The Australian screen production industry and key community groups have united to save Australian children’s content. Commercial television broadcasters have revealed in submissions to a parliamentary inquiry that they want their obligations to screen Australian children’s content abolished by the Government.
Representatives from the children’s TV industry and audience have rallied together in an awareness campaign. The centrepiece of the campaign is a website and video, which offers a 360-degree view from those who love, make and choose children’s TV: children, parents, teachers, producers and actors.
“Australian children deserve content made specially for them. It is so important that the diversity of Australian identity and our children’s experience is reflected back to them on screens. For our children to lose our unique identity on screen is to lose part of our culture,” said children’s TV icon and former Playschool host Benita Collings.
Award winning Australian children’s TV producer and creator, Jo Werner commented, “Australia is well known around the world for its incredible kid’s TV. Because of this children’s television content is one of the most lucrative international exports in the Australian television sector. Here in Australia, shows like Dance Academy and Ready For This have provided thousands of employment opportunities in the screen industry and most importantly have given Aussie kids the chance to see themselves reflected on their screens.”
Children’s content producers Patrick Egerton and David Webster from Cheeky Little Media said, “naturally when an Australian kid hears an Australian voice or can see their environment reflected back to them, it means something to them. We need Australian content not to be Australian for the sake of being Australian, but of a very high quality. It needs to be something kids can be proud of, being Australian.”
Monique Bennie, a primary school teacher said, “there’s an opportunity there for shows to help guide children through social situations or through events in their lives. They might be able to work through those issues and connect with the characters and be able to find ways to solve some of their problems.”
Ash Sungaila, mother of baby Illy, said “Australian content helps cultivate a sense of identity of being Australian and what that means.”
In late April, Senator Hanson-Young of the Australian Greens announced her intention to introduce measures to strengthen Australian children’s content.
The campaign calls on the public to visit the website, write to their local member of parliament and sign the petition – www.savechildrenscontent.org/takeaction
Resources and further reading
Link to website www.savechildrenscontent.org
Community and Industry support
The campaign has broad industry and community support, including from:
• Australian Children’s Television Foundation
• Australian Cinematographers Society
• Australian Council on Children and the Media
• Australian Directors Guild
• Australian Guild of Screen Composers
• Australian Screen Sound Guild
• Australian Teachers of Media
• Australian Writers Guild
• Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, and
• Screen Producers Australia.
Screen Producers Australia has been bringing together industry and community efforts.
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