Accessible Film Studies Program launches in Coffs Harbour in partnership with TAFE

Sara Bowen, TAFE NSW and Tracey Corbin-Matchett from Bus Stop Films.

BUS Stop Films, the award-winning social enterprise film school and production company, launches its acclaimed Accessible Film Studies Program at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour Education Campus this September.

In partnership with TAFE NSW, the program offers young adults with intellectual disability or autism a film school experience.

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The class works together with industry professionals to create a short film to be entered in film festivals around the world and potentially broadcast on TV.

Participants learn all aspects of the filmmaking process including script development, casting, sound, lighting and camera techniques as well as production design and costuming.

As well as building social confidence, improving literacy and growing their independence, many participants of the program have gone on to gain work in the screen industry.

The program’s launch in Coffs Harbour is driven by local disability advocate Laura Daley who, through Coffs Coast Autism, raised the funds for the program to head to the Mid North Coast.

Bus Stop’s CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett OAM told News Of The Area, “The program opens up a film school experience to people with disabilities on the Coffs Coast.

“Through the partnership, it also creates pathways for TAFE students studying Cert. Screen and Media, the opportunity to volunteer in our classrooms and on our shoots, giving them real time experience in professional filmmaking and an understanding of the amazing contribution of people with disabilities.

“It will also unlock three ongoing jobs with our classroom team and contribute over $60,000 to the Coffs Harbour economy every year.”

The films made through the program will employ local cast and crew and will travel the world, taking with them the communities they represent.

“Just today we found out two of our films were selected for the 40th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF40) which is an Oscar qualifying festival and last night we premiered at CinefestOz in WA,” she said, speaking on Friday 1 September.

Sara Bowen, TAFE NSW Head Teacher for Screen and Media at Coffs Harbour Education Campus said, “This partnership with Bus Stop Films is another wonderful example of how we can work together to strengthen learning outcomes for students.

“The program is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that industry-focused training available to students on the Mid North Coast region is accessible and inclusive for all.”

Bus Stop’s Accessible Film Studies Program is open to people aged over 17 living with mild to moderate intellectual disability or autism.

The 40-week rolling program will be delivered on Saturday afternoons from February to December in 2024.

Interested participants are invited to attend free ‘Taster workshops’ in the coming months so they can get a feel for the program and the classroom space, starting on Saturday 23 September.

Registrations for the workshops are essential, visit


Student Chloe on set.

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