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The creative industries hold the great responsibility of reflecting our identities and cultures back to us. These representations are a huge contribution to our individual and collective sense of identity and political subjectivity.

There is huge power in representation – it can either limit and expand our conception of the potential in ourselves and others. Representation influences not only policy decisions, public opinion and political attitudes, it shapes our own self-definitions. When we represent others, we need to be aware of the responsibilities this entails.

Representation also includes a lack of representation. For example, in 2023 Screen Australia reported that only 21% of Australian TV drama characters are culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), while 39% of the Australian population identifies as CALD. This can impact on an individual’s sense of belonging.

‘Growing up without seeing yourself reflected back in your nation’s stories is a quietly dehumanising thing.’

Benjamin Law

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