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Screen industry action at Eurovision

Screen and media students from TAFE Queensland were a part of history volunteering as production crew for Eurovision: Australia Decides 2022 event.

For six days, the students from the Coomera Creative campus worked across stage management, set dressing, talent management, camera, audop and editing - gaining hands-on experience at an internationally renowned event.

Linda Suffredini who is studying the Diploma of Screen and Media – Film & TV (CUA51015), said the industry placement, held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and broadcast live with SBS, has been a game changer for her.

“The whole thing was magical. The most intoxicating experience I have ever had, and a once in a life time opportunity! All the people from Blink TV were welcoming and friendly. I had to shadow the Floor Manager who was incredibly helpful and who I learned so much from,” she said.

“Everything ran like clockwork. Everyone knew what was going and I learned a lot about effective communication between departments in a live environment. I am so glad I got to do this as I met so many contacts who will hopefully help with the career I am looking for in the industry -whether it's live events or film set.”

To anyone thinking about studying screen and media at TAFE Queensland, Linda said she highly recommended the course.

“It was worth me doing the course just for this Eurovision experience. You could do a course for years and still never make an actively working contact. Eurovision was a relationship building platform and it’s up to the individual to make the most of that time,” she said.

“My advice to anyone is take every single opportunity to get to know people. I’m older. I’m 53. I’ve been in real estate and in hospitality, and the bottom line is that everything is about relationships.”

Linda’s son Jack also participated in the Eurovision work experience program. He left high school early at age 16 and is studying TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Screen and Media - Interactive Media (CUA51015).

“I am very passionate about both film and technology and thought this could be a great chance to learn about how it works at a real world event. I met a lot of different people and a lot of people with varying degrees of experiences in fields. Lighting experts, camera operators to floor managers and everything in between,” he said.

“It was great to see what goes on in their jobs and how they function as part of the big picture. The scale of production was big. 10 to 15 different teams working on different parts – make up, catering and more. All working together to make things run smoothly.”

“It was long hours but I just kept working. It was very lively in there which felt invigorating. That just kept me going. I can now reflect on the experience and how I can apply that to future workplace scenarios.”

“Eurovision is a very inclusive and welcoming space. You can be whoever you want. A culture example I will take forward with me as I go head first into looking for work and continue to upskill.”

To keep their education momentum going, both Linda and Jack will be participating in the new Screen Industry Onboarding Program launching on 21st March.

31-year-old Jesse Hill from Worongary was a butcher for 10 years before he started studying the Diploma of Screen & Media (CUA51015) at TAFE Queensland’s Coomera Creative campus.

“The start of COVID made me realise butchering wasn’t going to be my forever job. I’d had enough and wanted something different. My wife started her career and she was earning enough for me to study.”

“I love movies. I love the fact in the screen industry it’s not the same every day. It always changes. It’s constantly fresh. Eurovision is exactly that kind of live environment, and I relished it. It was the best experience I’ve ever had other than getting married and having kids!”

“I was throwing myself into everything whether it was transport for talent between Gold Coast and Brisbane or camera work. The feedback on my camera skills was really valuable. I got to assist all the stars, hosts and even helped with some stage directing.”

“This experience gave me the opportunity to take initiative which you just have to do in a live environment. Sometimes you just have to make a decision and be creative to solve problems fast. Think on the fly and be agile.”

“To develop trust, I tried to be reliable as possible and it looks like that team mindset approach paid off as I already have more work lined up. I’ll definitely apply for Eurovision next year for an actual role.”

TAFE Queensland General Manager (Gold Coast region) Karen Dickinson said she looks forward to more students participating in future Eurovision events.

“There is really nothing like Eurovision. It is a world class production that gives our students the opportunity to work in a multi-cultural environment. To appreciate diversity and to develop their capacity to work in large teams delivering a large scale live production in a time intensive environment,” Ms Dickinson said.

“When our students thrive in that kind of environment, it’s the kind of in-industry experience that really sets them up for being highly sought by future employers. It is the epitome of our TAFE Queensland education approach – giving students practical skills development coupled with theory.”

This unique student opportunity was thanks’ to SBS’s Eurovision production partner, BlinkTV, who continue to work closely with TAFE Queensland to provide students with local industry experiences.

For more information regarding the new Screen Industry Onboarding Program please email BDadmin@tafeqld.edu.au.