Meg O’Connell – Independent Producer

Meg has been nominated for an AACTA award three times and was awarded one in 2019 for producing Robbie Hood for SBS On Demand, with Since1788 and Ludo Studio. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote: “Robbie Hood is the most perfect piece of TV you’ll see this year.” During her time at Ludo she produced the International Emmy award-winning show DOODLES for ABC ME and the vertical-video show CONTENT for ABC iview. As executive producer on CONTENT she oversaw all aspects of scripting, production and post on Australia’s first-ever mobile phone show, which Junkee listed as one of “The 50 Shows That Defined the Decade”. Meg was also development manager on the smash hit BLUEY — the most-watched show in ABC iview history — which won a Logie and an International Emmy and is now screening worldwide on Disney+. Recently, Meg completed a creative mentorship at FremantleMedia in the UK, funded by Screen Queensland, and has since produced a music video for Columbia Records. She is currently developing a slate of work with a number of next-generation Australian creatives.

Cate McQuillan – Creative Producer | Mememe Productions

From her home base in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW,  Cate is one-half of mememe productions, creating ‘out there’ children’s programming for a new generation of content seekers. With a myriad of skills and interests, her greatest assets are her approach and attitude and ability to generate ideas, motivate, inspire and see the ‘big picture’.

For Cate, so much of it has to do with gathering a great team, greater than yourself, and then loving them.

Tim Maddocks – Producer | MADDFILMS

Tim Maddocks first successes were the 2006 short films Death’s Requiem, and The New Life collecting over a dozen awards from 40+ festival screenings each. His feature film Terminus with Storm Vision Entertainment went to Netflix in January 2016. In 2015 Tim produced the Sci-Fi Blue World Order starring Billy Zane, Jack Thompson, Bruce Spence, Jake Ryan and Stephen Hunter directed by Ché Baker of Full Point Films this film was released in 2018. He has since produced the feature film Out of the Shadows with Oscar winner David White and Emmy nominee, Christopher Gordon. All of these features are available on iTunes and Google Play.

Switching to documentary he worked as a consultant producer with BAFTA winner Jennifer Peedom on Mountain, then Tim was heavily involved in the financing and production of Australia’s Great Wild North and Turtle Odyssey both in the top 20 Australian Box Office returns for 2019, and still screening worldwide. He is currently delivering the IMAX documentary Out of Bounds, a journey from Antarctica to Alaska with Olympic Gold Medalist Torah Bright.

Virginia Whitwell – Head of Production | GoodThing Productions 

Over a 25 year career, Virginia has become a highly experienced producer of factual and scripted content.  She is the Head of Production for Melbourne based GoodThing Productions after five years in this role at Madman Production Company.  She has co-produced and produced many scripted and factual features including That Sugar Film, Save Your Legs!A Month Of Sundays, Westwind:Djalu’s Legacy, All For One and 2040 directed by Damon Gameau. Hailing from the UK, she has worked on numerous productions all over the world. Her extensive production experience includes projects for Warner Bros, HBO, Lucasfilm, EON, 20th Century Fox and Universal.  Virginia recently produced AACTA award winning The Australian Dream, an Australian-United Kingdom co-production with Passion Pictures directed by BAFTA award winning Dan Gordon (MIFF Opening night and Audience Award, Telluride, TIFF, LFF 2019) and Below, a scripted feature film directed by Maziar Lahooti starring Anthony La Paglia and Ryan Corr (MIFF 2019).

Deb Cox – Creative Director, Head Writer, Executive Producer, Co-Founder | Every Cloud Productions

Over three decades, Deb Cox has created and produced some of Australia’s most iconic screen content. As Head of Drama for Artist Services, she developed a range of feature film and television projects, including the ABC miniseries Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies, feature film Dead Letter Office and – as part of CoxKnight Productions with Andrew Knight – co-created and wrote three series of SeaChange for the ABC.

Deb joined forces with Fiona Eagger to form Every Cloud Productions in 2009 and went on to co-create, co-produce and head the writing team on three series of international, award-winning, period drama Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Deb has worked as Executive Producer and Story Producer on Indigenous drama The Gods of Wheat Street. She co-created Newton’s Law, and youth short form series Deadlock, which received the AACTA Award for the Best Online Series in 2018. Deb was Executive Producer and Head Writer on Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries for the Seven Network and for the reboot of the much-loved series SeaChange, for the Nine Network. She Executive Produced and wrote the highly anticipated feature film Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears.

In 2016, Deb jointly received the Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry.

Fiona Eagger – Executive Producer | Every Cloud Productions

Fiona Eagger is an award-winning and highly experienced Producer and Executive Producer. Forming Every Cloud Productions with Deb Cox in 2009, Fiona co-created and produced three series of award-winning drama Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. In 2016 Fiona was a recipient of the Jill Robb Award. In July 2017, as Every Cloud CEO, Fiona Eagger, was the recipient of Film Victoria’s Screen Business Ventures funding; in the same year received the Film Victoria Natalie Miller Fellowship for Women in Leadership. Fiona is an honorary Adjunct Professor in the School of Media and Communications at RMIT, and has taken a leading role promoting women in front and behind the camera throughout her career. 

Rachel Gardner – Executive Producer | See-Saw 

Rachel joined Academy and Bafta Award-winning independent production company See-Saw Films to run the Australian film and television slates after producing John Maclean’s Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning feature film Slow West (2015) alongside See-Saw. Rachel is a talent-focused creative producer, executive producing (television) or producing (film) from conception and development through to production and creative delivery. 

See-Saw’s recent Australian productions include Top of the Lake: China Girl, Academy Award-nominated feature film Lion, The New Legends of Monkey and The End, with Jane Campion’s film The Power of the Dog currently shooting. Prior to joining See-Saw Films, Rachel was a partner in Great Southern Television, a dynamic and independent production company based in New Zealand, executive producing or producing over a hundred hours of prime-time programming in the seven years she drove the drama and factual slates.



Elle Curran – Partner | DWA

Elle re-joined DWA as a partner in 2019 after working as Director of Legal and Business Affairs at Screen Producers Australia. Elle was also Business Affairs Manager at the ABC and has worked for other entertainment businesses such as ITV Global Entertainment, Flame Media and Endemol Shine International. Elle’s areas of expertise include production legal, industrial and employment law and television distribution.


Emma Madison – Head of New Business & Technology | Screenrights

Emma is a screen industry executive with more than 15 years experience in royalty distribution. During her time at Screenrights she has overseen payment of more than $300 million in royalties to companies and screen practitioners in Australia and around the world.

Screenrights is a non-profit membership organisation that provides rights and royalty management services to the screen industry. It facilitates access to screen content through simple licensing solutions for teachers in education, administrators in government, and home viewers with subscription TV – and provide royalty payments to its members for the programs audiences love.

In her current role as Head of New Business & Technology, Emma is developing a range of new solutions for the industry to help navigate recoupment of investment and understand the financial performance of content in an increasingly fragmented market.

Emma has an MBA(x) in Tech and has studied blockchain strategy with the Oxford Saïd Business School. In 2018 she was awarded The Anita Prabhu Women Leaders in Business Award by the AGSM, Australia’s leading business school.

Chris Oliver-Taylor – CEO Asia Pacific | Fremantle

Chris started his career at the BBC in London, before emigrating to Australia in 2000. He worked in various senior production roles at ABC TV before becoming Head of Production in 2005 and then Head of Business & Operations in 2008. In 2011, Chris moved to the independent production sector as Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures. During this period, Matchbox produced a highly acclaimed slate of programming, garnering numerous Australian and international awards. Chris’ Executive Producer credits include THE SLAP (NBC/ABC Australia), THE HEIGHTS (ABC Australia), GLITCH (Netflix/ABC Australia) and WANTED (Netflix/Seven Network Australia). Chris was also the Lead Executive in Australia for CAMP (NBC) and HUNTERS (Syfy).

In 2018, Chris was appointed Fremantle’s CEO Asia Pacific. Chris leads Production right across the region with a focus on Australia, New Zealand, India and Indonesia. Chris also holds a position on the Fremantle Global Operating Board. Chris is currently a Board member of Film Victoria, and former Board member and Deputy Chair of Screenrights and President of Screen Producer’s Australia.

JEFF HARRISON – Managing Director/Executive Producer | Umbrella Entertainment

Jeff Harrison founded Umbrella Entertainment in 2001. His extensive knowledge, encompassing all aspects of film acquisition, production and distribution, has ensured Umbrella’s position as one of Australia’s leading independent distributors and premium ‘all rights’ management companies, delivering content across multiple platforms throughout Australia and the world.

With theatrical highlights including THE BABADOOK, THE WAY, WALKING THE CAMINO, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, THE MERGER, CARGO, FOR SAMA, HONEYLAND and upcoming local features such as RELIC and THE FURNACE, Harrison’s passion for cinema has seen Umbrella amass a catalogue of over 1,500 titles, which also incorporates the largest collection of restored classic Australian films & TV shows outside of the National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA). Drawing upon 30+ years’ experience as a business entrepreneur, Harrison has also formed strong personal relationships with leading international players in film and music, and in 2015 was appointed Treasurer of Australian Independent Distributors Association (AIDA).

ARI HARRISON – Acquisitions Manager | Umbrella Entertainment

Ari has been with Umbrella Entertainment for 5 years. As one of Australia’s leading independent film distributors, Umbrella manages rights for film content spanning multiple platforms, including Theatrical, VOD, Home Entertainment, TV and Ancillary. In his role as the company’s Acquisitions Manager, Ari is across all of these areas, with specific emphasis on determining the financial and artistic viability of both local and international productions. He also maintains Umbrella’s strong ties with the Australian film community through the ongoing acquisition and support of domestic titles.

Over the last few years, Ari has been responsible for many of the company’s key acquisitions including features such as ARCTIC, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, WILD GOOSE LAKE, DEERSKIN, COLOR OUT OF SPACE, MARTHA: A PICTURE STORY along with the globally acclaimed documentaries FOR SAMA and HONEYLAND, both of which received nominations at the 2020 Academy® Awards.

Ari is also in charge of Umbrella’s Festival Liaison division.

Share this story

Subscribe to our newsletter for regular industry updates, local news, access to national and state industry policy, funding rounds, work opportunities, giveaways and more…