ABC launches new diversity and inclusion commissioning guidelines

abc commissioning guidelines

• The principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ is key

The ABC has released new commissioning guidelines to ensure more diverse faces, voices, cultures, and stories are reflected and represented on Australian screens.

The ABC’s Diversity and Inclusion Commissioning Guidelines – Screen Content will deliver require production companies to provide greater access and opportunity to under-represented people and perspectives – on and off screen – including gender diversity, Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people living with a disability, and the LGBTQI+ community.

The guidelines build on the ABC’s commitment under its Charter to reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community, as exemplified by programs such as Total Control, Love on the Spectrum, and First Day. The guidelines, which cover content commissioned across genres such as drama, comedy, children’s, factual, and entertainment programs, will give a platform to different voices, subjects, and talent.  

Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do at the ABC. As a public broadcaster, we must reflect the audience we are serving and a broad range of perspectives, people and stories makes us stronger, more creative, and better able to engage with and reflect the Australian community.

“While we already prioritise diversity and inclusion at the ABC, this is the first time we have prescribed guidelines to track progress towards our goal of looking and sounding like contemporary Australia. We’ve already taken steps in this direction but we need to do more to better reflect the wonderful diversity of this nation in an authentic way.

“The ABC’s new guidelines, alongside industry-wide initiatives through screen agencies and the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network, will help bring new voices, cultures, and perspectives to audiences. We will work with our production partners to make the industry a more inclusive workspace, by opening the doors to diverse creative talent, on and off screen.”

The principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ is key, ensuring that all productions about a specific diverse community or subject must include at least one person who is representative of that community within the core creative team.

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