Screen Australia to cover Carer’s Costs as part of development funding

Screen Australia have added a new line to the budgets of their development fund applications: $3000 to cover Carer's Costs.
The cast of BUMP, funded by Screen Australia

Screen Australia have added a new line to the budgets of their development fund applications: a small allowance for Carer’s Costs. Announced this month, applicants for development funding will have the option to apply for a $3000 one-off contribution towards costs incurred through replacing informal care responsibilities with paid care during script development. Currently in its pilot phase, the program is intended to help support unpaid carers in the screen industry, whose responsibilities can sometimes hamper their career progression. The payment is available as a one-off per application, and successful teams can split or allocate the funds as they see fit.

Due to the wide variety of kinds of informal care that exist, the Carer’s Costs payment can cover a range of out of pocket expenses. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Short-term before and after school care
  • Casual preschool attendance
  • In-home, residential or day care respite for elders and/or people with a disability or chronic illness
  • Short-term in-home childcare support

A huge number of Australians are carers in an informal capacity: 2.8 million people fell into this category in 2020 whether they were caring for children, ageing parents, or other loved ones. The responsibilities that come with informal care duties can be professional expensive and time-consuming. In terms of maintaining career progression, they can be prohibitive: ‘These informal care responsibilities can limit and impede a person from entering or maintaining a career in the screen industry,’ said Screen Australia’s Head of Development Nerida Moore.

The Carer’s Cost Pilot Program has a total funding pool of $150,000. The Carer’s Cost allowance will be available to applicants applying for development funding any time during the 2021-2 financial year, or until this funding is fully allocated.

Carer’s Costs will be available across the development funding slate. Applicants to programs including Generate and Premium for Feature Film, Television and Online Development, Documentary Development, as well as First Nations Feature, TV Drama and Documentary Development funding will all be able to apply.

For further questions, please email Screen Australia’s Development team.

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob