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Sydney Ideas - Luminous Moments: my life and times in the trans-Tasman scre...

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The University of Sydney

The Law School Foyer

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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Dr Ruth Harley, former CEO New Zealand Film Commission and Screen Australia

The 2017 Henry Mayer lecture, hosted by Media International Australia, supported by Swinburne University of Technology, as part of the 2017 ANZ Communications Association conference ANZCA2017.

Co-presented with the Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney

My continual hope is that repeated failures and puzzlement will be punctuated by occasional luminous moments… It is the beauty … that holds my interest as well as the essential veracity.”

–Paul Callaghan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) physicist and visionary.

I have taken this quote from MRI scientist Paul Callaghan as a jumping off point for my talk. It perfectly describes my experience of working with screen stories.

It is a story of the endeavour that is required to imagine truth and the fortitude to engage with it through repeated disappointment as well as occasional luminous moments.

Our culture is our identity. It is multiple expressions of plural identities. Nobody owns it. We share it with each other. More…or less. The stories that resonate, the luminous moments, are our inheritance from the past and our bequest to future generations.

The endeavour for the storyteller is to illuminate experience. For the executive like me, the endeavour is to enable the storyteller.

This talk will explore my experience as a CEO in the screen sector on both sides of the Tasman in terms identity, shared experience, diverse perspectives, the role and practice of government as an enabler and the essential humanity of our endeavour.

I will conclude with some personal perspectives of the opportunities and challenges for the screen industry and how they might play out in New Zealand and Australia in the global screen industry.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Dr Ruth Harley, CNZM, OBE worked in public and private sector screen organisations for 25 years including 21 years in CEO roles at the NZ Broadcasting Commission (NZ ON Air), New Zealand Film Commission and Screen Australia. In her post executive life she is variously chair/board member of 3 cultural organisations, an executive coach, consultant of numerous screen projects, carer for her infant grandson and elderly parents and, most surprisingly, a member of a ukulele band.

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The University of Sydney

The Law School Foyer

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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