ACMI CEO to deliver 2019 Brian Johns lecture

May 7, 2019 | Cultural Fund

The annual Brian Johns Lecture at the State Library of NSW this year features the Director of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, Katrina Sedgwick, who is about to oversee a $40 million redevelopment of the centre.

Katrina has been the Director and CEO of ACMI since early 2015. She has an extensive background as a commissioner, creative producer, festival director and performer. Her previous roles include Head of Arts for ABC TV, founding Director/CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival and its Investment Fund, Artistic Director for Adelaide Fringe 2002 and Come Out ’99 (Australian Festival for Young People) and Special Events Producer for Robyn Archer’s 1998 and 2000 Adelaide Festival of Arts.

Her lecture is called: Breaking down the silos – creativity in the digital age.

Katrina writes: As digital technologies permeate our lives and these powerful creative tools become increasingly accessible – in our studios, our offices, our homes, our schools, in our pockets – we can access and create content in ways that were previously unimaginable.

The impact is not just for media consumers and media companies, but for creative producers and practitioners across all media and artforms – as much for writers, sculptors, musicians as for video artists and journalists. Access to digital tools for creation and distribution are enabling galleries, museums and libraries to make and distribute original media content as do banks, insurance companies and tourism operators.

It brings enormous challenges to our traditional ways of working, but as the digital era has changed the distribution and consumption of media and culture, it is empowering audiences and their expectations. It is enabling institutions and practitioners to break out of their silos, harnessing these tools for collaboration and transformation.

How can the creative and media industries leverage these opportunities to achieve their goals? How can we embed these benefits more deeply within government policy as our society, industries and economy transforms? What does this mean for cultural and media institutions and how can we ride this wave to apply our subsidy to make a difference to our industry and audiences?

The Brian Johns Lecture is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and Macquarie University’s Centre for Media History. It is free for entry and will be held at The State Library of NSW Metcalfe Auditorium, Macquarie Street, Sydney on Tuesday June 11 @5.30 for 6pm start. Register now.

About Brian Johns AO

Brian Johns AO (1936-2016) had a life-long commitment to the importance of creating Australian content in literature, the visual arts, broadcasting and digital media. As the founding Chair of the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund Committee, he was responsible for the allocation of $16 million to a wide range of cultural and creative projects, including the agency’s valuable Fellowships and the teacher resource Reading Australia.

He demonstrated his passion for Australian content while Managing Director of the ABC (1996-2000), CEO of SBS (1987-92), Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (1992–95) and the Broadband Services Expert Group (1994), a board member of the National Gallery of Australia (1992–98), and Publishing Director of Penguin Books Australia (1979-87). Prior to joining Penguin he was Principal Adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under the governments of Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam, where among other roles he led the team responsible for the establishment of SBS.

In his early career he was a distinguished writer for Nation and The Bulletin, and chief political correspondent for The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. Brian died on 1 January 2016.

Lecture history

Presented by the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University, and supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the annual Brian Johns Lecture explores and provokes ideas and conversations about the past, present and future of the media, publishing, writing and other creative industries. It draws together writers, editors, publishers, directors and producers of media, media executives, historians, media scholars, educators and students, as part of continual reflection about their experiences and about new challenges and opportunities in the creative sector.

The inaugural lecture was presented in 2015 by Mark Scott AO, then Managing Director of the ABC. He spoke on ‘The Future of the Australian Story’. The 2016 Brian Johns Lecture was presented by Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA, the founding editor of Griffith Review and chair of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. The 2017 Brian Johns Lecture, “How the internet killed my business model: Saving news that matters in a time of information overload”, was presented by Amanda Wilson, journalist, communications professional and the first woman appointed Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. The 2018 Brian Johns Lecture Slow News: Thinking in Public was presented by Morry Schwartz AM, the esteemed book and journal publisher.

All the lectures are available on the centre’s website here.

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