Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network appoints new Co-Chairs

Olivia Khoo & Loani Arman to lead advocacy group, succeeding Kelrick Martin and Michelle Cheng.

The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network has announced the incoming SDIN Co-Chairs who will lead the advocacy group for the next two years.

They are the Head of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, Olivia Khoo, and SBS Scripted Commissioning Editor, Loani Arman who succeed Michelle Cheng (SBS Content Industry Diversity Manager) and Kelrick Martin (ABC Head of Indigenous),

Olivia Khoo (pictured right) said: “I am excited to be contributing to this next phase of the Network’s future. With the second iteration of the Everyone Countsreport to start working on, Australia’s screen industries are well placed to make significant strides in improving diversity and inclusion and I’m looking forward to working with our screen organisations, research and educational institutions, and my co-Chair Loani Arman to make this happen.”

Loani Arman (pictured left) said: “I’m thrilled to be working closely with Olivia and the SDIN membership to continue the work we need to do across the industry, building on The Everyone Project and seeking out and developing talent from historically excluded backgrounds through long-term measurable programs and funding. I’d like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of outgoing co-chairs Kelrick Martin and Michelle Cheng and thank them for all the work they’ve done over the past two years.”

Meanwhile Latecomers, produced by Lazy Susan Films and Mad Ones Films, was announced as the winner of the annual SDIN Award, at the 21st Annual SPA Awards.

Latecomers was created by Angus Thompson and Emma Myers, who have drawn on their own experiences of living with cerebral palsy to tell this story of two strangers with cerebral palsy who, after watching their care workers hook up at a bar, become determined to explore their own relationships with sex and each other. The series stars Angus Thompson and Hannah Diviney, and Alistair Baldwin, who identifies as living with a disability, directed one of the episodes.

Michelle Cheng and Kelrick Martin said:

Latecomers is unlike any program Australia has ever seen – hilarious, relatable and game changing – it shows the power and authenticity coming from creators with lived experience, telling stories about their own community. As Sarah and Frank navigate their relationships with sex and each other as people with cerebral palsy, this groundbreaking series is shifting perceptions and attitudes towards people with disability in Australia.”

The shortlist also recognised First Day, series two, produced by Epic Films and KOJO Studios and The Australian Wars by Blackfella Films.

Olivia Khoo
Olivia Khoo is Head of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Australia. Olivia is a member of the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts and is internationally recognised for her research on Asian and Asian Australian cinema, gender, sexuality and screen media. She is the author/ co-editor of seven books, including Transnational Australian Cinema: Ethics in the Asian Diasporas and Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures. Olivia is Chair of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network, which she co-founded in 2006. With Audrey Yue and Belinda Smaill, she produced a database of over 500 Asian Australian films, as part of a government-funded ARC Discovery Project grant on the History of Asian Australian cinema. Olivia has collaborated with international organisations to promote screen diversity, including the Hong Kong Film Archive, the Taipei Artists Village, and the Asian Film Archive, Singapore. She has served for many years as Associate Editor of Metro magazine (ATOM: Australian Teachers of Media), and Series Editor of the Gender, Sexualities and Cultures in Asia book series (Palgrave Macmillan). In her spare time, Olivia sings with Australia’s longest running LGBTQIA+ choir, the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, Inc, of which she was former Secretary, and volunteers for Wildlife Victoria to rescue injured native animals.

Loani Arman
Loani Arman is a proud Indonesian-Australian woman and joined SBS in 2022 as Scripted Commissioning Editor. In the role, Loani works across the development and production of scripted content and oversees SBS’ short form drama slate and other talent development initiatives. For SBS, she has been the Executive Producer on Latecomers, which was the only Australian production to screen at Series Mania this year, and Appetite, which recently screened in competition at Canneseries. Prior to SBS, Loani was a Content Director at Screen Queensland where she led their development programs and initiatives. Earlier in her career, she was the Drama Associate for Showtime Australia, working across original drama commissions including Cloudstreet and Tangle. As a screen creative, Loani has had a drama series in development through the STAN / Screen Queensland Premium Drama Fund. In 2020, her documentary series, My Body Says (ABC), won the inaugural AIDC Best Short Form Award; and in 2019, Loani was the winner of the AACTA Pitch Competition with her film, Our Greatest Escape.

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