Australian Screen Production Education & Research Association

ASPERA is the peak discipline body of Australian tertiary institutions teaching and researching film, video, television and new media as screen based production practices. It was established in 2004 at an initial conference at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne attended by 16 institutions.

Google Group Facebook


ASPERA represents Australian Universities offering qualifications at undergraduate and/or postgraduate levels, including bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in various screen production disciplines. It plays an active role in shaping quality education for those working or planning to work in production or research for the screen. It addresses issues of concern to the sector, and is concerned with the status of screen production courses within the education sector. It addresses the relationship between the screen production education sector of the industry and the wider Australian screen industries. It aims to lift the profile of the screen based industries within the wider economic, social and cultural development of Australia.

ASPERA is a member of The International Association of Film & TV Schools (CILECT) and The Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS).


• To produce a regular forum for exchange of ideas for Universities and tertiary screen production educators on matters of teaching, assessment, research, quality assurance and course design.
• To develop and foster research relevant to the sector.
• To promote quality professional education for creative artists and craftspeople in the screen industries.
• To develop policy and advocate on behalf of screen production courses within the Australian tertiary sector.
• To provide leadership to professional education, research and community service in screen production in Australian Universities and tertiary institutions.
• To liaise with government, industry, secondary and VET sectors on matters of mutual interest relating to screen production.


For general enquires please contact the current President of ASPERA Sean Maher at: For website enquiries please contact Leo Berkeley at:

Constitution & Documents

ASPERA Constitution (PDF)
ASPERA Annual General Meeting Minutes 2013 (PDF)
ASPERA Annual General Meeting Minutes 2011 (PDF)
ASPERA Annual General Meeting Minutes 2010 (PDF)
ASPERA Annual General Meeting Minutes 2009 (PDF)
ASPERA Annual General Meeting Minutes 2008 (PDF)
ASPERA Annual General Meeting Minutes 2007 (PDF)



Who can join?

Full membership of ASPERA is open to Australian Universities, AFTRS, or academic units within a University (faculty, school, department, institute or college) responsible for the teaching and management of screen production and/or research programs where the central objective is the education and advancement of screen practitioners. A University or academic unit as defined above can join ASPERA if one third of their subjects are production based. Each institution or academic unit nominates its representative for ASPERA.

Associate Membership of ASPERA is open to non-university institutions and organisations consistent with the roles and aims of ASPERA.

How much does it cost?

Each participating institution or academic unit pays a yearly membership fee of $600 (Associate Members $300) to cover running costs of the organisation as determined by the Executive. Download and complete the ASPERA Membership Form (PDF) to apply.

Membership application procedures and the nomination process are detailed in the ASPERA Constitution (PDF).


ASPERA Executive

The Executive is elected at the Annual General Meeting by and from members of ASPERA. The executive consists of a: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, plus two members from a state or territory other than the above, where possible. Each year the Vice President succeeds the President. Each year the conference is also rotated amongst participating institutions and amongst the states and territories. In the event that the conference convener is not already on the Executive Committee they will be co-opted as an ordinary member for that year. The Executive communicates regularly with its members to identify and consider issues affecting screen production, education and research, to develop policy, to represent screen production courses within the tertiary sector and at the level of state and federal government on behalf of ASPERA. The Executive promotes effective communication amongst its members either via regular email bulletins and/or via the ASPERA website.

ASPERA 2014 Executive Members

Tim Thomas (President)
Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, ACT

John Cumming (Vice President)
Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Vic

Nick Oughton (Treasurer)
Griffith Film School, Griffith University, QLD

Craig Batty (Member – Research)
School of Media and Communication, RMIT, Vic

James Verdon (Member)
Department of Film and Animation, Swinburne University of Technology, Vic

Bettina Frankham (Secretary)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UTS, NSW

Alison Wotherspoon (2015 Conference Convenor)
Department of Screen and Media, Flinders University, SA

Executive Minutes

February 2012 (PDF)
March 2012 (PDF)
May 2010 (PDF)
Early June 2012 (PDF)
Late June 2012 (PDF)

February 2010 (PDF)
May 2010 (PDF)
June 2010 (PDF)
September 2010 (PDF)
October 2010 (PDF)



2014 "Screen Explosion: Expanding practices, narratives and education for the Creative Screen Industries" - University of Newcastle (NSW)

The 2014 ASPERA Conference Screen Explosion: Expanding practices, narratives and education for the Creative Screen Industries, will be held at the University of Newcastle on Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th and Friday 20th June 2014. There are over 30 presentations on new media and screen practice and research.
Conference website
NSW Sparc Bibliography

2013 "Back to the Future: re-framing new & old screen production practices” - Swinburne University, Deakin University & RMIT University (VIC)
Program (PDF)

2012 "Creativity: The measurable and immeasurable" - QUT (QLD)
Program (PDF)

2011 "Future Shocks and Wiki-Docs: What next for Documentary?" - Curtin University (WA)
Program (PDF)

2010 "New Screens, New Producers, New Learning" - UTS (NSW)
Program (PDF)
Published Conference Proceedings

2009 "Beyond the Screen" - Flinders University & University of South Australia (SA)
Program (PDF)
Papers from this conference are available in the publications section of this site

2008 "5th National Conference" - RMIT University (VIC)
Conference Proceedings (PDF)
Papers from this conference are available in the publications section of this site

2007 "4th National Conference" - Griffith University (QLD)
Program (PDF)

2006 "3rd National Conference" - Murdoch University (WA)
Conference Proceedings (PDF)

2005 "2nd National Conference" - UTS (NSW)
Conference Proceedings (PDF)



Developing and fostering research in the screen production field is one of the core aims of ASPERA, with support provided to students and academics conducting research in the field.

Research bibliography from the NSW Sparc group.

Examiners & Supervisors Register

A list of academics who will consider approaches to be examiners or supervisors on Honours, Masters and PhD research projects in screen production is available here: Examiners & Supervisors Register (PDF).

The list is current as at 18/06/2013. If you would like to add your name to this list, deleted off this list or have your details amended, please contact Leo Berkeley at:


Learning & Teaching

Universities and tertiary screen production educators on matters of teaching, assessment, research, quality assurance and course design.

Academic Standards

Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Project (2010) (PDF)

OLT Projects

Screen Production and Research Collaboration (SPARC) (2012)

Assessing graduate screen production outputs in nineteen Australian film schools (2011)


Papers & Publications

Mick Broderick & Gill Leahy (Eds) Text Journal Special Issue (Number 11 April 2011) - ASPERA: New Screens, New Producers, New Learning

Martin Harrison - Workloads and Creative Practice Research (2010) Download PDF

Author Martin Harrison, published poet and member of the Creative Practices Group at UTS, has written a position paper grappling with how creative practice research workloads can be fairly evaluated in the current Australian university environment.

Leo Berkeley - The Anonymous Actor – Ethics and Screen Production Research (2009) Download

All research in Australian universities involving human participants needs approval from human research ethics committees, who make judgments consistent with accepted ethical principles that have recently been captured in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). Making a film as an academic research project is a relatively recent phenomenon and there are apparent contradictions between the requirements for ethics approval and the accepted practice of screen production.

George Karpathakis - Creative practice as a research tool: benefits and pitfalls (2009) Download PDF

Filmmaking itself has always been a hybrid of science and art and this paper calls upon filmmakers to utilise their creative practices, including aesthetics, to the service of other disciplines, in the hope that the outcomes produce data that is useful and is integrated in the discourses of social sciences, cultural studies and other disciplines.

Susan Kerrigan - Applying creativity theories to a documentary filmmaker’s practice (2009) Download PDF

Using a practitioner-led research methodology, Practitioner Based Enquiry, this paper will examine some elements of my Fort Scratchley documentary film-making research and these reflective accounts will be discussed in relation to three relatively recent theoretical perspectives of creativity all of which come from the creativity research literature. Firstly the documentary production process will be examined using a staged creative process. The second theoretical model to be ‘tested-out’ is the systems model of creativity which presents an holistic view of the creative system at work. The final theory presented will examine ‘group creativity’ which accounts for collaborative group work. The conclusion will discuss the appropriateness of each of these creativity theories to documentary film-making practice.

Leo Berkeley - A Good Take -The Process as a site for Screen Production Research (2008) Download PDF

Leo Berkeley’s paper A Good Take - the process as a site for screen production research raises issues about the challenges involved in developing screen production as a distinct field of academic research. Drawing on his experiences making the film How To Change The World, he argues for a focus on the production process as a site where screen production research can both define itself as a distinct field of study and produce knowledge that is of relevance and value to the screen production industries.

David Carlin & Paul Ritchard - Encouraging Critical Practice in Media Students: The Digital Dossier Initiative (2008) Download PDF

The tensions between theory and practice often encountered when teaching film and television production at university level are explored by David Carlin and Paul Ritchard in their paper Encouraging Critical Practice in Media Students: The Digital Dossier Initiative. The authors have written about their initiatives in resolving the theory/practice divide through the use of a ‘digital dossier’ that encourages students to critically examine their assumptions about practice and contextualise their work with reference to a broad range of excerpts from exemplary and innovative films.

Pat Laughren - Talking With Dinosaurs? Some Reflections on the Role of the Documentary in Screen Production Education (2008) Download PDF

Pat Laughren’s paper Talking With Dinosaurs? Some Reflections on the Role of the Documentary in Screen Production Education considers the history of documentary education in Australia and how its traditional role within film & television courses is changing, in response to changes in both the screen production industries and the educational environment. In an increasingly crowded curriculum, where there is less time for reflection and a focus on digital technologies and new media, does the enduring value of the documentary form and what it can offer developing screen practitioners need to be given more attention?

Kathryn Millard - Writing and Improvising the Digital Essay Film: The Boot Cake (2008) Download PDF

Kathryn Millard’s paper Writing and Improvising the Digital Essay Film: The Boot Cake reflects on her experiences making her recently released film about Charlie Chaplin impersonators in India. Chronicling the challenges she faced trying to combine a creative practice in filmmaking with an academic career, the paper explores the possibilities for a more personal, reflective cinema in this context, as well as making some more general reflections about practice-based research in the screen arts. We recommend this paper be read in conjunction with a viewing of the website for the film at

Nicholas Oughton - A General Safety Induction ‘Blue Card’ for the Queensland Film, Television and New Media Industries (2008) Download PDF

Nicholas Oughton’s paper A General Safety Induction ‘Blue Card’ for the Queensland Film, Television and New Media Industries presents his research investigating occupational health and safety issues in the screen production industry and argues for the need to raise standards in relation to this important issue. He proposes the introduction of a safety induction Blue Card as a practical means to achieve widespread improvements in the industry’s management of occupational risk.

Scroll to Top