ABOUT

The Australian Production Design Guild was established in 2009 as a non-profit organisation that aims to:

  • Represent designers and their associates in screen, stage, events, interactivity and animation across Australia.
  • Recognise and nurture excellence in design through awards, mentoring and accreditation.
  • Raise the profile of stage and screen design and facilitate a vibrant design community.

FULL members must be Australian residents or citizens working in stage or screen design. APDG accredited members are FULL members who have been granted accreditation by the APDG. Accredited members keep their accreditation status in retirement.

CONCESSION members are students, teachers and retired practitioners of stage and screen design who are Australian residents or citizens.

FRIEND members are individuals or businesses based anywhere in the world who are practitioners of, are interested in, or are affiliated with stage and screen design. FRIENDS of the APDG cannot enter the APDG Awards, serve on APDG committees or apply for APDG accreditation but are encouraged to participate in the vibrant international community facilitated by the guild .

NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

George Liddle APDG – President

Julie Lynch APDG – Vice President

Marta McElroy

Peter Sheehan APDG

NEW SOUTH WALES STEERING COMMITTEE

George Liddle APDG – President

Julie Lynch APDG – Vice President, Live Performance Committee Chair

Valentina Iastrebova  – Treasurer

Marta McElroy

Stephen Curtis – Live Performance Design Coordinator

Fiona Donovan APDG – Screen Design Committee Co-Chair / Website Content Co-Manager.

Tim Ferrier – Screen Design Committee Co-Chair

Igor Nay – Representative to the Australian Screen Industry

Danielle Alexander – Social Media Manager

Dan Willis – Website Content  Co-Manager

Diaan Wajon – Education Manager

Jane Healy – Awards Co-manager

Tamara Popper – Awards Co-manager

Jacinta Leong APDG – Facebook Manager

Tobhiyah Stone Feller - Emerging Design Co-Chair/ Live Performance Design Committee  

Paul Matthews – Emerging Design Co-Chair/ Live Performance Design Committee

Jennifer Irwin APDG- Live Performance Design Committee

Anna Tregloan – Live Performance Design Committee

Eamon D’Arcy – Live Performance Design Committee

VICTORIAN STEERING COMMITTEE

Aphrodite Kondos – Victorian Committee Chair

Marg Horwell – Victorian Live Performance Representative

Simon McCutcheon

Scott Zero

Robert Perkins

Rolland Pike

Leon Salom

Sean Denis

Jo Briscoe

Mark Anttonen

QUEENSLAND STEERING COMMITTEE

Michelle McGahey APDG – Queensland Committee Co-Chair

Michael Rumpf  - Queensland Committee Co-Chair

WESTERN AUSTRALIA STEERING COMMITTEE

Emma Fletcher – Western Australia Committee Chair

AUSTRALIAN CAPITOL TERRITORY STEERING COMMITTEE

Peter Sheehan APDG – Australian Capitol Territory Committee Chair.

HISTORY

Getting started

On a summer afternoon in 2009 at the Australian Film Television and Radio school, Production Designer – George Liddle, stood from his position in the audience to address an auditorium of screen designers gathered to discuss the future of production design. “If anybody is interested in forming a guild for stage and screen designers please meet me in the foyer after this meeting”.

A handful of people gave George their contact details and word got round. Then, on the 4th of June a meeting of about fifteen people was held. It wasn’t the first time a guild for stage and screen designers had been initiated; member numbers had not been sufficient to sustain earlier incarnations. In 2009 designers were the only sector of the Australian media and entertainment industries without a representative body.

In this first meeting a core group volunteered to meet regularly and act as the founding committee they were:

George Liddle

Peter Sheehan

Annie Beauchamp

Kate Willis

apd committee 2009

From left. Kate Wills, Peter Sheehan, George Liddle, Annie Beauchamp.

The founding committee formulated some basic alternative structures and organised a second general meeting in June, attended by about 50 people. At this meeting it was decided to call the organization the Australian Production Design Guild and adopt the acronym APDG as our identity. Over the following five months many founding committee meetings were held and many interested parties attended these meetings which helped structure the guild. By August the founding directors were established:

George Liddle (secretary)

Virginia Mesiti (public officer)

Peter Sheehan

Annie Beauchamp

Kate E Wills

Charlie Revai

Kim Buddee

The founding directors drafted the Aims of the Guild, designed an accreditation process, formulated an awards event and began to design a website. In order to raise funds to commission a website builder the founding directors sought the financial backing of seven high profile Australian designers, who then became the founding members:

Michael Scott Mitchell

Steven Jones Evans

Catherine Martin

Ian Gracie

Colin Gibson

Owen Paterson

George Liddle

In October the founding directors commissioned Thomas Hofmann to build a website and Belinda Bennetts to design the APDG logo.

By December the basic structure of the guild was in shape; the awards categories were defined as was the awards entering process, judging process, membership levels and accreditation criteria. Because the guild did yet have any accredited members that might serve as assessors of accreditation applications four APDG directors – Peter Sheehan, Annie Beauchamp, Virginia Mesiti and Kate Wills – voted in April on a special resolution to invite all of the founding members to become the first APDG accredited members. For propriety George Liddle, who was both a founding member and a founding director, was excluded from this resolution.

On May 18th 2010 George Liddle declared the guild open to new members and the website was launched. Despite the torrential rain on the roof of the AFTRS auditorium a collective sigh of relief and excitement could be heard from the 100 designers and design associates gathered for the launch. Roger Ford and Kerrie Brown then presented the first ever APDG event, an insightful talk about their production design and set decoration collaborations on their many productions.

APDG Launch 18 May 2010

APDG Launch 18 May 2010

Milestone Initiatives

The inaugural APDG Awards were held Wednesday 21st September 2011 in Sydney at NIDA’s Parade Theatres. Renowned film critic and presenter Margaret Pomeranz hosted the evening. Karla Tatterson was the event producer.

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The Victorian committee was established in 2011.

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The Queensland committee was established in 2012.

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The Western Australian committee was established in 2013.

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The APDG Designers for Live Performance Philosophy and Practice Guidelines were launched in 2014 by the Live Performance subcommittee, led by Julie Lynch APDG and Stephen Curtis.

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The APDGmentor programme was launched in 2016 lead by Diaan Wajon and Tobhiyah Stone Feller.

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The APDG Manual Screen Design Practices was launched in 2017 by the Screen subcommittee lead by Tim Ferrier and Fiona Donovan APDG.

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The annual APDG Awards event was held for the first time in Victoria and the APDG Live Performance Agreement was launched in 2017.

ETHICS

Members of the Australian Production Design Guild are governed by the APDG constitution, which denotes the following standards of conduct:

APDG Members are expected to:

  • Uphold and dignify the status of professional production design and refine their skills in order to provide the best possible service to their employers, clients and employees.
  • Deal with all users of production design with honesty, integrity and fairness.
  • Refuse to participate in any practice that violates federal, state or local laws in Australia and to aspire to best possible professional practice both in Australia and overseas.
  • Communicate in clear language all the terms and conditions of commissions and contracts.

APDG Members are encouraged to:

  • Share, where possible, knowledge and skills so as to continually improve standards in the profession.
  • Promote the retention of copyright by the designer in original artworks and/or a fair stake in the profits made by the use of original designs and to strive towards a better understanding of the Copyright Act.

APDG members in disagreement with other members in matters related to the aims or standards of the APDG are expected to communicate in writing, concisely and without malice or anger, to the APDG board of directors who may act as independent arbitrators.

APDG members in disagreement with other members regarding matters outside the aims or standards of the APDG are expected to seek advice from independent arbitrators.