AFTRS releases survey on Graduate Success and celebrates 40th anniversary

The Australian Film Television and Radio School has released an in-depth survey on their graduates’ career outcomes. This coincides with the school celebrating 40 years of educating screen arts and broadcast practitioners this Friday, as the School opens its doors to four decades of film and television alumni for a celebration at its Moore Park facilities.

AFTRS commissioned an in-depth survey that looked at the career progression of its film & television alumni since graduation. It showed that 74% of graduates are still pursuing work or currently working in the industry and 70% are still pursuing their chosen field of specialisation.

Sandra Levy, AFTRS CEO said, “As the School approached its 40th year we decided to document the history and stories of the School’s alumni. What really did happen to the graduates? What was their employment pattern? Did they stay in the industry? The story is impressive and the data shows that the School’s graduates are a remarkable group of people: talented, optimistic, tenacious and inventive.”

The full research results are presented in a special edition of the School’s screen arts and business journal LUMINA.

Graduates identified networking as the single most important factor in their career progression, and said that AFTRS had helped create and provide these networks. Feedback also showed that 71% of graduates believe their AFTRS qualification is well regarded in the industry and 73% believe it has opened doors for them in their chosen fields.

41% of respondents stating their current employment status as freelance, with 52% stating that they have had at least one period (from 2 months up to 2 years) working outside of the industry.

When asked what the motivating factor was in pursuing their careers, ‘satisfying creative vision’ recieved a 91% response as being ‘very important’, while ‘making a lot of money’ was only ranked as ‘very important’ by 11% of respondents. Around half of those currently working (49%) had an annual income of less than $60,000, however more than 71% stated that they had been paid for more than 60% of their work in the industry.

When asked about their futures, 44% of AFTRS alumni anticipated that they would be working in their chosen field with moderate success in three years time, and 56% believing they would be working in their chosen field with a lot of success in 10 years time.


AFTRS will celebrate tonight with some of their most lauded alumni including, Jane Campion  (Oscar® winning screenwriter and director The Piano), Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career, Little Women), Don McAlpine (BAFTA and Oscar® nominated cinematographer (Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge!) and Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae, Mabo).

Some of the world’s leading filmmakers have graduated from AFTRS, including Phillip Noyce (Salt, Clear and Present Danger), Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah), Robert Connolly (Balibo), Tony Ayres (The Slap), PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding, My Best Friend’s Wedding), Cate Shortland (Somersault, Lore), Jocelyn Moorhouse (Proof), Chris Noonan (Babe) and Dion Beebe (Oscar® winning and nominated cinematographer Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago) to name a few. 


To date 2012 has been a big year for AFTRS, with much to celebrate:

  • AFTRS first Masters of Screen Arts
  • Friday on My Mind commenced in Melbourne
  • Six student films selected to screen at a dedicated AFTRS session at the Cinema des Antipodes, a free non-competitive program as part of the Cannes Film Festival
  • AFTRS short Emily, written/directed by directing student Ben Matthews first AFTRS film to be nominated for a Student Academy Award
  • AFTRS conducts research into the career paths of its alumni which gives a snapshot of their experience of pursuing a creative career the research and presents it in a special edition of LUMINA
  • After being awarded second prize in a Gobi Dessert trek in 2011, AFTRS invited to compete again in 2012 The Brother Win Media Corporation Design Competition for Students
  • The three-year Louis Lumiere exchange for cinematography in Paris begins