While growing up in country NSW, the opportunity to pursue a career in the arts, screen or cultural industries was never really an option. Sadly, that hasn’t changed much over many decades which now drives me to get out of bed each day and to put blood, sweat and tears into creating more opportunities and jobs in regional Australia.
One month after starting at Screenworks, the Federal Government announced budget cuts which led to the loss of government funding for the organisation. Faced with the potential failure of the organisation, that situation kick-started my entrepreneurial journey to converting Screenworks from a small Northern Rivers-focused association to the national non-profit charity that it is today, delivering programs, initiatives and workshops in regional areas across every state and territory of Australia.
Since starting in 2014, Screenworks’ revenue and memberships have both grown by over 500%, it has delivered over 250 events across regional Australia attended by over 12,000 people. Screenworks is now Australia’s premier regional screen industry and talent development organisation recognised for the quality of its programs and workshops, along with the strong relationships and collaborations it builds with others in the screen industry.
Some of Ken’s greatest achievements at Screenworks include the creation of the Regional Screen In LA program – a two-month international internship providing unparalleled access to Hollywood for an undergraduate or recent graduate from regional Australia – and the Career Pathways Programs that provide tailored professional development opportunities for emerging regional practitioners in the screen industry.
In this role (and roles before this one), Ken has gained a reputation for creating and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse range of industry stakeholders including producers, broadcasters, industry guilds and funding bodies at state and federal levels. In fact, it’s only because of the mutually beneficial partnerships that he has created that so many opportunities for regional Australians have been created.
Outside of Screenworks, Ken has been on non-profit executive boards and advisory groups, and has also mentored many others to help them achieve their success. He has consulted with business leaders and helped provide strategic plans and visions for industries and small businesses in the film & TV sector. He’s also guilty of spending too much time with his dogs.