“I think she might be Scomo’s biggest mistake”, an “old leftie” whispered into my ear at the Andrew Olle Media Lecture.
There was a perception, rightly or wrongly, that the appointment of Ita Buttrose as ABC Chair was simply another political appointment and that Ita would do the “government’s bidding”. Indeed, the appointment was a “captain’s pick” by the Prime Minister, made outside the process which had been established for ABC and SBS board appointments.
From my own perspective, I was pleased to see someone with CONSIDERABLE media experience had been appointed, instead of someone who was there as an obvious “political appointment”.
During her speech, reflecting on her career, Ita spoke about a range of experiences, including her career as a journalist and editor, and strongly defended public broadcasting. She got a standing ovation, and clearly the support of my former ABC colleague who might otherwise have been sceptical about some of the more recent ABC board appointments.
It’s been a few years now since I attended the Andrew Olle Media Lecture. Thanks, COVID! But it was wonderful to get dressed up again, catch the bus to The Ivy, hang out with some previous and current colleagues, and meet some new people.
The other big event I attended yesterday was the launch at the Sydney Opera House of World Pride. As the ABC is the Media Partner for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (and World Pride) for three years, we were asked to send a group of people to the launch, and contribute to the creation of a human version of the progress flag.