Australian content conversation: speakers | ACMA

Australian content conversation: speakers

David Anderson

David-Anderson jpgDavid Anderson was appointed as the ABC’s Director of Television in March 2017. Prior to his appointment, David was the Director of the ABC’s Digital Network and Strategy & Planning divisions.

David has enjoyed a successful career in the broadcast and media industry with a long history in television executive management and a strong track record delivering successful transformation projects.

He worked in his capacity as Director of Strategy & Planning to refocus expenditure in the organisation towards audience-focused content, products and services. In his role as Director of Digital Network, David was afforded the opportunity to lead the organisation’s digital transformation by looking at ways to engage new audiences online and creating a personalised and connected online network.

David also maintains a position on the Screenrights board.


Richard Bean

.Richard Bean was appointed Deputy Chairman of the ACMA in 2010 for a five-year term. In 2015, his appointment was extended for a further two years to October 2017. He has been Acting Chairman since 27 February 2016.

Before joining the ACMA, Richard was general counsel and company secretary at wireless broadband infrastructure and ISP owner Unwired Group Limited, subsequently acquired by Optus. He had previously held positions responsible for the legal and business affairs side of Australian commercial free-to-air television broadcaster Network Ten’s programming activities, and practised as a commercial, media and litigation lawyer at national commercial law firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst).

Richard holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney and a law degree from the University of New South Wales.


Chris Berg

.Chris Berg is a Postdoctoral Fellow with RMIT and a Senior Fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs. He is a leading authority on regulation, economic freedom and civil liberties.

Chris is the author of five books, including In Defence of Freedom of Speech: from Ancient Greece to Andrew Bolt and the editor of 100 Great Books of Liberty and The National Curriculum: A Critique.

Chris is a frequent media commentator on television and radio, and his articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald. He has been a regular columnist with The Sunday Age and ABC’s The Drum.

He holds a PhD in economics from RMIT University and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Melbourne.


Jean-Pierre Blais

.Jean-Pierre Blais began his term as Chairperson and CEO of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in June 2012. Before joining the CRTC, Jean-Pierre was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Government Operations Sector.

From 2004 to 2011, he was Assistant Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. From 1994 to 2004, he served as Senior Legal Counsel, General Counsel (Broadcasting) and Executive Director (Broadcasting) at the CRTC, and as Assistant Deputy Minister of International and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Jean-Pierre holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Common Law from McGill University.


Michael Brealey

ED17-32061--Michael-Brealey-CEO-Create-NSW jpgMichael Brealey is the CEO of Create NSW, the NSW Office of Arts, Screen and Culture. Michael is responsible for strategic leadership and investment across the screen, arts and cultural cluster, including collaboration with NSW cultural institutions and industry stakeholders across screen and arts.

Michael came to Create NSW from ABC TV where he was the Head of Policy, Strategy and Governance. Prior to the ABC, Michael was the Manager of Public Policy and Content Standards for Vodafone Australia, and held various roles in the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts working on cultural, broadcast and telecommunications policy.


Jenny Brigg

.Jenny Brigg is the Manager of the Diversity, Localism and Accessibility section at the ACMA.

Jenny has extensive experience in broadcasting regulation, including Australian content, regional local content, media diversity and control, and captioning obligations. She has undertaken a number of broadcasting content reviews, including a review of the Children’s Television Standards and major reviews of regional local content (television and radio) obligations.

Jenny has also worked in a range of senior roles in broadcasting, health, education and the arts.


Tim Brooke-Hunt

.Tim Brooke-Hunt provides consultancy and executive producer services through his company Pacific Vision Pty Ltd.

In a six-year stint at ABC TV from 2007 to 2013, Tim led the launch of the digital school-age channel ABC3 and the re-launch of pre‑school channel ABC4Kids, and was also responsible for ABC TV’s educational programs and ABC’s online content for children.

Between 1998 and 2009, Tim held senior positions with the Australian production companies Beyond International and Yoram Gross Film Studio (now Flying Bark). In 2002, Tim co-founded the production company Sticky Pictures. Tim’s executive producer credits between 1992 and 2006 include two animated feature films and eight animated TV series. He is also a founding member of the Board of the Asian Animation Summit.


Megan Brownlow

.Megan Brownlow is a media and entertainment industry specialist at PwC where she performs strategy, due diligence, forecasting and market analysis work for clients.

She has over 20 years experience in media and marketing, ranging from producing television and radio programs to designing cross-media strategies—both content and advertising—for online and traditional media properties.

Megan is the editor of PwC’s annual market-leading publication The Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook, which provides forecasts and commentary on 12 media segments covering advertising and consumer spending.

Megan was appointed Deputy Chair of Screen Australia’s Board in March 2017. Megan is also a board member of the Media Federation of Australia, an Advisory Committee member for the Bureau of Communications Research and the Research Strategy Panel for the Australia Council. She holds an Executive MBA from the AGSM, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the ANU and is a graduate of the INSEAD leadership program.


Jenny Buckland

.Jenny Buckland is the CEO of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF). She has played a key role in positioning the ACTF as a national children’s media and policy hub, and growing the business to become one of the most successful international marketers of children’s television programs. Jenny originally floated the proposal for an Australian children’s digital television channel, which culminated in the establishment of ABC3 in 2009.

Formerly the General Manager and Marketing Manager of the ACTF, Jenny has extensive experience in television distribution, business, financial and legal affairs.


Fiona Cameron

.Fiona Cameron is Screen Australia's Chief Operating Officer. She joined Screen Australia at its inception, 1 July 2008, as Executive Director, Strategy and Operations. Prior to this role, Fiona was a General Manager with DMG Radio Australia, responsible for launching the new radio brand Nova in Melbourne.

Fiona has worked across state and federal government in portfolios as varied as education, regional development and communications.

Fiona has also been a Director of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Commercial Radio Australia.


James Cameron

.James Cameron is an Authority Member with the ACMA, having been appointed to that role in August 2013.

James has over 20 years Australian Government public policy experience, including senior executive roles in the telecommunications, radiocommunications, broadcasting and digital economy fields. James has held executive positions managing government policies and programs supporting Australia’s arts and sports sectors and, immediately prior to joining the ACMA, was Chief Executive Officer of the National Water Commission.


Michael Carrington

Michael-Carrington jpgHaving notched up more than 25 years in his media career, Michael Carrington has a wealth of knowledge and experience in broadcasting, commissioning and production. He returned to Australia in 2016 having spent twenty-seven years abroad, working in various capacities for the BBC, Cartoon Network, HIT Entertainment, LEGO TV & Film, and Zodiak Media. He is best known for award-winning programmes such as Charlie & Lola, LazyTown, Mister Maker, In the Night Garden and The Amazing World of Gumball.

Michael started in children’s production at Channel 10, working on Ridgey Didge and Double Dare.  He is a member of BAFTA, RTS, AACTA, and the International Academy of Arts and Sciences. As Head of Children’s and Education at ABC Television, he steers program development and manages production hubs in Melbourne and Sydney.


Mike Cowap

.Mike Cowap is Screen Australia’s Investment Manager for Interactive and Multiplatform projects. He has special responsibility for innovative digital production, and has funded projects and talent that have attained billions of views worldwide.

Mike has been at the forefront of initiatives and programs such as Skip Ahead with YouTube/Google and Fresh Blood with the ABC. He has served as Development and Investment Manager with Screen Australia and Project Manager with the Australian Film Commission since 2005, and has worked across emerging screen mediums such as AR and VR, as well as animation, television and independent feature film production.


Mike Dalton

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Mike Dalton is head of Nine News Regional and has more than 30 years of television experience in metropolitan and regional markets across Australia. He has been one of the longest serving and most accomplished chiefs of staff at Nine News in Sydney.

In 2011, Mike took over the reins of Nine News Queensland and lifted the bulletin to ratings success. He has recently been tasked with launching Nine’s new joint venture with Southern Cross Australia—local news bulletins in 15 regional markets in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.


Steve Davis

Steve Davis is Vice-President, Asia–Pacific, of Ooyala, a US-based video technology subsidiary of Telstra.

Sophie Dawson

.Sophie Dawson is a partner in the telecommunications, media and technology team at Ashurst, with more than 20 years experience advising media clients. During her career, Sophie has worked on a range of media and content issues, including content restrictions.

Sophie’s recent work has included acting for Nine Entertainment Company in format rights litigation against Seven, providing pre‑publication advice and acting for media clients in proceedings involving contempt and fair-dealing issues. Sophie also acted for the combined media in the Gutnick High Court internet publication proceedings, and had a key role in acting for the combined media on defamation and other proposed law reforms.

Sophie is also a co-author of Media & Internet Law & Practice.


Matthew Deaner

.Matthew Deaner is the CEO of Screen Producers Australia, a national trade and business association that unites the screen industry to campaign for a healthy commercial environment. It supports the interests of businesses, large and small, in their production of feature films, television programs, interactive content and games across all genres and formats.

Matthew oversees all aspects of Screen Producers Australia’s advocacy work, industrial negotiations, events and operational issues. He also works closely with the Screen Producer Australia Council to set the strategic direction of the organisation as well as identify and execute new business development opportunities. Matthew has previously worked as a lawyer in both Sydney and London, and has held senior policy and strategy positions with Screen Australia and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association.

Matthew is a current board member of Media Super.


Adam Drummond

.Born and raised in the Riverina, Adam Drummond is an actor, a presenter and a businessman with a history in real estate and the entertainment industry.

In May 2015, Adam combined his knowledge of business and his experience in front of and behind the camera to create waggawagga.tv—a 24/7 online TV and video stream of local content, including sports, news, business and chat shows. The platform is about to launch its network ReechTV, with Adam looking to license the brand to other regional locations across the country as an app for both the iOS and Android markets.


Richard Eccles

.Richard Eccles is Deputy Secretary with responsibility for Content, Arts and Strategy within the Department of Communications and the Arts. With over 25 years experience in public administration, Richard has held senior positions in the government and non‑government sectors.

Richard has experience at the senior executive level across several portfolios and policy areas including Indigenous affairs, health, Commonwealth–state relations, local government, and the arts and sports (including heading the government’s FIFA World Cup Bid Taskforce in 2010).

In the late 1990s, Richard served as CEO of the Rural Health Education Foundation, a not‑for‑profit organisation committed to improving educational and career opportunities for health professionals practising in rural and remote areas. He holds a Masters of Politics and Literature from the University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University.


John Edwards

.John Edwards has produced more than 600 hours of television drama that have won 29 Logie Awards, 40 AFI and AACTA awards, eight ASTRA Awards and a number of international awards. He is the only Australian television producer nominated for the Golden Globe Awards.

His many television credits include The Beautiful Lie, Gallipoli, Puberty Blues, Offspring, Tangle, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Love My Way, The Secret Life of Us and Police Rescue.

In 2011, he was conferred an Honorary Masters degree by the Australian Film Television and Radio School. In 2016, with Dan Edwards, he joined forces with Roadshow Films to form the new production entity Roadshow Rough Diamond.

John was appointed as a member of the Order of Australia in 2017, recognised for his vast contribution to the Australian TV industry.


Marc Fennell

Marc Fennell jpgMarc Fennell is an Australian radio and TV presenter, film critic, award-winning technology journalist, author, MC and the host of SBS’s live nightly news show The Feed.

Marc has presented about film on the BBC, Network Ten, ABC, SBS, Foxtel and Showtime but he is best known to triple j listeners as That Movie Guy, with a weekly audience of 1.9 million young people. He is also the face of movies for SBS, introducing movies throughout the week and hosting Tropfest, the largest short-film festival in the world.

In 2011, Marc’s That Movie Book was released, followed by Planet According to the Movies in 2015. Marc created and presents ABC Radio National’s award-winning weekly technology radio program Download This Show, which also airs on ABC Local Radio, Radio Australia and ABC News 24.

Marc is also a designer, art director, web developer, magazine and newspaper writer, and he even performed in a show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Listen to Marc's podcast about the Australian content conversation, Change change change.


Bridget Fair

.Bridget Fair has over 20 years experience as a senior media executive. She is currently Group Chief—Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Seven West Media (SWM), responsible for external stakeholder relations across the Seven Network, West Australian Newspapers and Pacific Magazines, and a member of the SWM Executive Committee.

Bridget is an independent non-executive director with iSelect Ltd, Australia’s leading insurance comparison website and an ASX-listed company. She is a director of Freeview Ltd and an alternate director of FreeTV Ltd and OzTAM Pty Ltd, and an adviser with the Network Insight Institute. She has previously held positions as Chairman of Screenrights and General Counsel with SBS.


Nick Forward

.Nick Forward is Stan’s Chief Content Officer. He joined the company as employee no. 3 in January 2014, and built the content strategy for the service. Nick oversees all aspects of content acquisition and commissioning, programming, customer service and product management.

Prior to joining Stan, Nick left his hometown of Melbourne to spend over a decade working in media/entertainment in London. He spent five years at Virgin Media in a variety of roles, including Editor-in-Chief for the business’s suite of content products and, as Director of TV Product he managed the UK’s second largest Pay TV platform. Previously, Nick worked in the Entertainment and Marketing divisions at BSkyB.


Michelle Guthrie

.Michelle Guthrie began as ABC Managing Director in May 2016 following an international career as a leading media executive in Australia, the UK and Asia. She brings to the ABC an impressive range of skills, knowledge and leadership across business management and content development.

After working as a lawyer in the media group at Allen Allen and Hemsley, Michelle relocated to News International in London, where she helped develop global pay TV businesses including BSkyB, and content streams and business plans for a wide range of channels in Europe and Asia. Michelle helped launch Foxtel in Australia before relocating to Star TV in Hong Kong where she was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003.

After several years as an equity adviser and investor based in Hong Kong, she moved to Google Asia in 2011 as Managing Director for Agencies.


Ian Hogg

.Ian Hogg’s career spans over 25 years, within TV networks and independent production companies in Australia and Asia. Appointed CEO of FremantleMedia Australia (FMA) in September 2009, he was promoted to Regional CEO Australia and Asia Pacific in July 2011, and sits on the Global Operating Board. As a market leader in the creation and production of entertainment brands, FMA productions include The X Factor, Grand Designs Australia and Wentworth.

Ian began his career at Network TEN and became Director of Programming at NZTV3. After joining independent production company RA Becker as Head of Television, he was appointed Group General Manager and Executive Director. In 2001, Ian joined sports marketing and rights management company World Sport Group as CEO of Television, before founding Theatre Red in 2003.

Ian consulted to the Prime Media Group across its television and online assets, and was appointed Senior Vice President and Asia Pacific Managing Director for MGM Worldwide, overseeing the distribution of MGM film and television properties on a number of platforms including pay TV, free TV and digital.


Anita Jacoby

.Anita Jacoby is a broadcast executive and company director with over 25 years experience in media and communications. With a background as a multi-award-winning television, current affairs and film producer, she is currently a Part-time Member of the ACMA.

Anita has created hundreds of hours of original content across almost all genres and for every free-to-air network and Foxtel. Most recently, she was Managing Director of ITV Studios Australia, responsible for the local operations of this global company.

Anita managed Zapruder’s other films for a decade alongside Andrew Denton, creating original programs including Enough Rope, The Gruen Transfer and Elders. She also held senior production roles on shows including 60 Minutes, Sunday and Witness.

Anita’s work has been recognised with numerous industry awards. She is on the National Advisory Board of Women in Media, and has been a non-executive director on a number of NFP boards including headspace and Arts Law Centre Australia.


Mike Jones

.Mike Jones is a writer, script-editor and creative producer working across screen, page and interactive media. He has worked in script development with companies including WarnerBros, EveryCloud, Porchlight and Princess Pictures. He is story consultant to ABC Signature studios in the US and previously investment consultant with ScreenAustralia.

He is a script producer for ABCTV on its slate of iView original scripted comedy-drama projects, and is a regular collaborator and story consultant with boutique TV production company SweetPotatoFilms, whose recent success was the multi-award-winning mystery drama series The Kettering Incident.

Mike was the co-creator of the virtual-reality detective-thriller VRNoir: A Day Before the Night with StartVR, shortlisted for the International ProtoAward for most Innovative VR 2016, and he is now co-writer of upcoming speculative-fiction VR drama Awake: First Contact. His early career spanned writing for theatre, working as a screen industry journalist, and lecturing in story and writing at the Australian Film TV & Radio School.


Helen Kellie

.Helen Kellie has more than 20 years leadership experience in the media and consumer goods sectors in Australia, the UK, Europe and the US.

As Chief Content Officer at SBS, Helen is responsible for leading the strategic direction of content across television, radio and online. Since joining SBS in 2012 as the Director of Marketing, she has helped drive audience growth through a distinctive content offering across traditional and digital platforms, with high-impact cross-network events including First Contact, the Eurovision Song Contest and Struggle Street. She has also led a number of groundbreaking content and brand deals, including the Food Network with SNI and The World Cup and EPL with Optus. Helen has been instrumental in developing audience and employee initiatives including SBS’s all-of-network approach to Indigenous storytelling through #WalkWithUs, and the acceleration of SBS’s capability in the digital era.

Helen also held a number of roles at the BBC, including Chief Marketing Officer for BBC Worldwide, and Director of Marketing, Communications & Audiences for BBC Vision (Television). She also worked for household products giant Reckitt & Colman (now Reckitt Benckiser).


Rosie Lourde

.Rosie Lourde is a multi-hyphenate cross-platform filmmaker. Multiplatform series Starting from Now is one of Australia’s most successful multiplatform dramas, surpassing 30 million views online and screening on broadcast television in early 2016. Rosie also starred in the series and was awarded Best Actress in a Webseries at the 2017 Vancouver Webfest.

Rosie has received development funding through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative to develop long-form TV series Torn as well as funding through Screen NSW’s 360 Vision initiative to develop VR series Breach, which she is also writing and directing.

Rosie’s first project as a producer, multi-award-winning feature Skin Deep, received an Honorable Mention for Best Narrative Feature at the Austin Film Festival and played a theatrical release in early 2016. In 2015, Rosie was a Screen NSW Emerging Producer, as well as a Screen Producers Association Australia (SPAA) Ones to Watch participant.

Rosie currently sits on the SPAA Advisory Board. 


Beverley McGarvey

.Beverley McGarvey has worked in some of the world’s most vibrant and interesting TV markets. As Chief Content Officer at Network Ten, Beverley currently oversees a number of departments including production, development, marketing, research, acquisitions and program scheduling.

Network Ten’s content includes multi-screen successes such as MasterChef Australia, The Project, Offspring, The Bachelor Australia and Australian Survivor. Beverley was also instrumental in developing the digital channel ELEVEN, which launched in January 2011.

Beverley joined Network Ten in 2006 from TV3 in New Zealand, where she was Director of Programming from 2004. Before that, she spent four years as Head of Program Scheduling and Promotions for TV3 Ireland.

She holds an honours degree in media studies from the University of Ulster, Coleraine.


Ian McGill

.Ian McGill is a partner in the TMT team at Allens. He is a corporate and regulatory lawyer who specialises in media, telecommunications and internet industry transactions, policy and regulation, with particular emphasis on broadband and telecommunications industry regulation.

In television content matters, Ian has acted for the Commonwealth Games Federation on the television rights contracts for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games; for NBC Universal on its acquisition of Matchbox Pictures; for Participant Channel, Inc. for its investment in and licensing of the Josh Thomas comedy Please Like Me; and for Samsung Electronics Australia on all of its music and video application development and content licensing deals.


Seph McKenna

Seph-McKenna jpgSeph McKenna is an 11-year veteran of the Australian-owned major distributor, Roadshow Films. He holds the role of Head of Australian Production and is interested in outstanding Australian stories with broad commercial appeal.

The always-positive Seph believes that Australians embrace feel-good Australian stories with gusto. Currently as Roadshow moves closer to partnering directly with producers, Seph is working on a number of titles in development, written to amuse and delight, including the English language remake of Rams, and The Ghan.

Seph is a graduate of Boston College with a BA in Philosophy and Political Science and a JD in Law. Prior to starting with Village Roadshow Pictures in 2003, Seph worked as a congressional aide in Washington DC.


Jennifer McNeill

.Jennifer McNeill leads the Content, Consumer & Citizen Division of the ACMA. Her work focuses on developing and enforcing safeguards for Australians who use broadcasting, phone and internet services.

Before taking on her current role, Jennifer was a Member of the ACMA (2008–11); a commissioner of the ACCC—Australia’s national competition and consumer protection regulator (2002–07); and a partner in a leading commercial law firm, where her practice focused on risk and dispute management (2000–02).

Jennifer has degrees in laws and arts from the University of New South Wales, and has taught both commercial and litigation subjects at the Australian National University.


Andrew Maiden

Andrew-Maiden jpg

Andrew Maiden is a media executive based in Sydney, Australia. After completing degrees in Economics and Law, Andrew served as an advisor, press secretary and chief-of-staff to senior Australian political figures, including the federal Minister for Finance.

He joined the private sector in 2000, heading Telstra’s public affairs, media relations, sustainability and corporate reputation teams before consulting to large enterprises. In these roles Andrew led communications, regulatory and government relations initiatives for local and global organisations across a diverse range of industry sectors.

In 2013, after twenty years advising cabinet ministers, chief executives and boards, Andrew joined the media industry as CEO of ASTRA, the peak body representing Australian subscription television platforms, channel providers and communications companies.


Nathan Mayfield

Nathan-Mayfield jpg

Nathan Mayfield is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning entertainment company. Pioneering innovative new ways to tell stories since 1999, Mayfield has been the creative force behind Hoodlum's multiplatform work, television series and feature films.

In 2009 Hoodlum won a Primetime Emmy for their work on Lost and an International Emmy for their work on Primeval in 2010. Hoodlum also won two BATFA awards for Spooks in 2008. In 2017 Nathan will release the feature film Australia Day, produce a gripping new TV series Harrow for ABC AUS and ABC Studios International, as well as launch a controversial VR documentary for SBS.

Nathan is a member of the Screen Producers Association, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA).


Bruce Meagher

.Bruce Meagher joined Foxtel in 2012 as Group Director of Corporate Affairs. He is responsible for government relations and policy, corporate media management, stakeholder relations and corporate social responsibility, and is a representative on the ASTRA board.

Bruce was a policy adviser to the minister when the legislation establishing the subscription television industry was enacted. While at Freehills, Bruce was a legal adviser to Austar and was Austar’s Corporate Affairs Director during and after its float. He was a senior executive at Optus Vision and Optus Communications. Most recently, Bruce was SBS’s Director, Strategy and Communication.

Bruce has been a director of Freeview Australia, a committee member of the International Institute of Communications (Australia) and a member of the government’s Digital Switchover Taskforce Industry Advisory Group. He has degrees in arts and law from the University of Sydney.


George Megalogenis

.George Megalogenis is an author and a journalist with three decades experience in the media. His work examines the political, economic and social history of Australia. George’s books include Australia’s Second Chance: What Our History Tells Us About Our Future, and The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great.

George has been a regular guest on the ABC’s political analysis program Insiders, and wrote and presented the documentary tribute to former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Life Wasn’t Meant to be Easy.


Nick Murray

.Nick Murray’s broad TV background is as an indie producer and a network executive at both cable and free-to-air networks.

He is Managing Director and co-founder of CJZ, the biggest locally owned production company in Australasia, which has shows in production for every network in Australia. The CJZ Group produces more than 20 prime-time shows every year, including Go Back To Where You Came From and Gruen, which have both won multiple Rose d’Or awards.

A former radio producer and lapsed lawyer, Nick’s past roles include General Manager (and sometime producer) at Artist Services (now ITV Studios Australia) and founding CEO of cable TV network the Comedy Channel.

Nick is a former President of the Screen Producers Association of Australia.


Monica O'Brien

.Monica O’Brien is an experienced creator, producer and show-runner across many genres, including factual entertainment, drama and children’s entertainment.

Over the past 10 years, Monica has been the creative lead and executive producer of Ambience Entertainment’s broad production and development slate of programming, creating more than 3,000 episodes of quality TV.

She has extensive experience managing multi-crew shoots on tight schedules at home and overseas, as well as live shows on location and in studios, and has successfully developed TV, film and documentary programs, taking them from concept, through financing, production, distribution and marketing.

Previously, Monica worked at Spinifex Interactive as producer/director and account director, managing large corporate and advertising accounts for numerous clients including Vodafone, Ernst & Young, IBM, Nissan, Toyota, Macquarie Bank and many more. She has also worked with the Film Finance Corporation as a Recoupment Analyst and at a number of leading production companies.


Andrew O'Keefe

.Andrew O’Keefe AM is well-known to Australian audiences as co-host of the Seven Network’s top-rating breakfast show Weekend Sunrise and host of The Chase Australia, the number one program in its slot. He was previously host of Deal or No Deal and also hosted The Rich List for two seasons. He co-hosted the historic tri-network tsunami appeal Reach Out to Asia in 2004 and the Logie Awards in 2005.

Andrew holds a law degree, working in commercial litigation for five years with Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens Linklaters), and for a period with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre NSW.

Andrew is a passionate advocate for social justice issues, particularly combating all forms of violence against women, and advocating for multicultural and migrant communities. He was a founding member and inaugural Chairman of White Ribbon Australia, and a member of the first National Council for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and their Children. He is currently a board member of the Migration Council of Australia.


Chris Oliver-Taylor

.Chris Oliver-Taylor started his career at the BBC in London, working across a number of production roles and programs. He joined the ABC in 2001 as Production Manager and then Production Executive across Arts and Entertainment, Drama and Comedy on programs such as Kath & Kim, Enough Rope, Spicks & Specks and Summer Heights High. He became Head of Production in 2005, responsible for the physical production of the entire ABC TV slate, and in 2008 took on the role of Head Business & Operations. Maintaining responsibility for physical production, he took on additional responsibilities including financial management, business affairs and scheduling and broadcast operations of ABC TV.

In 2011, Chris moved to the independent production sector as Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures, where he has led the company through a sustained period of growth, generating significant production output across all Australian and many international networks. He has overseen a range of commissions including Devil’s Playground, Deadline Gallipoli, Wanted, 7 Types, Nowhere Boys and The Real Housewives franchise.

Chris is a Board Director of Matchbox Pictures, Board Director of Screenrights and former President and Board Director of Screen Producers Australia.


Carolyn Patteson

.Carolyn Patteson is the First Assistant Secretary, Content Division, in the Department of Communications and the Arts. She is responsible for a broad range of broadcasting, copyright, classification and content policy and regulation.

Before this, Carolyn was the Executive Manager of CERT Australia, and responsible more broadly within the Attorney-General’s Department for cyber-crime and cyber security issues. 

Prior to joining the Attorney-General’s Department, she worked in the Australian Intelligence Community in a variety of policy, capability development, stakeholder management and operational roles. She also worked in the cryptomathematical research group of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, and within the Force Development and Analysis area of Defence. 

Carolyn has a PhD and First-Class Honours in Mathematics from the University of Queensland.


Neil Peplow

.Neil Peplow is the CEO of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), a world leader in educating and training professionals across a range of screen arts and broadcasting disciplines, and rated as one of the world’s top 15 international film schools. Neil is currently implementing a new strategy that focuses on innovation and inclusion.

Neil was previously the COO at the Met Film School in London and the Director of Film at Creative Skillset, and he has extensive experience as a consultant within the media industry.

As a filmmaker, Neil has been involved in the production of 16 feature films including Mike Bassett: England Manager, Waking Ned and Shooting Fish. Neil also acted as a co‑executive producer on the 2010 Rose D’Or-nominated Showtime TV comedy series La La Land.


Andrew Peterson

andrew-peterson jpgAndrew Peterson leads broadcast and sport partnerships for YouTube in Australia and New Zealand.
Andrew works with TV networks, production companies and sports leagues to navigate a multiscreen world to grow their reach and revenue as well as manage their rights on YouTube.

Prior to joining YouTube, Andrew spent 14 years working in the Australian media and entertainment industry in content and digital leadership roles. At Austereo, he was part of the launch team for the company’s digital content strategy, before moving on to create Australia’s first digital radio stations. Most recently, Andrew was the Content Strategy Director at Universal Music Australia, working with artists to find new ways to tell compelling stories on digital platforms.


Debra Richards

.Debra Richards has over 25 years communications and media industry experience. Debra was appointed CEO of Ausfilm International in January 2011 and previous to that was CEO of the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA). She also spent over 13 years with the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and the Australian Broadcasting Authority.

Debra is a member and director of the Communications and Media Law Association (CAMLA), vice-president of the Australian Chapter of the Institute of Communications (IIC) and a member of the Advertising Beverage Advertising Code (ABAC) adjudication panel. She is also a member of the Australian Film Institute, an adjunct professor with Boston University, Sydney campus, and a director of Northcott Disability Services.


Sally Riley

Sally-Riley jpgSally Riley is Head of Scripted Production at ABC TV. She joined ABC TV in 2010 as Head of Indigenous, and has since achieved an outstanding track record of ground-breaking programs, including Black Comedy, Gods of Wheat Street, 8MMM Aboriginal Radio, the multi award-winning Redfern Now and the critically-acclaimed Cleverman.

A Wiradjuri woman, Sallyhas been at the forefront of the Indigenous film and television industry in Australia. She is a strong advocate for Aboriginal self-representation in the Australian film industry and played a vital role in Indigenous filmmaking during the ten years she worked as Head of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department.

Sally was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal in 2008 for her services to the development of initiatives that have increased the participation of Indigenous Australians in the film and television industry. In 2011, she was awarded the Cecil Holmes Award from the Australian Directors Guild for her ongoing career support and facilitation of Indigenous film and television directors.

In 2016, Sally was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers.


Jonquil Ritter

.Jonquil Ritter is the Executive Manager of the ACMA’s Broadcasting Safeguards Branch, managing all broadcasting content issues including Australian and children’s content, the registration of codes of practice, broadcasting policy and all relevant investigations. She also oversights diversity issues such as local content, captioning, and ownership and control restrictions. She led the Contemporary community safeguards inquiry and conceived and instituted the successful Citizen conversations series. This conference is the next step in this enhanced focus on stakeholder engagement.

Jonquil qualified in arts and laws from the Australian National University and earlier in her career specialised in broadcasting and administrative law, culminating in her being the first General Counsel of the ACMA after its commencement on 1 July 2005.


Anita Sheehan

Anita_Sheehan jpgAnita Sheehan is the Managing Director and founding partner of Porchlight Films, an independent Australian production company making premium cinema and television drama. Porchlight works with local and international partners to bring the best of Australian talent to a global audience.

Anita’s Executive Producer credits include the feature film Jasper Jones (2016), the Logie and AACTA award-winning television series The Kettering Incident (2015), the feature film The Rover (2013), the Australian-German co-production Lore (2012), and the Tasmanian-set feature film The Hunter (2011).

Anita founded Porchlight Films in 1996, with her brother Vincent Sheehan and Liz Watts. During her twenty-plus years at Porchlight, Anita has taken roles as Production Manager, Producer and Executive Producer, and is now the Managing Director of the company.


Margaret Simons

.Margaret Simons is an award-winning freelance journalist and author of 13 books and numerous articles and essays.

Margaret co-wrote Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs, which won Book of the Year and the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction at the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her most recent book, Six Square Metres, was launched in October 2015. With photojournalist Dave Tacon, she won the 2015 Walkley for Social Equity Journalism for her essay ‘Fallen Angels’, published in The Monthly, and won the Quill Award for feature writing in 2015 and 2016 for her work in the Philippines.

Margaret is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, where she is Director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism. She was the founding chair and remains a board member of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation. She is also a principal of the Media, Education, Training and Advice (META) Centre where she provides training services to a variety of news organisations and tertiary institutions.

Margaret holds a Doctorate in Creative Arts from the University of Technology Sydney.


Rosemary Sinclair

.Rosemary Sinclair is the CEO of Energy Consumers Australia and a Part-time Member of the ACMA.

She has many years of senior large-scale operations, communications and strategy experience in business and government across telecommunications, media and education.

Previously, Rosemary was CEO of Immediate Solutions; Director, External Relations, at the Australian School of Business, UNSW; and Managing Director, Australian Telecommunications Users Group. Rosemary was also Chair of the federal government’s Regional Telecommunications Inquiry Review Committee from July 2011 to 2013, and has held a number of directorships on unlisted company and not-for-profit boards.

Rosemary has degrees in arts, law and business and a Masters of Commerce from UNSW. She is a Director of the Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club and Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee, and is a qualified CPA and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Barbara Stephen

.Barbara Stephen is the Managing Director of Flying Bark, where she has produced The Woodlies and the award-winning and international box-office success Maya the Bee Movie. She has also produced the flagship new fantasy and adventure series Tashi, and a CGI revival of the Australian classic Blinky Bill the Movie.

Barbara has worked as a producer for over 12 years across sport, lifestyle and reality programs before finding her passion in children’s animation.

She is currently producing a live-action children’s series called Oh Yuck! and is working on new development projects including the film adaptation of the modern classic series 100% Wolf.

Barbara is the chairman of the University of Technology Sydney advisory committee for animation, industry advisor for the Screen Producers Association and a member of the advisory committee for the Screen Forever conference.


Pearl Tan

Pearl-Tan jpgPearl Tan is the director of Pearly Productions, creating independent films with a focus on diversity. Pearl was named one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence in 2016, and this year delivered a TEDx talk on reimagining diversity. She is the creator behind the award-winning YouTube series Minority Box, and is directing the feature film The Casting Game in 2017.

Pearl held the position of Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee for two years. She sits on the National Performers Committee for Actors Equity and is the Diversity Patron for Women in Film and Television (WIFT).

She teaches filmmaking and screen acting at NIDA, AFTRS and Actors Centre Australia. She has worked behind the scenes for Channel 7, Channel 9, Network 10, Perth’s 96FM and Faith Martin Casting.


Jonathan Taplin

.Professor Taplin is Director Emeritus of the Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, and a former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, as well as a film producer for Martin Scorsese.

An expert in digital media entertainment and international communication management, Jonathan is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and sits on the California Broadband Taskforce and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Council on Technology and Innovation.

Jonathan was named one of the 50 most social media-savvy professors in America by Online College and one of the 100 American Digerati by Deloitte’s Edge Institute.


Jenni Tosi

ED17 21225  JENNI TOSI PHOTO PREFERRED2 jpgJenni Tosi is the CEO of Film Victoria. With over 35 years of production experience in film and television, Jenni has an extensive knowledge of the Australian and international screen industry and a wide network of relationships with producers, directors, writers, actors, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents and financiers.

Jenni oversees the delivery of Film Victoria’s industry support programs, which includes script development, production investment and incentives, games development, professional skills development and screen culture. She promotes Victoria’s locations, talent, production houses, studios and post-production facilities to the international market.

Under Jenni’s leadership, Film Victoria has delivered over $900 million worth of production activity to Victoria in the past six years. This has been achieved by supporting a mix of domestic and international feature film and television productions along with the expansion of Victoria’s globally successful games sector.

Jenni sits on VCA’s and RMIT’s film and television course advisory bodies and is a member of the Ausfilm Board.


Ishtar Vij

.Ishtar Vij leads the Public Policy and Government Affairs team for Google in Australia and New Zealand. Ishtar works to help people across a range of sectors benefit from technology, including small businesses, start-ups, non-profits, creators and students. This is a core focus of her discussions with governments, which also encompass a range of issues such as content regulation, copyright, online safety and privacy.

Prior to joining Google in 2009, Ishtar was a Senior Associate at Minter Ellison Lawyers, focusing on copyright and content law. Her clients included the Australian education sector, SingTel Optus, Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, ASTRA and Communications Alliance.


Deanne Weir

.Deanne Weir is Managing Director Content Aggregation and Wholesale at Foxtel. Deanne has more than 25 years experience in media and communications in executive and board roles. In addition to her role at Foxtel, she is chair of Hoodlum, a BAFTA- and Emmy award-winning production company, and Ai-Media, a global innovator in speech-to-text services for broadcast and education.

Deanne is the Chair of the Australian Women Donors Network and a member of the boards of the Sydney Film Festival and Playwriting Australia. In 2016, Deanne was a finalist in The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence awards.


Joanna Werner

.Joanna Werner is a three-time Emmy-nominated, AFI, AACTA- and multi-Logie-award-winning producer.

She is executive producer, producer and co-creator of acclaimed teen drama series Dance Academy, which screens in over 160 countries and was the first production for her company Werner Film Productions. The series was twice nominated at the International Emmy Awards in the category of Children’s and Youth. Dance Academy—the feature film will be released on 6 April 2017.

In 2015, Joanna was executive producer, producer and co-creator on the teen series Ready For This, a co-venture between Werner Film Productions and Blackfella Films. The series has won numerous local and international awards, including a Silver World Medal at the New York Festival’s International Television & Film Awards.

Joanna has also produced Secret City, a political thriller for Foxtel and Matchbox in Association with Werner Film Productions, the hit tween series H2O—Just Add Water and The Elephant Princess for Jonathan M Shiff Productions. Joanna was appointed to the Board of Screen Australia in March 2017.


Jennifer Wilson

.Jennifer is a director of The Project Factory, a producer of creative multiplatform/transmedia projects across web, mobile, social media, games and virtual worlds.

Jennifer is passionate about engaging with audiences on any device, linking story and play to create more meaningful experiences and better outcomes. Some of her recent projects include teaching doctors better communication skills, helping people become non-smokers, exploring the Murray–Darling area through Indigenous ceremony and teaching storytelling skills to young children.

She has worked on projects as diverse as Sherlock: The Network, the official app for the hit BBC series; My QuitBuddy, a quit-smoking app developed for the Australian Department of Health,and Zumbo’s Just Desserts for Channel Seven.

Jennifer was awarded ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Digital Industry’ by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association in 2013.


Jane Wrightson

.Jane Wrightson is Chief Executive of NZ On Air, the funding agency that supports public media content for New Zealand audiences on different platforms. Jane has worked in the screen and media sector for over 30 years, beginning her career at TVNZ. Changes in platform and delivery options and audience migration has not changed her view that great content must be the driver for every media decision, and strategic public funding for local content is crucial.

Since Jane’s 2007 appointment, NZ On Air has funded the groundbreaking website NZ On Screen; music history site Audio Culture; Coconet, the ‘world’s first Poly-Portal’ for young Pacific peoples, and award-winning broadcast and music content. Rolling out from July 2017, NZ On Air has radically restructured its funding model to be fully platform-neutral.

Jane is a former Chief Film Censor, CEO of producer body the Screen Production and Development Association and CEO of the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Last updated: 22 February 2017