Sunday 23 April 2017

AFTRS Update - The current state of the appointment of a new Council Chair

April 23, 2017

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, 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 predecessors.

Professor Schultz's appointment concluded on March 9 so we're well into the second month of waiting to know whom 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. With the Turnbull Government and Mitch in particular you assume some likelihood that a mate is being lined up but confirmation would be nice. 

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 several hundred readers had had a read of this note. 

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 Rdio 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

Since then nothing, though it should be noted that  the AFTRS website still features a photograph of Professor Schultz. However, if you click the button marked Council her name no longer appears. As for Mitch, recent activity on the page listing his media announcements includes "Government tables response to Senate Committee inquiry: Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet".  Very important I agree.

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