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NIDA Skills Development Program in Northern Territory

Dr Sally Blackwood, the Program Manager for Schools and Community with NIDA Open recently spoke to ABC Radio’s Spence Denny about the NIDA Skills Development Program in collaboration with Screen NT and Arts NT. “There have been skill gaps in the industry, and we have been looking at how do we address this issue to reskill or upskill these amazing people?” “For example, if you're a hairdresser, how can you transition to a role in makeup and hairstyling for the screen? How can you turn costume design into costume realization for the screen? The film industry involves numerous moving parts and people, and we are focused on upskilling the entire cohort," said Dr Blackwood.

Spence asked about age limits for the courses and if seniors can participate?  Dr Blackwood said: 'There is no age limit to our classes. We have people who change careers midway and individuals who decide to pursue acting later in life. It's absolutely possible! These classes are fantastic for older Australians who want to venture into the world of screen. I would recommend anyone to apply to NIDA and certainly acquire the skills we are offering in the NT to kickstart their journey.'

The program provides a range of training opportunities that cover a variety of skills from the fields of both screen and arts industries, including directing, documentary and film making, props making, acting techniques for self-tapes and screen, producing, hair and make-up and costume design. The program aims to nurture the talent pool of creative individuals in the Territory and enhance job prospects within the screen sector. 'It’s quite a job to be able to share those skills and of course working nationally is such a gift to be able to work across Australia', said Dr Blackwood.

Jennie Hughes the Director of Screen Territory elaborated further on how much they have enjoyed collaborating with the NIDA initiative training “We started working with them last year it was incredibly successful for us we have had about 140 people through a raft of short courses, so we have decided to run them again, and the documentary course that they are running this week is sold out.”

The program has been a huge success for Screen NT, Jennie said 'A couple of them have come in and participate in our short film initiative we gave four film makers $30,000 each to make a short film and one of those film makers had previously studied the writing and producing course, and we have had a few other people working as crew members of those films who had also done some of the short courses. So, there is that pathway once they have done those short courses that we can get people into that career trajectory into the screen sector, which is really encouraging.'

The Northern Territory's film and television industry is experiencing expansion, marked by the emergence of captivating new projects and opportunities for professional growth. This growth is expected to stimulate job creation and enhance the local economy, thanks to the support of the NIDA Skills Development Program.

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