ABC drama a springboard to the stars for TAFE talent

A partnership between North Metropolitan TAFE (NMTAFE) and producers of hit ABC TV series The Heights continues to open doors for Western Australian screen and media students. Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery was on set of the production at ABC studios in East Perth today, meeting with 18 NMTAFE students gaining priceless workplace experience that could lead to exciting career opportunities. 

The Heights, which has a major production investment from Screenwest, tells the story of residents living in an inner-city housing complex and the people who live in the rapidly gentrifying community surrounding it. It is being produced by Matchbox Pictures and For Pete’s Sake Productions for ABC Television. With 30 episodes to be made, The Heights will give Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (Digital Cinema) students practical training in a number of course units, providing tangible skills and experience for emerging screen industry professionals. 

While studying at NM TAFE, Harne Hennessey from Yanchep interned on the first season of the series in 2018. Following his experience on set and graduation, the 22 year old secured work as a camera and lighting operator on Channel 9’s Today Show. Another two graduates,who interned on The Heights while studying last year have also found work on the series. NMTAFE are now negotiating additional student placements within the production’s lighting and sound teams.          

“These types of partnerships demonstrate the vocational education and training sector’s ability to be responsive and take advantage of unique opportunities as they arise." said Ms Ellery. “It is clear that providing industry relevant experience makes graduates job ready which increases their employability, but also expands their industry networks so they’re front of mind when employers need to fill positions. The sector is also fantastic at supporting industry helping make projects like this viable.” 

The State Government recently announced a $7 million Lotterywest grant for Screenwest, which distributes funding to WA screen projects. The grant will help to underpin the continued growth and success of Western Australia’s screen industry.

Main picture: Minister Ellery (front, centre) with NMTAFE Managing Director Michelle Hoad (left), NMTAFE students and crew on set of The Heights


Page last updated July 28, 2020