Monday, May 21, 2012

letter to Glen Boreham, Chair, Screen Australia Board 22nd May 2012

Glen Boreham
Chair, Screen Australia Board
Level 4, 150 William St.
Woolloomooloo 2011                                                                                    22nd May 2102

Dear Glen

Your lack of a response to letters from me (the last being 19th March, published online at suggests that you have no doubts about the veracity of Ruth Harley’s claim that I am guilty of harassing, intimidating and placing at risk Screen Australia staff. Did Ruth Harley consult with yourself and the Board before taking the unprecedented step of banning a filmmaker from not only making applications but of speaking with anyone at Screen Australia? If the Screen Australia Board was consulted, did any member of it ask to see the correspondence Ruth Harley refers to in support of her ban? Or was the Screen Australia Board prepared to take Harley at her word? After all, why would the Chief Executive of Screen Australia make a claim about the existence of intimidating or harassing correspondence if it did not exist? To even ask Ruth to produce the correspondence would be an expression of lack of confidence in her! The same applies, going back 17 months, to the correspondence Fiona Cameron claimed I had written in relation to CHANTI’S WORLD. Did anyone on the Screen Australia Board (well aware as it was of my dispute) ask Fiona to produce the correspondence? Or was it presumed that Fiona would not make such a statement if the correspondence did not exist?  This is the presumption made by the office of the Ombudsman which, likewise, did not bother to ask to see the correspondence. Now, 17 months later, it looks as though no-one (Screen Australia Board, Office of the Ombudsman, the Hon Simon Crean) is going to ask Ruth Harley to produce the correspondence from me that she claims places her staff at risk. This is an extraordinary state of affairs. Has Screen Australia given up entirely on even maintaining the illusion of a commitment to the precepts of transparency and accountability? Add the fact that Fiona Cameron investigates complaints into her own behaviour (and refuses to communicate with the complainant!) and you have a perfect recipe for corruption to thrive – all of those who should be asking questions, demanding accountability, refusing to do so.

If the Screen Australia Board is to maintain any credibility in the transparency/accountability department could it please ask Ruth Harley and Fiona Cameron to release the correspondence they refer to or extracts thereof that provide evidence of my harassment, my intimidation, my placing of members of Screen Australia staff at risk?

I trust that my continuing to write to you, despite the fact that you never acknowledge receipt of letters, let alone answer questions, is not seen as evidence of harassment of yourself by myself!

best wishes

James Ricketson


  1. James, not sure if you are mad or inspired in taking Harley and Screen Australia on. Whichever it may be, I'm enjoying this soap. Can't wait to see how it ends!

    1. It will end in tears. Unnecessary tears. Just whose tears remains to be seen. I submitted the following to Encore but it declined to publish:

      "Accusations have been levelled against James Ricketson by Ruth Harley, unsupported to date, as far as the Encore readership is concerned, by any evidence. Despite James’ claim that he is innocent of the charges there are some here in this forum that have passed judgment and presumed that he must be guilty. I will keep my mind open until there is some cogent evidence in support of either his guilt or innocence. Why is Screen Australia not providing it, as it so easily could?"

  2. Like Jean de Florette shouting impotently at the sky.
    No rain will come.
    It would be fun if karma came faster, and Ruth and Fiona, would be made to suffer long and unpleasantly while we could watch.
    Sadly, only in our dreams. Nurse the grievance. Look for a chance to do them ill. Wonder how the idiots on the selection panel were taken for a ride and whether they realised their error when they saw the whole of NZ industry jumping up and down in excitement or wiping their faces with relief at the news.