Screen Australia has announced the recruitment of games industry leader and independent game developer Chad Toprak, who will join the team as its Games Investment Manager. In recent years, Screen Australia has expanded its funding goals and opportunities, with the aim of fostering a more inclusive, supportive games industry in Australia.
To reach further in this goal, it has begun recruiting for more specialised roles, with a focus on installing knowledgeable, tenured games industry workers with a high level of experience. Toprak certainly fits the bill, with over a decade’s worth of experience working in and supporting the local Australian games industry.
Over a five-year period from 2017 onwards, Toprak served as the artistic director of Freeplay Festival, aiding the curation of the world’s longest-running independent games festival, which spotlights games from across Australia, and the globe.
In addition to serving Freeplay, Toprak has also dedicated time to advocacy work, joining diversity charity Queerly Represent Me as one of its board members in 2020. In addition, he has aided curation of countless games-focussed exhibits, been a judge for prominent industry awards, and in 2021, was awarded the Australian Game Developer Award for Raising The Bar.
Per Screen Australia, Toprak has also worked alongside ACMI, the Australia Council for the Arts, VicScreen, Creative Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne, RMIT and the UNHCR, advising on games culture, the local industry, and diversity.
As a champion for a more inclusive, welcoming industry, and with a wealth of experience working hands-on and in an advisory capacity, Toprak’s recruitment should be celebrated. Screen Australia already boasts a multi-talented, interdisciplinary team with a games-first approach, and Toprak’s expertise should round out its vast capabilities.
‘I feel incredibly blessed, and very much on board for the exciting times ahead!’ Toprak wrote on Twitter. As Screen Australia doubles down on its commitment to the local games industry, those ‘exciting times’ should continue well into the future.