• Angela Bates has been appointed Head of First Nations with Screen Australia (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Bringing two decades of media and broadcasting experience with her, Angela Bates plans to 'continue the boundary-pushing work' of those that have come before her.
Emily Nicol

1 Oct 2021 - 5:27 PM  UPDATED 3 Oct 2021 - 1:49 PM

Malyangapa and Māori woman Angela Bates has been confirmed as Head of First Nations for Screen Australia, the country's premiere funding body for the big and small screen. 

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be a First Nations creator in the screen industry, with the global appetite for our stories growing at a thrilling pace," said Bates in a statement. 

She acknowledged the hard work of those that worked in the role previously.

"It’s a credit to Wal Saunders, Sally Riley, Erica Glynn and Penny Smallacombe, who have all led the Department at various times over its 28 year history, that our Australian First Nations sector is in such terrific shape.

"I look forward to continuing the great work of those before me, and leveraging as many opportunities as possible for our sector."

Having worked across several platforms in the media industry, including radio broadcasting with Koori Radio and CAAMA and as an executive producer for NITV News, and a documentary producer, Bates has been able to bring her diverse range of knowledge to Screen Australia over the past two years as the Development and Investment Manager in the First Nations Department. 

In that role, she oversaw new and successful film and television titles including Looky Looky Here Comes CookyTotal Control series 2Little J & Big Cuz series 3Cook 2020: Our Right of Reply, and new TV crime drama starring Rarriwuy Hick, True Colours.

With the departure of Penny Smallacombe earlier in the year, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said in a media statement that the organisation feels privileged and excited to have Bates in the role.

"First Nations film-makers have given us some of the most distinct and acclaimed stories in our history.

"With Angela’s breadth of experience and expertise, combined with her passion for the industry, we have confidence she will continue to develop and nurture the next generation of talented screen practitioners in our country as well as ensure First Nations stories are celebrated both in Australia and shared with audiences around the world.”

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