• PRESIDENT’S LETTER – AUTUMN 2022

This is my last newsletter as president of the Australian Production Design Guild. It is a sad but supremely satisfying occasion for me, having shared in the growth of our guild from humble beginnings 13 years ago to an exciting, inclusive, vibrant design community that it is now.

It has been a wonderful journey, from our first get together on a wild and stormy night held in the AFTRS foyer surrounded by 60 enthusiastic colleagues, until now, in 2022 with a design community representing practitioners in live performance, screen, events and digital design of almost 600 designers and design associates. 

The raison d’être for the APDG was to promote design and represent designers and design associates in the different industries in which we work and create and I think we can comfortably say, that we as a community have achieved that. The important creative contribution of design to any production is now more widely recognised and appreciated in commentary and reviews.

The success of the guild is due to our colleagues who have given of their time and energy on committees, APDG events, sharing their experiences on APDGDialogues in Design, partnering with our emerging designers through MENTORAPDG, managed our social media and I must also acknowledge past administrators and our present business manager Rebecca who have put the guild on a sound efficient business footing.

It’s been an amazing 12 years and I thank everyone who has supported me in my position as president. To mention but a few… In our early days Peter Sheehan, Virginia Mesiti, Annie Beauchamp and Kitty Taube; then Julie Lynch, Marta McElroy, Valentina Iastrebova, Igor Nay, Diaan Wajon, Scott Bird and Tim Ferrier in Sydney; Aphrodite Kondos and Jo Briscoe in Victoria, Michael Rumpf and Michelle McGahey in Queensland, Emma Fletcher in WA; our tech genius and website guru Dan Willis; and the current creative driving force, chair of live performance Stephen Curtis and our vice president Fiona Donovan. 

The guild’s strength is in its membership and I encourage members to volunteer their time and talent in any way you can, to grow and improve the APDG. Call Rebecca, she has a job for you.

I have been working as a designer in TV and film for over 50 years. I have witnessed Australian TV and film going from a kind of quaint cottage industry to a high revving, professional, international award-winning, brilliantly creative entity. I have seen our design colleagues in live performance confidently strut their stuff here and internationally in theatres and mega events garnering global awards and recognition. 

It has been a great buzz for me to witness the last 10 years of APDG awards, giving us all a window into the amazing creativity and design talent of our brilliant APDG colleagues. This design talent we hope will be showcased to the world in a museum exhibition Making a Scene currently being worked on by Eamon D’Arcy and the exhibition committees, a very exciting project, stay tuned.

We have achieved much together and as I observe our emerging designers with their creative and confident work, I know the future of the guild and Australian design has a powerful future. 

Thanks everyone for your support over the years. Although stepping down from the presidency, I hope to remain a member and share in the future of our wonderful community  
of designers and design associates.

– George

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