As a result of various posts about what’s happening at AFTRS, much private conversation and some emailing has ensued. If you want to pick up the threads you need to start way back here. Then there is forensic piece which asks the question as to whether AFTRS has turned itself into a TAFE. Then there is a scoop , so far thought un-newsworthy by any of the major news gathering agencies or institutions, or indeed any of the minor ones, about the yet to be announced short term (one year) reappointment of the current Chair.
All of which leads inexorably to the Man at the Top and these Nine Questions for Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts and Minister responsible for the administration of the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS)
Re-Appointment of Professor Julianne Schultz
1. Has any previous Chair of the School Council accepted a second term for less than a three year appointment
2. What were the reasons why the current Chair was not offered a three year term in a manner similar to her predecessors over the 45 years of AFTRS existence
3. Does he propose to make appointments to the other current vacancies on the School Council for similar twelve month terms
Future of AFTRS as a stand alone Federally funded institution
4. Has the Federal Government made a final decision regarding the recommendation of the National Commission of Audit (2014): “The Australian Film, Television and Radio School could be transferred to a university or vocational education institution with an option for the Arts Council to fund scholarships. This is consistent with the principle that the Commonwealth should withdraw from activities that are outside its areas of core responsibility and could be more efficiently and effectively undertaken by the private sector or another jurisdiction.”
5. Has the Minister, his advisory staff or any Federal Government officials engaged in any discussions with the NSW State Government regarding the possible transfer of AFTRSor any of its activities to the NSW tertiary education sector
6. Has any member of AFTRS Council or staff engaged in any discussions with the NSW State Government regarding the possible transfer of AFTRS to the NSW tertiary education sector
7. Has the Minister received any request from the AFTRS Council with a view to initiating or responding to proposed discussions regarding its future as a Federal Government institution
8. Has the Minister requested any proposal or submission from AFTRS Council or management regarding proposed activities over the next three to five years or longer.
9. Does AFTRS have any current guidelines or protocols which set out how volunteers may be involved with student productions
I cant say, especially given the way these questions are being asked, that I expect any answers to be offered but the questions are now, as they say in many a noir drama, on the record.