Former NZ Film Commission chief to head Screen Australia

Arts Minister Peter Garrett has announced the appointment of Dr Ruth Harley as the first chief executive officer of the Government’s new film agency, Screen Australia.

“Following an extensive global search, the Government was particularly impressed by Dr Harley’s experience and commitment to the development of a successful and sustainable local film industry,” Mr Garrett said.

Dr Harley, who has served as the CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission since 1997, will start her five-year post on November 15 this year.

With over 20 years of experience in the film and television industries. She has worked as the executive director of New Zealand On Air, commissioning editor at Television New Zealand Ltd and the national media director of Saatchi and Saatchi in New Zealand.

Lyn Maddock, who oversaw the establishment of the new body, integrating the Australian Film Commission, the Film Finance Corporation and Film Australia Limited, will continue in the acting CEO role.

“Her work has placed Screen Australia in an ideal position to start revitalising and expanding our film and television industry,” Mr Garrett said.

Australia’s film production industry contributes more than $1.5 billion to the economy, employing around 50,000 people.

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