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Monday, 8 May 2017

AFTRS Update - Two months and counting since the expiry of the previous Chair's term. C'mon Mitch...in the words of the old John Kennedy* " DO SOMETHING!"

May 9, 2017, 8.52 am

Editor's Note: Avid readers of the blog may recall more than a little attention to the happenings at the Australian Film Television & Radio School. In particular attention was paid to the major fall in the number of directors being produced. You can read the story if you click here.


More recently there has been some continuing curiosity, at least from this blog if not from the Murdoch, Fairfax, Guardian or ABC media, as to why the Turnbull Government can't extract the collective digit and appoint a successor to the badly done by Juliane Schultz whose appointment as Council Chair was extended by only a single year and not by the standard five offered to every one of her male predecessors.


Professor Schultz's appointment concluded on March 9 so t's now two months to the day that we've been waiting to know which mate it is that Senator Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications and the Arts, and the Prime Minister, in whose electorate the School resides, have settled upon. Maybe the argument is over who is the best mate between Mitch and Malcolm but I digress


And, in case you think this inertia extends across Mitch's portfolio, not so. Only recently Mitch announced that Ms Alison Page and Mr David Blackley had been appointed as part-time members of the Council of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) for a period of three years each.


As a reminder, an earlier polite query to Mitch's office caused this response to be received from a very senior official of the Government. At last count today 420 readers had had a glance at this note. The Government should be quaking.....


Dear Mr Gardner

Thank you for your email of 22 March 2017 to Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield Minister for Communications and the Arts, I am responding on his behalf.

The timing of appointments to the Australian Film, Television and Radio School is a matter for government. An announcement will be made once these appointments have been finalised.

The Australian Film, Television and Radio School Act 1973 allows the Council to continue to operate during a vacancy in the position of Chair, and that Council meetings can be convened by the Deputy Chair, ensuring that the Council will continue to be expertly guided while the appointment process takes place.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely


Lyn Allan
Assistant Secretary
Creative Industries

As previously noted  the AFTRS website still features a photograph of Professor Schultz. However, if you click the button marked Council her name no longer appears. 

That's John Kennedy, premiership winning coach of the Hawthorn Football Club and later brought in to try and revive fortunes at North Melbourne FC. "Do Something!" became Kennedy's once only forlorn effort to rouse a dispirited team. Watch it on YouTube here

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