Woman Riley, Sally

Director, Indigenous Writer, Media Executive and Producer

Written by Kathryn Mcleod, National Film and Sound Archive

Sally Riley, a woman of the Wiradjuri nation, is at the forefront of the Indigenous film and television industry in Australia. She is 'a strong advocate for Aboriginal self-representation in the Australian film industry' and played a vital role in Indigenous filmmaking during the nine years she worked as Head of Screen Australia's Indigenous Unit (Gallasch, 2007).

Appointed to head ABC TV's Indigenous Department in 2010, she has been pioneering with her work as executive producer on the ABC TV productions Mabo (2012) and Redfern Now (2012 - ). The latter series was the first of its kind to be 'commissioned, written, acted and produced by indigenous Australians', creating 250 jobs and strongly supporting Indigenous employment in the creative sector (Guardian, 2012). Announcing the series Riley said 'we are providing the finance and infrastructure for real career opportunities for creative Indigenous Australians, which is very exciting … This contribution to the industry will hopefully have an amazing impact for years to come' (IF, 2011). Redfern Now won the 2013 Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Drama Series, with a second series due for completion in 2013.

In 2008, Riley was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal for her services in the development of initiatives that have increased the participation of Indigenous Australians in the film and television industries. Sally Riley and Erica Glynn were the recipients of the Australian Directors Guild's 2011 Cecil Holmes Award which recognised 'the invaluable work of the Indigenous branch of the former Australian Film Commission (now the Indigenous Department of Screen Australia) in giving directors a creative voice'.

Published Resources

Edited Books

  • Gallasch, Keith (ed.), Dreaming in Motion: Celebrating Australia's Indigenous Filmmakers, Australian Film Commission, Sydney, New South Wales, 2007. Details

Online Resources

See also