Women for the job

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - WOMEN IN BUSINESS -

FE­MALE board di­rec­tors with re­gional ex­pe­ri­ence are join­ing the ABC and SBS boards as the fed­eral gov­ern­ment dra­mat­i­cally in­creases fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion and at­tempts to counter met­ro­pol­i­tan bias.

Join­ing the ABC as nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors are Vanessa Guthrie, a West Aus­tralian min­ing and en­ergy ex­ec­u­tive, and Ge­orgina Som­er­set, a Queens­land re­gional strate­gist who runs fam­ily beef cat­tle farm­ing busi­ness.

Ms Guthrie is chair of the Min­er­als Coun­cil of Aus­tralia, deputy chair of the Western Aus­tralia Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion and a di­rec­tor of the Murlpir­rmurra Con­nec­tion, while Ms Som­er­set is a di­rec­tor of the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice in Queens­land and Chil­dren’s Health Queens­land Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice.

“In mak­ing ap­point­ments, the gov­ern­ment has been con­scious of the need to en­sure a bal­anced geo­graphic and gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the board,” Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Mitch Fi­field said, fill­ing va­can­cies that had been open since June.

Se­na­tor Fi­field said the re­place­ment for out­go­ing ABC chair­man Jim Spigel­man would be an­nounced in “due course”.

The board changes come as the ABC starts to trans­form un­der man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michelle Guthrie, who is set to un­veil the find­ings of a trans­for­ma­tive strat­egy re­view next month to cre­ate a flat­ter man­age­ment struc­ture and re­turn money to pro­gram­ming.

The gov­ern­ment has ap­pointed Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor Sally Walker, a for­mer vicechan­cel­lor of Deakin Univer­sity, and Ge­orge Sav­vides, for­mer man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Med­ibank Pri­vate and chair­man of World Vi­sion Aus­tralia, as nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors of SBS. Mr Sav­vides be­comes deputy chair fol­low­ing the re­cent ap­point­ment of his pre­de­ces­sor Bu­lent Hass Del­lal as chair­man.

In 2011 Pro­fes­sor Walker was made a Mem­ber of the Or­der of Aus­tralia in recog­ni­tion of her con­tri­bu­tion to ed­u­ca­tion and to the ad­vance­ment of women.

Pic­ture: RE­NEE NOWYTARGER

Vanessa Guthrie in Perth

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