Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Your Taxes at Work - AFTRS and NFSA update

March 29, 2017

Just to put things on the record. Its now three weeks since the one year appointment of Juliane Schultz as Chair of the Australian Film Radio and Television School expired. I know you read this in The Australian, The Fairfax press, The Guardian and elsewhere and they are all right on top of it but it seems worthwhile having a countdown to see just how long it does take to fill the gap. There is also another vacancy on the Council which also hasn't been filled for an even longer period and you wonder indeed whether the AFTRS Council will ever get back up to the full strength prescribed in its legislation. 

Ever intrepid, the blogger became investigative reporter yesterday and sent a message through to the office of Senator Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications and the Arts, asking why the Government has not made, or at least announced, an appointment to fill the vacancy for the Chair of the AFTRS Council. 

I pointed out  that the term of the previous Chair expired on March 9 and although her photo is still on the AFTRS website on the button marked ‘Council' she is no longer listed on the page detailing the Council membership.

So, the staffer was asked: "Are you able to offer on behalf of Senator Fifield any explanation as to why no appointment has been made, or at least announced? Is there any timeline for which an announcement may be expected?"

Needless to say the message has been ignored.

Talking about AFTRS administration with someone recently, this person turned out to be more interested in the state of things regarding the appointment of a new CEO of the National Film and Sound Archive. Rumours inevitably abound though the one that then seemed most likely to fit the bill was that the choice was down to three people including one from overseas, no doubt a complicating factor. But still it is many months or so since Michael Loebenstein announced he was taking his leave and several months since that happened. Institutions die little deaths without direction from the top and the NFSA seems to be in much need of an activist director who can shake the Government (and private) funding tree real hard.

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