Australia-based Screen Diversity Inclusion Network has appointed Kelrick Martin and Michelle Cheng as new co-chairs for 2021-22.
Kelrick is a Ngarluma man from Broome WA, and in 1998 was the inaugural presenter of ABC TV’s Message Stick. In 2002 he completed his Masters in Documentary Writing and Directing at AFTRS, and in 2007 returned to WA to become NITV’s Commissioning Editor. He formed Spear Point Productions in 2010 whose credits include the multiple 2015 AACTA Award nominee Prison Songs. Kelrick was also the Indigenous Manager for Screenwest before joining the ABC as Head of Indigenous in 2016. His commissions at ABC include Cleverman series 2, Kiki and Kitty, Black Comedy s3 & s4, Maralinga Tjarutja and popular award winning drama Total Control (series 1 & series 2).
Michelle Cheng is the SBS Content Industry Diversity Manager for TV and Online content. In this role, she is working to improve career pathways for diverse TV creatives, investigating international best practice for screen diversity and rolling out The Everyone Project at SBS, which aims to measure diversity on and offscreen on all commissioned productions.
Michelle has a background in TV presenting/writing, journalism and law (as an Australian solicitor). From 2016 to 2020 she worked with ITV Studios and Channel 7 as a television writer on the quiz show The Chase Australia and in 2018 she was an ABC TV panellist on more than 75 episodes of the quiz show Think Tank.
Michelle also has extensive experience as a journalist with by-lines in The Guardian, ABC, Yahoo News and the Daily Mail Australia. She also worked in world news as an Assistant Reporter/Researcher for the major Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, shooting stories on-location across the Australia Pacific region.
Most recently, she was a Media & Communications Advisor at Monash University. Outside of the media world, Michelle has experience as Curation Coordinator for TEDxMelbourne and as a Creative Writing Teacher at Laneway Learning.
Michelle and Kelrick take over the SDIN Chair position from Benjamin Law and Jo Dillon.
In a statement, the SDIN said, “We’re so proud of everything SDIN has achieved in the past year, especially rolling out The Everyone Project – a game-changing industry-standard tool that finally tracks and measures diversity and inclusion in Australian screen productions. We’re also thrilled SBS’s Michelle Cheng and ABC’s Kelrick Martin now step into the role of co-chairs. SDIN’s mission has always been to foster, celebrate and showcase Australian diversity on our screens, and their combined industry experience speaks for itself. It’s also a wonderful milestone to have two people of colour – the first Asian-Australian woman and First Nations person – lead the organisation.
“The Network thanks Jo and Ben for their wonderful contribution to SDIN.”
The Co-chair appointment commences on 1st June 2021.