“This public history project aimed to identify, interpret, and create access to collection items connected to women’s work in early Australian television production held at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). It used digital storytelling techniques to produce a series of multimedia online articles, which brings together accessibly written scholarly analysis with archival documents, photographs and audio-visual clips to reveal in vividly personal ways the inside story of women’s involvement in the making of Australian television. Oral history interviews from the NFSA’s collection illuminate aspects of women’s working lives often not revealed in institutionally produced archival documents and provide valuable insight into television productions for which there is no extant archive, such as the live television era.
From the earliest days of Australian television, women filled a variety of creative, technical and production support roles, yet their crucial contribution to the development and success of Australian television has rarely been acknowledged in scholarly or popular histories of broadcasting. This is especially the case for women who worked in behind the scenes or ‘below-the-line’ roles, as production or scripts assistants, film technicians and librarians, editing assistants, or telecine or videotape operators. Several women who worked in technical positions are profiled, including Molly Brownless, who ‘brought up the picture’ from the control room at TCN9 Sydney on the first night of broadcast television in 1956, and Claire Lupton, who worked as a news camera ‘stringer’ (freelance camera operator) at the Australian Broadcasting Commission from 1958.”
The Media Studies Commission is proud to announce that the research paper Women in Early Australian Television Production, a project by Jeannine Baker (University of Wollongong), is now available on the FIAT/IFTA website to download and read.