Board with the ABC

Even from this distance, I can see that the ABC has only two defenders, the ALP and ABC’s own employees. This is not a vote of confidence from the rest of the community. The investigation into Q&A is, of course, too narrow, since the issue really is the bias to the left of the entire political content of the ABC which often seeps into programs about fishing and other such things. If they are allowed to narrow the range of the inquiry to just this issue, even if they slap themselves on the wrist, nothing has been gained. Zaki is a symptom, not the central question to be answered.

The ABC board is below, who have largely been chosen for their financial knowledge and are constituted as a board in a company structure. And as such no blame can be assigned to them for the actual content of the ABC programming, nor I imagine should it be. That does not seem to be their role. The exceptions to this are Mark Scott and the staff rep, Matt Peacock, whose left of centre political views are apparent to everyone, except for themselves.

James Spigelman AC QC
ABC Chairman
BA (Hons) LLB, Hon. LLD
1 April 2012 – 31 March 2017

James Spigelman was the Chief Justice and Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales from 1998 to 2011. Between 1980 and 1998 he practised as a barrister in Sydney and was appointed QC in 1986. Between 1972 and 1976 he served as Senior Adviser and Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of Australia and as Permanent Secretary of the Commonwealth Government’s Department of the Media. From 1976 to 1979 he was a member of Australian Law Reform Commission.

Mr Spigelman has served on the Boards and as Chair of a number of cultural and educational institutions including: Chair of the National Library of Australia between 2010 and 2012, Member of the Board of the Australian Film Finance Corporation between 1988 and 1992 (Chairman between 1990 and 1992), Member of the Board of the Art Gallery of New South Wales between 1980 and 1988 (Deputy Chairman between 1983 and 1988), and as President of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences between 1995 and 1998. In November 2012 he was appointed a Director of the Board of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. In 2013 he was appointed a Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong.

Jane Bennett
Company Director
AdvCertAppSc (Dairy Tech), FAICD
30 June 2011 – 29 June 2016

Jane Bennett is the former Managing Director of Ashgrove Cheese, a family owned and run business in Tasmania. Ms Bennett is the immediate past chair of the Food Industry Advisory Council in Tasmania and is a Board Member of the Brand Tasmania Council. Her other directorships include the Australian Farm Institute, Tasmanian Ports Corporation and the CSIRO.

Peter Lewis
2 October 2014 – 1 October 2019

Peter Lewis is currently the Director of Finance for Acquire Learning and a member of the Advisory Board for Anacacia Capital. He has previously held board and advisory positions with the International Grammar School Sydney, TXA Australia Pty Ltd, Norwest Productions Pty Ltd, Propex Derivatives, Australian News Channel Pty Ltd, B Digital Limited, VividWireless Limited and Yahoo 7 Australia.

Mr Lewis has more than two decades of experience in both executive and financial roles in the media. He was appointed financial controller of the Network Ten between 1990 and 1994; the Head of Business Affairs for the Sydney Olympic Broadcasting Organisation between 1996 and 1998, Chief Financial Officer of the Seven Network Limited from 1998 to April 2010, was the Chief Financial Officer of Seven Group Holdings Limited from May 2010 to November 2011; was the Chief Operating Officer of Seven Media Group from July 2008 to January 2012 and was the Chief Financial Officer of Seven West Media Limited from May 2011 to May 2013.

Mr Lewis is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Simon Mordant AM
Investment Banker
FCA (UK), FCA (Australia)
8 November 2012 – 7 November 2017

Simon is Executive Co-Chairman of Luminis Partners. He is Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Simon is Australian Commissioner for the 2015 Venice Biennale, a director of MOMA PS1 in New York, a member of the Leadership Council of the New Museum in New York and a member of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, a member of the Executive Committee of the Tate International Council, a Director of the Garvan Research Foundation, a member of the Wharton Executive Board for Asia and a member of the Italian Advisory Board for Venetian Heritage.

Matt Peacock
Journalist, ABC
Staff Elected Director
22 April 2013 – 21 April 2018

Matt is a senior journalist with the ABC’s 7.30 program, having formerly been ABC Radio’s chief political correspondent and reporter in New York, Washington and London. He is Adjunct Professor of Journalism with Sydney’s University of Technology (UTS) and has authored the book Killer Company (HarperCollins, 2009), a history of Australia’s largest asbestos manufacturer, James Hardie which inspired the ABC Television mini-series, Devil’s Dust.

Mark Scott AO
ABC Managing Director
BA, DipEd, MA (Syd.), MPubAdmin (Harv)
5 July 2006 – 4 July 2011; 5 July 2011 – 4 July 2016

Under Mark Scott’s leadership, the structure and operation of the ABC has been transformed and the ABC’s services and reach have been dramatically expanded. The ABC has established a reputation as Australia’s leading digital media innovator during this time. He has also led a shift within the organisation from a process-based culture to one that emphasises the values of Respect, Integrity, Collegiality and Innovation.

Before joining the ABC, Mr Scott served 12 years in a variety of editorial and executive positions with Fairfax Media, Editorial Director of the Fairfax newspaper and magazine division and Editor-in-Chief of Metropolitan, Regional and Community newspapers.

Steven Skala AO
Vice Chairman, Australia and New Zealand, of Deutsche Bank AG
BA LLB (Hons) (Qld) BCL (Oxon)
6 October 2005 – 5 October 2010; 24 November 2010 – 23 November 2015

Steven Skala is Vice Chairman, Australia and New Zealand, of Deutsche Bank AG, Chairman of Wilson HTM Investment Group Limited, and Hexima Limited. He is Vice President of the Board of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Deputy Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, and a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies. Mr Skala serves as a Member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. He is the former Chairman of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Film Australia Limited, and a former Director of The Australian Ballet.

Dr Fiona Stanley AC FAA FASSA
Patron and the founding Director of the Telethon Kids Institute (formerly Telethon Institute for Child Health Research)
MSc (Lon.), MD (WA), Hon. DSC (Murdoch), Hon DUniv (QUT), HonMD (Syd.), Hon. DUniv (Melb.), Hon. Dsc (ECU), Hon, FRACGP, Hon. FRCPCH (UK), FFPHM (UK), FAFPHM, FRAQNZCOG, FASSA, FAA, FRACP, FFCCH
30 June 2011 – 29 June 2016

Scott of the Aunt Arctic

Aunt Arctic in the sense of the kind of welcome given to conservatives at the ABC. It seems that it has come to the attention of the MD of the ABC that there are people in the community who believe that Q&A has a bias towards the left. According to the story, therefore, ABC: Mark Scott to review Q&A amid left-bias claims. He must be worried that not even Malcolm will be able to get him that one-year extension to his contract as they look for a replacement. But for sheer obtuseness, it is hard to beat this:

Asked by Coalition senator James McGrath why Monday-night panel show Q&A consistently leans to the Left, Mr Scott said it was not the first time he had heard that “depiction” and agreed to conduct a survey or “sampling” of the topics discussed.

Mark, it’s not just Q&A and it’s not just the topics discussed. I wonder if he has ever heard that depiction about the whole of the ABC, although given the circles he seems to travel in, possibly not.