SBS launches Television Production Trainee Scheme

SBS has launched a Multicultural Television Production Trainee Scheme to provide short-term work placements for participants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, including Indigenous backgrounds, on SBS commissioned productions.

The scheme was initiated by John Godfrey, SBS Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, who says “SBS is uniquely positioned to foster the professional development of people from CALD and Indigenous communities in the Australian television industry through our content. As Australia’s only multicultural broadcaster we can offer practical training while also providing opportunities to build up skills across all of SBS’s content platforms”.

SBS will partner with funding agencies Screen NSW and Film Victoria to offer the placements. There are currently two traineeships underway, on Bollywood Star and the new series of Go Back to Where You Came From and one already completed on Once Upon A Time in Cabramatta, a new three-part documentary series to air from Sunday, 8 January on SBS ONE.

Maria Tran was employed as a researcher on Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta, produced by Fredbird Entertainment and Northern Pictures. Filmed on location in Cabramatta, Maria gained unprecedented exposure to all facets of documentary production, including field interviews, actuality filming, post-production and on-line content creation. Maria is fluent in Vietnamese and as part of her role, she acted as an interpreter.

Bollywood Star follows the search for an Australian Bollywood star: an unknown who will go on to win the prize of a lifetime – a part in a Bollywood movie. Indian student Karan Mandhian is currently employed on the production, where he has managed tasks as varied as casting, assistant story production, translations for correspondence with India and vital community contact. Bollywood Star will provide Karan with invaluable experience and unparalleled insight into television production, and he intends to build on these skills as he pursues a career as producer.

Former Afghan refugee and emerging filmmaker Saber Baluch has recently begun work on the second series of Go Back to Where You Came From. The first series proved to be one of the most talked about television events in 2011 and the next series promises to push the format even further. Saber will be involved in the intensive production, working with Cordell Jigsaw, who were responsible for the first series.

Bollywood Star and Go Back to Where You Came From will air on SBS ONE in 2012.

Contact for this initiative

Initial enquiries should be directed to Katherine Hristoforidis, Documentary Production Co-ordinator, at SBS on (02) 94303905 or via

- Role description
- Application form
- Guidelines

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About this Blog

Updated March 2012: Following a popular call out earlier this year for a 2nd Assistant Editor on a history documentary, a Research Assistant position for a science documentary has just been announced to start in April. Application Form, Role Description and Guidelines can all be found at the bottom of this page.