The Victorian Government will provide up to $85,000 to build the leadership skills and professional expertise of women working in the film and television industry.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley congratulated the 15 recipients funded through Film Victoria’s Women’s Professional and Leadership Development Program to undertake a range of tailored opportunities to diversify their capabilities and advance their careers in the sector.

The program’s two strands include a professional development stream for women to position themselves for future decision making roles; and a leadership development stream for women looking to secure leadership roles within the Australian screen industry.

The leadership development stream was run in partnership with the Natalie Miller Fellowship.

Recipients hail from a diverse range of disciplines with activities spanning international placements and formal training to mentorships and job shadowing.

Award-winning filmmaker Corrie Chen will participate in the acclaimed Joan Scheckle Lab in Los Angeles where she’ll dive deep into all aspects of filmmaking, while publicist Cathy Gallagher will complete an overseas placement to gain exposure to international markets and increase her influence with box office decision makers.

The leadership development stream, which is delivered in partnership with the Natalie Miller Fellowship, will develop three experienced Victorian screen professionals: Princess Pictures’ Andrea Denholm, Madman Entertainment’s Nicole Titheridge and Andrea Buck from The Picture Tank.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley said: ““Creative State strategy is all about backing and developing our local talent, and ensuring that our creative industries reflect the diversity of our community – both in terms of employment at all levels, and product.”

“Through Film Victoria we are working to redress the gender inequality in the screen industry, particularly when it comes to leadership roles. This program will boost the careers of 15 talented women across the industry.”

While Film Victoria has already surpassed its goal to see women represented as at least 50% of all writers, directors and producers on funded projects, the latest funding is an investment in the skills development of women will flow through to increase the number of female-led projects on screens.

Film Victoria CEO, Caroline Pitcher said: “Funding will provide a valuable boost for these 15 women to continue their upward career trajectory. Every recipient has the ability to influence the industry in their chosen field and these development opportunities are a valuable way we can help them to make this happen.”

Natalie Miller Fellowship President, Sue Maslin said "The NMF congratulates these talented future leaders and supports them in their objectives to make a difference to the Victorian screen industry. More women decision makers around the table shaping our industry will lead to more diverse content and production opportunities and ultimately deliver richer screen experiences to audiences."

Full list of recipients:

Professional Development strand

  • Bree Whiting 
  • Samantha Dinning 
  • Emma Fitzsimons 
  • Alicia Brescianini
  • Cathy Gallagher  
  • Pennie Brown
  • Bridgette Graham
  • Sally Storey 
  • Margarita Olkhovsky
  • Corrie Chen 
  • Lin Tam 
  • Liz Kearney

Leadership Strand (run in partnership with the Natalie Miller Fellowship)

  • Andrea Denholm
  • Nicole Titheridge
  • Andrea Buck​

    Learn more about the recipients.