ARTS: Actresses Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman hope the next generation of Indigenous youngsters will jump on stage or behind the scenes to tell their stories as a result of a new media training program.
The stars of the Australian blockbuster film The Sapphires were on hand to launch Screen Australia’s two-year Media RING Indigenous Employment Strategy at Parliament House in Canberra and attend a special screening with politicians.
The Sapphires, which hit cinema screens in early August and dazzled at the Cannes International Film Festival, is inspired by the true story of an all-girl Aboriginal group sent to Vietnam in the heady days of 1968 to entertain the troops.
The $1.1 million training program will create 40 jobs in film, media and journalism and 40 internships for Aboriginal people.
Applicants will be matched with appropriate jobs including behind-the-scenes camera operating, sound, video editing, production and journalism.
Mauboy told AAP it can be hard to get a foot in the door when you’re starting out on a career path in media and entertainment.
“It’s very exciting to see how it’s going to generate opportunities,” she said.
The two actresses have promised to be involved in mentoring participants.
Arts Minister Simon Crean told reporters it was important to take inspiration from the film’s success in encouraging future indigenous media and film projects.
“The oldest living culture on earth is producing some of the most exciting new art forms on the planet,” Mr Crean said.
Minister for Indigenous Employment Julie Collins said the training program would nurture talent and coincided with the launch of an indigenous free-to-air digital TV channel in partnership with SBS in January 2012.