFTRS will now have discipline leads for each program. The new Discipline Leads replace the previous Head of Discipline roles.
Andrea Ho (Discipline Lead, Radio and Podcasting) joins AFTRS from the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, where she was the Director of Education. Throughout her career Andrea has held many leadership roles, including as Head of Planning at ABC Regional and Local, Manager of ABC Radio Canberra and ABC Radio Hobart, and Founder and co-director of the Economic Media Centre.
Juliet John has worked as an art director and production designer in the film and television industry for over 25 years and, since 2003, she has built a strong record of student-centred education leadership and practice including a period at VCA, where she was Convenor of the Master of Production Design program. She has continued to balance industry work with teaching, mentoring and curriculum development in a broad range of screen production units at universities such as Swinburne, Deakin and WAAPA. Juliet is a co-founder of the newly formed global Production Design Educators Network and is currently in the final stages of her PhD study on the topic of creative process in screen production. She is an AFTRS graduate.
Pearl Tan (Discipline Lead, Directing) is the founder and director of Pearly Productions, a creative boutique with a focus on diverse stories. She is currently the Vice President of New Media on the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Board and was previously the NSW Chapter Head for the ADG. She has been a Senior Lecturer at AFTRS Bachelor of Screen: Production program since 2015, leading the Character & Performance Subjects and working collaboratively to co-devise the program since 2017.
In 2020, Pearl was listed in the 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards and was named the most influential in the Arts and Culture category. Pearl is currently completing her PhD in Creative Practice at the University of New South Wales, where her research focus is on the experience of diverse creatives in the screen industry. As part of her PhD, she will release a fictional podcast entitled Diversity Work in 2023.
Roland Gallois (Discipline Lead, Editing) is one of Australia’s leading editors. He is also a passionate educator and has been Head of Editing at AFTRS for the past six years. His career highlights include editing Samson and Delilah, winner of the Camera D’or at the Cannes International Film Festival, Slow West, winner of the world cinema critics prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the documentary Painting with Light in a Dark World for which Roland won an AFI/AACTA award. Roland has also recently cut the indigenous Australian and Māori co-production We Are Still Here, which will be released in Australian cinemas next month. The film was the opening night film of the 2022 SFF and screened at Melbourne and Toronto film festivals.
Natalie Beak (Discipline Lead, Production Design) has been the Senior Lecturer of Production Design since 2020, mentoring the final year Masters students. She is an AFTRS Alumni who has worked throughout Australia and the UK as a production designer and art director across film, television, commercial and event production. Natalie’s credits include the art direction of large-scale reality television productions The Voice and Australia’s Next Top Model, as well as the production design of independent film projects such as Between Two Lines, Closed Doors and the Berlinale Crystal Bear Awarded film Franswa Sharl, directed by fellow AFTRS Alumni and MAS Directing lecturer, Hannah Hillard. Natalie was also the production designer of all four seasons of the ABC’s hit sketch series Black Comedy as well as the First Nation’s anthology feature film We Are Still Here.
Most recently, Natalie was the production designer on the new Roadshow Rough Diamond series for Stan, Year Of.
Dr. Tara Lomax (Discipline Lead, Screen Studies) is a screen studies researcher, educator and creative practitioner with expertise in contemporary entertainment industries, transmedia and multiplatform production, media franchising, world-building and digital visual effects.
She has previously taught at a range of higher education institutions, including The University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts (Collarts). She has a PhD in screen studies from the University of Melbourne, with a thesis on blockbuster franchising in contemporary Hollywood entertainment, a Master of Film Studies from The University of Sydney and a Graduate Certificate in Screen Culture from AFTRS.
Her publications can be found in the journals Senses of Cinema and Quarterly Review of Film & Video, alongside books such as Starring Tom Cruise, The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production, The Superhero Symbol and Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling.
Tara is on the editorial committee of Henry Jenkins’ newly rebooted blog Pop Junction, and works as a creative consultant focused on multiplatform storyworld development.
Kate Stone (Discipline Lead, Screen Writing ) is a writer, developer, producer and screen executive, who has held roles at Network Ten, the ABC and Film Australia. She has written, produced, directed and script edited television, animation, children’s television, feature films, multiplatform programs and documentaries. At Screen NSW Kate was a Development and Production Executive on numerous features and television series including Ali’s Wedding, The Daughter, Holding the Man, Love Child and Doctor, Doctor. She was also convenor of Screen NSW’s Aurora Script Development Workshop.
Kate was Head of Development at The Steve Jaggi Company from 2016 where she oversaw the development of a slate of feature films and television series, pitching at international markets and seeing four features into production and three selected for the Sydney Film Festival. Kate was also formerly Head of Online at the National Film & Sound Archive where she was responsible for its award-winning slate of digital projects.
Stephen Murphy (Discipline Lead, Sound) has more than 30 years’ experience in sound on screen productions. He has worked on location and in post-production and has also spent many years teaching and training others. For 16 years Stephen worked for Dolby Laboratories as a sound consultant and he has taught at TAFE NSW, was Head of Teaching and Post-Production at International Film School Sydney and Head of Film and Animation at International Screen Academy. Stephen is currently the President of the Australian Screen Sound Guild and was previously Head of Sound at AFTRS.
“AFTRS is delighted to welcome these seven brilliant educators and creatives to their new roles. Working hand-in-hand with industry, AFTRS represents excellence in education and future-looking learning experiences. These exceptionally talented individuals will contribute enormously to the School and the quality of its teaching,” said AFTRS Director of Teaching and Learning, David Balfour.
“2023 also marks AFTRS’ 50th anniversary, so we are excited to have these new roles represent the energy and innovation we are bringing to this next chapter of the School.”