Arts Minister Peter Garrett set the Australian film industry abuzz today by announcing the first board; the make-up should please everyone given its broad representation.
Robert Connolly (Romulus, My Father, The Bank) and Rachel Perkins (One Night The Moon, Radiance) are both directors and producers, while the director of public affairs at Animal Logic, Greg Smith, could be seen as representing the post-production sector, service companies for offshore production, and the new breed of multi-platform digital producers.
Network Ten's head of documentary and children's television, Cherrie Bottger, is from the commercial television networks, but that sector's subscription competitors are also on board in the form of AUSTAR group director of corporate development and legal affairs, Deanne Weir.
All seven board appointments - the not yet appointed chief executive will be the eighth - are for three years. Screen Australia officially opens its doors on July 1 with all the existing staff and responsibilities of Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC), the Australian Film Commission and Film Australia (FA). Only FFC chief executive Brian Rosen, and FA chief executive Daryl Karp will be missing. It will also administer the new producer offset.
'Screen Australia will help develop a more competitive screen production industry, which contributes more than $1.5bn to the economy, while providing strong support for projects of national or cultural significance,' Garrett said in his statement. 'The calibre of these appointments provides a clear signal to the industry that the government is committed to a vibrant production sector.'
Boreham was appointed to his current role in IBM in January 2006 and has worked for the firm in the UK and Japan. He has an economics degree from the University of Sydney and is a graduate of the managing director's programme of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is on a number of boards including the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and the Australian Information Industry Association.
'The role Australia plays on the global stage is an area I'm particularly passionate about, and we need to continuously develop our skills, expertise and talent to enable us to reach our full potential,' Boreham said in a prepared statement. 'I look forward to providing some perspective into how we can fuse innovation, skills and perhaps technology to meet the exciting possibilities of the future.'
He also acknowledged the invaluable contribution to Australia's rich cinematic heritagemade bythe management teams and employees of the FFC, AFC and Film Australia.
Robertson has been on the board of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, Ausfilm, Film Australia and Cinemedia, and is currently a director of production company Beyond International. He is Sydney managing partner at Holding Redlich, a law firm with a very high profile in the film industry.
Smith is on the board of Ausfilm, Bottger is on the board of the Pacific Film and Television Commission, and Perkins on the board of the National Indigenous Television Service.
Lyn Maddock is continuing to act as interim chief executive and, as already reported, AFC chief executive Chris Fitchett is in charge of production support and investment on an interim basis, which includes responsibility for development,while Tait Brady is temporarily in charge of marketing.
Garrett also today announced the board of the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). It comprises Professor Chris Puplick (chair), Dr Deb Verhoeven (deputy), former AFC chief executive Catherine Robinson, distributor and film historian Andrew Pike, Professor Jill Matthews, Grace Koch and Philip Mortlock.
Prior to being elected, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Labor Government promised to extricate the NFSA from the AFC and make it an independent statutory authority. The previous government merged the NFSA and the AFC and it was controversial from day one.