Queens Birthday Honours: list adds charm to solemn moments by: David Tiley
Screen Hub Friday 15 June, 2012
From Sandra Sdraulig to the Yodelling Queen of Australia, the honours list provides a revealing slice of Australia, and the screen sector.
Sandra Sdraulig, until last year the CEO of Film Victoria, has been appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia; she joins Maureen Barron, CEO of Screen Queensland in 2010, and Kim Dalton, formerly CEO of the Australian Film Commission and currently head of television at the ABC, as the only senior agency officials for any period of time to receive such an honour.
Starting as the distribution manager of the Australian Film Institute in 1988, she became a board member of the Melbourne International Film Festival in 1991, and joined the editorial board of Metro Magazine. She became distribution and marketing manager of Palace Filmed Entertainment in 1992. In 1995, she left the MIFF board, to resign from Palace and her Metro role in 1996, and become executive director of MIFF until 2000.
In 1998 she became a member of the film evaluation and advisory committee at Cinemedia, the industry engagement with the decisionmaking process at Film Victoria, and left in 2001. In that same year, free of full-time responsibilities, she developed the original plan to establish the Adelaide International Film Festival.
In 2002, she became Chief Executive Officer of Film Victoria, a position she held for nine years, in a period of substantial growth. She was a board member of Ausfilm between 2007 and 2011. Meanwhile, her connection with South Australia developed into two terms as board member of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, until 2008, the year in which she took up a board position on the Adelaide Art Gallery, a position she still holds.
Again free of full-time work, she is also the chair of the Adelaide Film Festival and runs Friday on my Mind for AFTRS in Victoria.
But our favourite is Mary Philomena Schneider, given a Medal in the Order of Australia. She is a country singer, an early television performer, the queen of Australian yodelling, and the inventor of the Schneiderphone, “a musical instrument made from a washboard, cowbells, cycle horns and cymbals.” She apparently wrote the first Australian rock and roll song, the same year she and her late sister Rita toured with the troops in Japan, Korea and South East Asia. She is now almost eighty years old, and this award is well overdue.
The most senior person known to the screen sector in a professional role in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list is Harry Butler, aka Dr William Henry Butler CBE. He authored and presented In the Wild, an early Australian wildlife show between 1976 and 1981 on the ABC.
He is now an Officer (A0) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Sadly, the above is not the key reason for the award.
Peter Carey is in the same category along with Rolf Harris, Barbara Blackman, classical pianist Piers Lane, senior arts administrator Jennifer Bott, choreographer and director Graham Murphy, arts festival director Brett Sheehy, publisher Frank Thompson and Liz Jones, who ran Melbourne’s iconic La Mama Theatre since 1976.
Moving down to the Member (AM) in the General Division, we find Terry Bracks, on the board of the Australian Children`s Television Foundation from 2000-2010 and now a director of the National Film and Sound Archive. Her work is mostly about health and social development.
Lyn Maddock PSM will be known to many as deputy chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority from 2000-2005, a Board Member of Film Australia and then interim CEO of Screen Australia in 2008. She is honoured for her service to public administration, with her role as director of the Antarctic Division between 2009 and 2011 at the head of the list.
The Honourable Haddon Storey, QC, has been made a Member in the General Division as well. Another Victoria, he is credited partly for his role as board member of MIFF between 1979-1982 and 1996-2007, while he was also a board member of Cinemedia between 1996 and 2000.
Slightly to one side from our perspective, Brett Cottle has been honoured for his work as CEO of APRA/AMCOS, and his charitable work with Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. Alice Spigelman, author and theatre writer, has been a board member of NIDA among her many achievements.
In the Medal of the Order of Australia Division, Jim Allen is honoured for services to fishing, which includes his work as a television presenter on Clear Water, Big Fish and Rex Hunt Fishing Adventures.
The Honourable Elisabeth Wilma Kirkby, a lawyer and New South Wales Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Democrats from 1981 to 1998, was an early television actress in series like Hunter and Neighbours, and is also cited for her writing and directing work. She was a writer and presenter at the ABC between 1965 and 1072, and has been a member of Equity, MEAA and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television. This has been a very long time coming – she is 92 years old.
Mr Richard William Ruhfus is a bit of an inspiration. A citizen of the year in the Wingecarribee Shire Council, he has run the Empire Cinema, Bowral since 1993, supports the Travelling Film Festival and the Women Film Makers Festival and was “actively involved with the establishment of the Foundation`s Ted Kennedy Aboriginal Fund Biannual Aboriginal Film Festival.”
A country singer and supporter of Minda Home [for people with intellectual disabilities in Adelaide], Lewis John Mackereth has “appeared regularly on national television music programs” and “performed for the troops in Vietnam, 1969 and 1971”. Unfortunately, his yodelling days seem to have been over before the invention of Youtube.
John Paul Young has a Medal in the General Division as well, for "service to the performing arts as a singer and songwriter, and through support for a range of charitable organisations". They include Variety, and several children`s medical services. He does have a direct connection to the screen sector -
The final endearing touch to this story is provided by Ian Rodney Mannix, who has a Public Service Medal for “outstanding public service in establishing and managing the delivery of ABC’s emergency broadcasting services."
” Mr Mannix is ABC’s Emergency Broadcasting and Community Development Manager and has demonstrated outstanding commitment, leadership and innovation in delivering local and national emergency information to communities Australia-wide via emergency broadcasting, ABC TV and ABC online.”
Using outstanding bureaucratic ninja skills, he
” has pioneered partnerships with local authorities, developed strong processes and instilled training in preparation and learning from the consequences of emergency challenges. He manages the relationships with key stakeholders in various State
and Territory emergency services. His determination and vision has been proven as ABC Local Radio is now on the front-foot to respond quickly in a time of crisis.”
We focus mostly on production people in film and television, which led us to miss Grahame John Bond, made a Member in the General Division, "for service to the performing arts as an actor, writer and composer, and as a supporter of aspiring artists."
Who could that be?
David Tiley David Tiley is the editor of Screen Hub, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 8616 9375, or 0434 214 002.