Torres Strait Islander star of stage & screen named
as Hector Crawford
24 Mar 2023
Today Screen Producers Australia (SPA) is pleased to announce that Aaron Fa’aoso, a proud Torres Strait Islander, managing director at Lone Star Production Group, actor, film and television writer, director and independent film and TV producer will deliver the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture in person at SCREEN FOREVER 37 in May 2023.
Aaron was born into the Kheodal and Samu clans of Saibai Island. Having grown up in a large Torres Strait Islander community with a rich tradition of storytelling, it is no surprise that Aaron has gone on to become one of Australia’s screen industry’s most important storytellers and prominent figures of Torres Strait Island descent.
Aaron began his career in 2006, when he played Eddie Gaibui on R.A.N, and since then he has become well known on Australian screens having appeared on or voiced characters in film and TV productions including Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, Black Comedy, Goldstone and Subdivision, to name but a few.
His career behind the camera has become equally important with Aaron establishing himself as a director, producer, and writer with credits including Blue Water Empire, and two of the only productions to focus solely on Torres Strait Island culture, Strait to the plate, and The Straits.
Aaron has contributed more broadly to the industry with roles on SPA Council, the Screen Queensland Board and most recently the SBS Board as one of two newly announced non-executive Directors. Through Lone Star he has developed multiple capacity-building programs helping participants to learn screen fundamentals such as writing, acting, and producing with a focus on educating future generations of First Nations screen industry practitioners.
As a long-time advocate for investment in a studio in Far North Queensland that would facilitate a First Nations focus, Aaron’s work with others was realised in 2021 with the announcement by the Queensland government of a $6.8m film and television studio in Cairns, due for completion later this year.
Aaron has also been active in work to realise a Queensland Treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders joining the Treaty Advancement Committee, and in 2022 launched his memoir So Far, So Good, reviewed as a ‘compelling read’ that goes into detail about his career, advocacy work and aspirations for the future.
“I’m delighted to be delivering the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture at SCREEN FOREVER 37 at a time when there is so much opportunity ahead for our industry. I’m looking forward to discussing how Torres Strait Islander people continue to be frustrated about the lack of inclusion, visibility, and voices of not being seen, heard, or considered despite being integral in the economic development of this country across the vast landscapes of the maritime (Pearling), agricultural (sugarcane). Transport (railway development) and defence force industries.
“As " the other" First Nations people of Australia, Torres Strait Islander people want a more balanced representation across the entire film and television landscape from content creation, onscreen talent, Heads of department and so on. Until a focussed Torres Strait Islander screen strategy and funding is established and allocated that is embraced and advocated by the screen industry, screen agencies and broadcasters the status quo will remain,” said Aaron.
"We’re thrilled to have Aaron as our Hector Crawford Memorial Lecturer for SCREEN FOREVER 37. Aaron’s delivery is very timely given the prominence of First Nations stories in the government’s new National Cultural Policy and are sure his lecture will not only be well received by all delegates in attendance but inspire them and reignite a burning passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories within the Australian screen sector,” said SPA CEO, Matthew Deaner.
The Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture has been a keynote feature of the annual SCREEN FOREVER conference since 1992. The speech honours its namesake's legacy and emphasises the importance of independent production in Australia's cultural life.
After a completely sold-out event in 2022, delegates are encouraged to register early to secure their spot at www.screenforever.org.au.
More information on SCREEN FOREVER 37 can be found at www.screenforever.org.au. The full SCREEN FOREVER 37 program will be announced in late March 2023.
SCREEN FOREVER is proudly supported by the Queensland Government, through Screen Queensland.
We acknowledge and pay respects to the Yugambeh people of the Gold Coast and all their descendants both past and present. We also acknowledge the many Aboriginal people from other regions as well as Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who now live in the local area and have made an important contribution to the community.