2 Mar 2020





2 Mar 2020

Sunday 8 March 2020 marks International Womens’ Day, a global initiative to raise awareness around inequalities faced by women and gender-diverse people across all aspects of society.  

SAE Creative Media Institute (SAE Auckland) is proud to support women in the creative industries and on campus. and Campus Director Dr Suzette Major believes that getting more women sharing their invaluable knowledge is crucial to the development of young creatives. 

“We have an incredible team of women working here at SAE Auckland across a variety of disciplines,” Dr Major says. “The achievements, experience and knowledge these mana wahine bring to our campus and to our students is simply outstanding.”


Campus Director Dr Suzette Major (left), Student Support Officer Lani Purkis (centre) and Screen Production Head of Department Dr Julia Reynolds


Student Support Officer Lani Purkis (well-known as the bass player of pop-punk band Elemeno P) is the programmer and a founder of Milk & Honey Festival; a free afternoon of music and food at Silo Park where almost everyone from the performers to the food vendors are women or gender-diverse. “We have curated a line up that celebrates genre, ethnic and rainbow diversity,” Lani says. “We’re also ensuring that all performers and workers are compensated equitably for their craft.”  Taking place in conjunction with International Womens’ Day on 8 March 2020, between 12-6pm, SAE Auckland is proud to be a sponsor of this extraordinary event.

Back on campus, women of SAE are no less busy – Dr Julia Reynolds has recently been appointed as Head of Department of SAE Auckland’s unique Screen Production programmes. An outstanding filmmaker and experienced academic, Dr Reynolds has 12 years of experience as a director, editor, art director and scriptwriter across a variety of visual platforms. She has been on campus for two years as a Screen Production Kaiako/Lecturer. “Her evolution to Head of Department is a no-brainer,” says Dr Major. “Julia’s expertise is unrivalled.” You can find a more detailed profile of Dr Reynolds’ work here.

Kaiako/Lecturers Dr Kahra Scott James (left) and Lora Thompson


Meanwhile, two short films by SAE lecturer Dr Kahra Scott-James -  Trap and Hominidae - are taking global festival circuits by storm,  gathering accolades and awards.Trapwon Best Short Film in Argentina at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival, the King Awardat theKINNO Short Film Festival in Moscow, and was selected to screen at the Oz International Film Festival in Melbourne. Hominidaereceived mentions in Variety and Filmmaker Magazine about it's showing at Sundance.

Audio Production lecturer Lora Thompson was headhunted by Parachute Music to teach focused Logic Pro X workshops to a hand-picked clutch of artists as part of their annual Artist Development Programme.


Studio Supervisors Jo Walker (left) & Alexandra Selkirk-Hanna


The SAE Auckland studios are also a place where women are succeeding – with appointments of Jo Walker (2019) and Alexandra Selkirk-Hanna (2020) as Studio Supervisors.
Jo (Bachelor of Music, Dip. Audio Engineering) has exceptional skills as an engineer, composer, sound designer and musician, working recently as Audio Post Engineer for Māori Television. 

Alexandra (Bachelor of Visual Arts AUT, Dip. Audio Engineering) is an interdisciplinary creative, working as a musician in the band Beachware, curating art exhibitions at ST PAUL St. Gallery, The Lab and Auckland Art Gallery, project managing at Auckland Museum, and mentoring at Girls Rock! Camp Aotearoa.

Since 2016, an ongoing series of audio and screen taster workshops (ChicMix/ChicFlix) open only to women/gender-diverse individuals has seen more women walk through SAE Auckland’s doors than ever before. These workshops (relaunching in 2020 under a new name) translate strongly to enrolments – with 2020 recording the highest number of women enrolled in audio and music production programmes in SAE Auckland’s long history.