From the Presidents Desk…

Once again we come together to celebrate in Eora country/Sydney. And although this will not be my last such celebration, it is my last time officially welcoming you all to this important occasion, so valued by our members, our sponsors and the broader screen sound community.

At this point, I can’t help but reflect on some of the highlights and milestones from the past eight years of awards and the guild’s activities. In that time we have welcomed around 200 new members to our community. We have introduced online judging and interstate screenings of feature films, along with an overall improved judging process. Two years ago we held our first awards outside of NSW, and although that was in part due to the pandemic, we have plans to make sure that it is not a once-off. Our members come from all parts of the country and now, for the first time, we have representatives in every state, enabling us to offer more activities and events across the country.

This year the guild turned 35. But as we have matured and grown, our aims have remained the same. A key part of that is recognising and promoting excellence in the craft of screen sound, and that is why we hold these awards: to celebrate all of you who do such amazing work. Judges have again commented on the increasingly high standard of work, and the often difficult task of separating one entry from another. And we have seen that excellence validated in our members’ international success and recognition. But what is special about our awards is that we focus not just on the big-name projects or a single “best” award. We are here to recognise all formats and all craft areas in screen sound, and we judge every entry with the same care and attention, no matter the format or the budget. Being nominated or winning is a true recognition of screen sound excellence.

But it is not just about these awards. Supporting our members to do their best work is what occupies us year-round. We work alongside other guilds to make representations to government on policy issues, we organise presentations and events for professional development, and we work to bring members together, virtually or in person, to share knowledge or simply be social. I believe we have made major contributions to positive outcomes for our industry as a whole, and that we will continue to be an important screen organisation.

Our strength comes from our membership, but you can make a greater contribution to the guild and the industry through supporting your state representatives, or by joining the committee. Please take a moment to speak to me or one of the other committee members if you want to find out more about what you can do to help.

To get here today has taken an enormous effort by many people, not just those on the committee. Our Awards Sub-Committee has worked from the beginning of the year on a long list of tasks. Our judges have volunteered many hours of their time to select the nominees and winners. And our sponsors, as ever, have supported us throughout the year. Thank you to all of them for making today’s event possible. If you are talking to one of these volunteers or to a sponsor today, please take a moment to tell them how much you appreciate their efforts.

Today many of you will celebrate success, but I hope that all of you are able to celebrate the time we spend together. In the room, you will find new members and some who have been with us since the very beginning. Wherever you are on your journey, take the chance to seek out new faces, to talk, listen and connect, and to reflect on why we are here. Above all, have fun!

Steve Murphy
ASSG President