TCM’s Bus Stop-Versary!
My first year at Bus Stop Films by Tracey Corbin-Matchett (TCM)
It’s my first Bus Stop-Versary!!! It’s been an amazing year and I truly feel honoured to be part of the team. In thinking about my first year, I reflected on how many times I have cried, not sad tears but tears of joy and pride. Joy that comes from meeting with students, seeing them actively engaged in our programs, enjoying the curriculum and filmmaking opportunities and spending time with their class mates. I have enjoyed immensely watching the content they create; and the pride that comes from being a part of a movement which is something truly exceptional.
What a ride it’s been!!!
I first learned about Bus Stop Films around 3 years ago whilst working at Screen NSW (Now Create NSW). I had been aware of the work of Bus Stop Films and so in my capacity working with the agency’s Stakeholder Engagement and Industry Development team, I connected with Genevieve, Bus Stop Films’ CEO to talk about what the gaps were in the film industry when it came to creating more inclusion. This first conversation led to working closely together with Courtney Gibson, (now CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation and member of the Bus Stop Films Advisory Board) to forge a truly ground breaking initiative called Screenability. The initiative was a first of its kind in Australia; a strategy to offer paid attachments in the screen industry for people with disability. The more I got to know Genevieve and her work and the brilliant outcomes through Bus Stop Films the more my admiration for all things Bus Stop grew. It was a red-letter day when I got a call from Genevieve about coming on board the team. My role as Marketing and Partnership Manager lets me do all the things I love to do, write, connect people and drive partnerships. I help spread the word about the awesome work of Bus Stop Films and the achievements of our students, while advocating for change around community attitudes towards people with disabilities and other marginalised groups.
I have worked my whole career around projects that in some way improve the lives of others and being part of Bus Stop brings me much personal and professional fulfilment. I share a strong connection to Bus Stop Films’ ideology and drive to challenge the low expectations society has of people living with disability or those who are different. This last year, seeing our students travel around the world to present our films at places like TIFF and Disney HQ seeing them speak before packed cinemas about working on their projects and then seeing them on the big screen in the films they create, well it brings me great joy!
The issue of realistic and genuine inclusion of people living with a disability in the screen industry is one that resonates strongly with me. As the mother of hard of hearing teenager, we often bond over inauthentic casting and the lack of screen roles featuring Deaf actors, we’d both love to see more Deaf storylines written into scripts. However, it’s not only my family that connects me to the deaf community, as Director of Deaf Sports Australia, I proudly support the organisation to promote inclusion through sport for not only our amazing Deaf and Hard of Hearing athletes, but also sport inclusion for good health and community connectedness. Whilst I am so very far from an athlete, though I do love my “Premiership Winning” Cronulla Sharks, I am always inspired by how mediums like film and sport offer powerful tools for, and after all, filmmaking truly is a team sport!
Working with the deaf sporting community, is not my only “other hat”. This last year I’ve had the privilege of working with Women in Film and TV NSW to manage their Raising Films Australia initiative. A much-needed strategy that is looking at ways the screen industry can better support working parents and carers to remain actively engaged in the sector. As any working parent knows, it takes a village and a whole lot of coffee to raise a child, and through this strategy we hope to enact industry wide changes so that more parents and carers can positively combine parenthood and a screen industry career.
Bus Stop Films, is actually doing its bit in this space…. Like any working mum, the juggle of career and family is a never-ending riddle and the flexibility of working for such a progressive organisation has been wonderful. I’m thankful that Bus Stop Films is an organisation were the gender basis favours women and very much supports the notion that making time for family, self-care and positive wellbeing is vital to the health of not only employees but the organisation overall.
As I move into my second year with Bus Stop Films, I see a new year full of opportunities to drive new projects and tell new stories about our brilliant staff and students. And whilst getting to work means mostly only walking a few steps into my home office, in reality my role with Bus Stop Films takes me any where the bus stops next!