27/06/2020

President’s Report: June

Written by Emma Fletcher

“Our fellowship is very similar to an arch of stones, which would fall apart, if they did not reciprocally support each other” (Seneca)

This has been a tough time for a lot of us.  The fellowship between the members of the PFCWA has never been so important and so apparent.  Amen.  And thank you.  I hope the phone calls and the reaching out to each other is something which continues after these bizarre times have been put to bed.

Our committee would like to acknowledge Screenwest’s support to a number of our below the line crew members through the Bright Ideas Initiative.  We have also been very heartened to hear The WA State Government’s announcement of $16 million (over 4 years) to the Western Australian Screen Fund through The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. 

Historically, working in the arts has never been a particularly easy way to make a crust.  I have watched in horror as the federal government, with its disdain for culture, arts and what we do for a living, fail to support the workers and creatives in what is a multibillion-dollar arts industry.  A decision which will find them falling on the wrong side of history. 

Luckily, the entertaining and storytelling cockroaches that we are, have weathered this storm with new found sourdough making, jigsaw puzzle completing feathers in our bows. We have never been more rested (!) and prepared for the onslaught of new projects slated for WA as our sector starts up again. Recently, I have been feeling enormously grateful for our geographical isolation and I have it on good authority that there have been many millions of dollars worth of project inquiry coming through Screenwest.  Fingers crossed, we are able to find a way forward and take advantage of our unique position in this state with regards to COVID-19, a safe workplace and the big blue skies.  God knows we have talent in spades standing by and newfound momentum working towards a screen home and studio.  Time will tell.

In the meantime, WA has proved again, it punches well above its weight with Mystery Road (#3) and The Heights (#7) making their way into the top 10 shows on The Great Australian Binge.  Thank you to MEAA for all they do on our behalf and for running such a good campaign.  Both these shows can be found on ABC iView at the moment.  It is regretfully time to start beating the drum for the ABC again as our public broadcaster is stripped once more of funding.

Today I am in my office at the ABC for the first time in 15 weeks (the ladies down stairs remembered my coffee order and I am half expecting a parking fine when I leave this evening – apparently nothing changes!).  Today I have seen Gabbi, Willi, Kim, Tania, Cam, Aaron, Paul, Mike, Ben, Lin and Nina.  God, I love this industry! 

Looking forward to seeing you all on set soon.

Em x

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