The School of Communications and Creative Industries held the first ever Women of Theatre Media forum recently in Bathurst, to celebrate and discuss the industry and give students access to the experience and insight of a panel of eight successful women.
The School welcomed Alice Osbourne, Elspeth Blunt, Kavita Bedford, Jess Penny, Imogen Ross, Cecily Hardy, Lydia Sarks and Danielle Harvey to the Ponton Theatre at CSU’s Bathurst Campus, to coincide with the opening week of Sprung Festival.
Opening with a Welcome to Country by student Jessica Course, the forum ran from 10am to 12pm, with lunch provided in the Ponton courtyard to give students a chance to mingle with University alumni.
Third year Theatre Media student and Sprung Festival Coordinator Heidi Annad said it was reassuring to hear from industry professionals.
“They’ve given me some insight into my personal career choices and how to remain patient,” Heidi said.
“It was interesting to hear them say we are “allowed” to say yes or no to opportunities.”
Second year student and Sprung Festival designer Hudson Emery said despite the forum being hosted by women, they “accommodated to both genders”.
“It’s amazing to see and hear how many opportunities there are available,” he said.
So, what are some surprising things I learnt from Theatre Media Alumni?
- The skills you learn during the Theatre Media degree can be applied in other areas of your career and life. Actor Lydia Sarks said she “didn’t know it at the time, but Theatre Media has been really informative for me later in my professional life.”
- Trust in your peers to guide you. High school may seem like a constant competition to be the best, but Theater Media is all about helping one another and guiding each other to be the best you can be.
- Theatre Media provides a sense of community. As alumni Elspeth Blunt put it, “It’s always nice to find your own tribe.”
- You learn to collaborate with your peers early on, which will aid in your career when you collaborate with other creative minds in the industry. Danielle Harvey said “success is not only based on numbers and figures; it’s about will these people want to work with me again?”
- A mutual respect and driven work ethic is key to being successful.
- Operate with confidence and honesty.
- Make opportunities by turning possibilities into reality. Many of the women on the panel hounded creative companies to give them a chance and they have succeeded in doing so.
- Go with your gut! If you don’t feel as though you’ve learnt enough from your current position, or you don’t feel ready, wait until the next “shiny prize” comes around because it will!
- An honest leader is the best leader. Admitting to your mistakes and asking for help and support is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth.
- And lastly, be patient. The opportunities are endless and success will come if you work hard, but you’re allowed to live a little too!