Griffith film students to intern with Olympic Games broadcaster

Gerry O'Leary Head of Broadcast Training Program with Griffith Film School students Rachel Shapiro and Chelsea Lahra.

Two Griffith film students have secured a rare opportunity to intern with Australia’s largest and most experienced television production and broadcast services provider, NEP Australia, during the world’s biggest sports and cultural event — the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Chelsea Lahra and Rachel Shapiro are Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production students with Griffith Film School, and will work side by side with some of the best professionals the television industry has to offer during a two-week placement in Sydney, assisting with the Seven Network’s coverage of the Games.

The internship marks the start of an opportunity which will only build as the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games – set tobe broadcast to a global audience of more than 1.5 billion people – draws closer.

Announced today at the new NEP offices in Bundall by Commonwealth Games Minister StirlingHinchliffe, the internships will offer a “tremendous opportunity for Queensland and for the local students to be part of this broadcast experience and to build their skills”.

Chelsea, a media assistant, said she is hoping to “absorb and learn as much about the industry as possible to fulfil my dream of owning my own production company”.

“I will be supporting the production and broadcast operational team to deliver first class content across multiple platforms for Channel Seven’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games,” she said.

Rachel said it was an amazing opportunity, and she could not wait to take up the internship, which starts in August.

“I am excited that this internship will enable me to make contacts and gain experience so that one day I can achieve my ultimate goal of working in the sound department of a television network.”

Gerry O'Leary, Rachel Shapiro, Professor Paul Mazerolle and Chelsea Lahra at the announcement.
Gerry O’Leary, Rachel Shapiro, Professor Paul Mazerolle and Chelsea Lahra at the announcement.

A lifetime passion for the industry

Both students have a long standing passion for film and television, with Rachel experimenting with sound in film since she was in high school and Chelsea receiving her first camera at just five years old.

“My parents noticed that I had an eye for taking photos so they encouraged me to develop my understanding and passion for photography from a young age, which then evolved into moving image,” Chelsea said.

“I had originally planned to study in Melbourne but something told me I had made the wrong decision and I changed to enrol at Griffith Film School. It’s the best decision I have ever made.”

NEP approached Griffith Film School to help source qualified applicants for this unique internship earlier in 2016. As Host Broadcaster of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, NEP Australia — supported by the Seven Network and Sunset+Vine — will provide television broadcast training for over 200 students from Queensland in the lead up to the 2018 Games.

Stand-out candidates

Griffith Film School senior lecturer Richard Fabb said Chelsea and Rachel were very impressive students who would gain invaluable experience through this internship.

“This is a very rare opportunity to work with NEP, a global player in broadcasting, on the biggest sports and cultural event in the world,” he said.

“We are delighted that Chelsea and Rachel will be representing Griffith Film School.”

Gerry O’Leary, head of NEP Australia’s Host Broadcast Training Program, said Chelsea and Rachel were stand-out candidates.

“They displayed passion for the opportunity and a love of sport,” she said.

“Both are smart, creative and will be great assets to the team working on both Seven’s Rio coverage and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

Saul Shtein, Head of Sport for Seven, agrees.

“We are delighted to welcome Chelsea and Rachel to our team. We are sure they’ll make a strong contribution and are pleased to be able to play a role in helping them build their careers in media,” he said.