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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Lauren Hillman


In Adelaide’s shrinking television production industry, Lauren Hillman is a survivor.

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Hillman spent eight years at the ABC in Collinswood as a producer, writer and director and worked on series including Poh’s Kitchen, Restoration Australia and Talking Heads with Peter Thompson.

Shortly after the closure of the ABC’s Adelaide television production studio in 2015 due to budget cuts, Hillman was appointed general manager of Channel 44, Adelaide’s community TV station.

During this time, the 38-year-old campaigned at a national level to ensure a long-term commitment for the future for community TV and oversaw Channel 44’s move into the Collinswood building.

She has also increased the number of volunteers at the TV station from three to 35 per week and formed partnerships with organisations including Adelaide Fringe, SALA, Oz Harvest, EcoCaddy, Cabaret Festival, City of Prospect and UniSA.

Hillman was last month named a winner of the inaugural InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards.

We asked her some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

South Australia is more and more establishing itself as a vibrant, creative, cultural hub and those who live and work in SA know that fantastic business opportunities present themselves frequently within the close-knit business community. I believe one of the strengths in doing business in South Australia lies within accessibility and I think South Aussies are more willing to think outside the square and are not afraid to connect.

Another strength lies in the size of our city. There is a real sense of localism within South Australia and we are great supporters of our local communities. The real strength for Channel 44 in SA is that the station provides a local platform for South Australians to have their stories told and their voices heard.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

It’s all about perception. I believe the only weak point in conducting business in South Australia is the perception that we cannot achieve the same targets or reach the same goals as the east coast, which is simply not true.  While major businesses are centralising operations to the east coast, this can sometimes leave a gap in the market for South Australians to take advantage of.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

South Australia is a wonderful vibrant city to work and live in.  Even though I have travelled and lived briefly abroad, I have been fortunate to study, graduate and establish my television career in South Australia over the past 15 years.

We have recently had our free-to-air broadcast licence extended for two years. This allows Channel 44 to connect, grow and establish stronger relationships with existing local program makers, volunteers, sponsors, festivals, sporting clubs and foundation partners, which strengthens the local voice. South Australia is also a fantastic city that supports work-life balance and having recently become a new mum this is a key factor in choosing to remain in South Australia.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

I believe the key to encouraging more of South Australia’s young leaders to stay will be providing them with more entry-level positions once graduating from university/TAFE courses.  Community TV provides a platform for the next generation of program and content makers by giving them real industry experience and responsibility in key industry roles, thus providing them with crucial career pathways.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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