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Screen Australia Finalizes Sexual Harassment Code of Conduct

Screen Australia, Australia’s federal regulatory and funding body, has finalized a code of conduct on sexual harassment. It is expected to go into effect from April.

Everyone, including freelancers, working on a production that has received Screen Australia funding will need to be made aware of the code. Producers will be required to nominate a trained staff member to be a Sexual Harassment Prevention Contact. And they will have to file a report to the organization at the conclusion of production. Failure to do so may mean the loss of final payments and being barred from future funding.

“The proposed Code gives visibility to the standards and responsibilities that already exist, and makes it clear that on any Screen Australia production there is zero tolerance for harassment,” said Screen Australia COO, Fiona Cameron.

Until April, the draft code will be available for further industry input. Two other industry bodies, the Screen Producers Australia and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance are also currently working on a code that will cover all entertainment organizations in the future.

The revelations of the Harvey Weinstein Scandal have resonated in Australia. Screen Australia say, putting the code of conduct in place reflects changing times. “The discourse in Australia made it apparent that awareness of what actually constitutes sexual harassment and assault was low. Willingness to report incidents and/or confusion over how to report incidents and to whom, were also topics of discussion,” it said in a statement.

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