Ausfilm, the organisation that helps to sell Australia as a filmmaking partner, a location and a service provider, has appointed London-based former politician Bob McMullan as its chair.

Ausfilm is made up of government and private sector members and this is the first time it has recruited someone who is not from the membership.

It is also the first time it has appointed someone who lives offshore: McMullan recently retired from politics and now works in London as the executive director to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, representing Australia, Korea, New Zealand and Egypt.

“Bob brings an excellent understanding of the international community and marketplace and an ongoing passion for the arts,” said outgoing chair Alaric McAusland, who is managing director of post-production company Deluxe in Australia.

“His depth of experience and knowledge will guide Ausfilm as it continues to engage with the international film and television community to market all that Australia has to offer.”

McMullan served as a minister for arts and a minister for trade in the Paul Keating government in Australia.

The news was announced overnight during Ausfilm Week London, designed to develop co-production opportunities between Australian and UK producers and ends today.