Industry veterans Ashley Luke and Scott Meek are leaving Australia to return to the UK.

The pair relocated to Sydney in 2004 in order for Meek to become head of drama at public broadcaster, ABC TV. Luke kept his job with sales agent Fortissimo.

“I will be consulting on development and distribution, and also to the Australian film industry,” Luke said of his intentions.

The pair leave in February 20112 and will live between London and the south coast of England.

Tania Chambers, chief executive at Screen NSW, where Luke has been director of creative partnerships for nearly three years, praised him warmly today, especially for his work on the Aurora intensive script development workshop and the emerging filmmakers fund.

Aurora is run over one year and includes two main workshops, including a five-day residential, at least four international and local advisers, and ongoing mentorship. It already existed when Luke arrived but he revamped it considerably, allowing in interstate filmmakers, emphasizing the importance of the whole filmmaking team taking all meetings, and pushing through more films.

Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Burning Man, which has just been announced as being in Toronto, came through Aurora, as did Kieran Darcy-Smith’s upcoming Wish You Were Here (formerly Say Nothing).

Having someone within Screen NSW who knows much about sales and distribution and could broker relationships has also been an asset.

Meek joined the Film Finance Corporation after leaving the ABC and became a feature consultant when the organisation morphed into Screen Australia. He is currently script and creative consultant on half a dozen Australian and one local project.

He said they had intended to stay only four years but stayed seven.