Adjunct Professor and producer of The Dressmaker, Sue Maslin, has been admitted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, recognising her continued advocacy for women’s equality.
Being admitted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women was a nod to Maslin’s work advocating for the equal representation of women in film, both in front of and behind the camera.
Maslin was the founder of Women in Film and Television (Victoria) in 1988 in an effort to gain fairer representation for women, which she credits as one of her greatest achievements.
The organisation has now gone national, with the recent formation of Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Australia and Maslin said that it is more relevant than ever.
“Women in Film and Television is still going strong and it is hopefully part of changing the game right now for women in the screen industry,” she said.
“Time’s Up lifted the lid on what has been a major cultural problem for years. The problem isn’t just limited to film, but we do have a responsibility because we have access to media in a way other sectors don’t.
“At the moment if women do go public, the backlash can be fierce which is why they have not come forward for so long.
“The next step is really embodied in what the NOW Australia campaign is doing, creating resources in counselling, legal aid, whatever it takes to support the women who want to come forward.
“What will make change happen is recognising that those imbalances are not just a women’s problem, and getting men involved because it’s something that we can solve together.”
Maslin said representation was also important.
"Women are often not represented in the positions that green light film production and exhibition and that ultimately skews what ends up on our screens".
Connections to RMIT
Maslin is also a passionate advocate for RMIT and a Capitol Theatre Appeal Ambassador.
“I have a long connection with RMIT, it started when I was involved in setting up the masters in film course, providing strategic direction for the School of Media and Communication to help bridge the gap between education and the industry.”
Her first ever film, Thanks Girls and Goodbye, was screened in RMIT’s iconic Capitol Theatre, an exciting experience she says she wants other young filmmakers to have.
After seeing the potential the Capitol Theatre had to connect Melbournians with the film industry, Maslin became an Ambassador for the Capitol Theatre Appeal.
“It’s the future. At the moment people might go to ACMI to see ideas in a gallery setting and to a certain extent they can play, but they’re more of a consumer,” she said.
“The Capitol can involve people in participatory way, during the day through teaching, and then at night by having filmmakers or producers coming in and engaging with the public.
“It’s not just for the people who work in this industry; it’s for the general public, who are the backbone of this main thoroughfare in Melbourne.
“The concept that powerful ideas could be communicated and actually make a difference in people’s lives is what gets us out of bed in the morning, and that is what the Capitol Theatre has the potential to do.”
Maslin has over 35 years of experience as a screen producer. She was appointed Adjunct Professor of the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in 2012, and has received the inaugural Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry.
For more information on the RMIT Capitol Theatre Appeal, visit rmit.edu.au/capitol.
Story: Geane Lyall