Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Last week I suggested in ‘A simple solution’ an equitable way not only to resolve my own dispute with Screen Australia but a way that other filmmakers who find themselves at loggerheads with the organization could resolve their disputes.
My suggestion has been ignored by Screen Australia. The front page of today’s Sydney Morning Herald carries a story entitled DOUBLE MEDIATION ORDERED FOR DIVORCE. “Divorcing couples will be asked to undergo further mediation before having their case heard in court,” the article begins. Having been recently divorced by Screen Australia on the flimsiest of pretexts, this seems like a good idea to me. Okay, so the marriage between James Ricketson and Screen Australia has not been a particularly happy one but I feel as though I have been divorced on the grounds of infidelity without my partner providing any evidence at all that I have been unfaithful! “The move, for cases not resolved at earlier, compulsory conciliation, is to be trialled for about 110 couples…” Compulsory conciliation! Where do I sign up? This seems like an excellent idea to me – especially when the stakes are as high as they are in this case. “Parties would be ‘invited to participate’ but if they do not, they would have to explain in court why mediation was not appropriate.” Could Glen Boreham or Simon Crean please invite Screen Australia to participate in a mediation process or explain why it is not appropriate? The story goes on, “The Family Court Justice Garry Watts said: ‘The courts want to explore all avenues of possible resolution, particularly without the emotional strain and costs associated with having a fully defended trial.” Any lessening of the emotional strain – for both Screen Australia staff and myself – would, I am sure, be welcome by all involved. The final paragraph reads, “The point of mediation is that both parties want to reach an agreement and that they enter into mediation voluntarily and with that goal in mind.”
Please Ruth, Fiona, agree to take part in a conciliation/mediation process overseen by someone who has no vested interest in the outcome but who is interested in the known facts only.