Sunday, May 20, 2012

letter to the Hon Simon Crean 21st May 2012

James Ricketson
316 Whale Beach Road
Palm Beach2108

The Hon Simon Crean
Department of the Environment, Water,
Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

21st. May 2012

Dear Mr Crean

I have been banned by Ruth Harley, Chief Executive of Screen Australia, from making any applications for funding of any kind to the organization. I have been banned from even talking with members of Screen Australia staff. As far as I know, no other filmmaker in the history of Australian film has had such a ban placed on them. Ruth Harley has also, in her letter to me of 10th May, said that she will enter into no correspondence with me about her reasons for banning me; that any letters I write to Screen Australia will remain unread. She has also intimated that under certain circumstances the ban that has been placed on me might be lifted but has given me no clue as to what these circumstances might be. Given that she will nor correspond with me, will answer no questions, I have no way of knowing what I need to do to have the ban lifted. Kafkaesque is too mild an adjective to use to describe the scenario.

If I am guilty of the crimes Ruth Harley has accused me of, being banned from having any further dealings with Screen Australia is not an unreasonable response on her part. Indeed, depending on how serious my harassment, intimidation and placing of her staff at risk is (these are the charges against me), taking out an AVO on me would not be unreasonable. But what if I did not write the correspondence to which Harley refers? What if no such correspondence exists? What if I have been falsely accused? There is, of course, a very easy way of finding out. If the correspondence to which Harley refers exists, it will be on file and I will look very silly indeed, to say the least, for maintaining (over a period of 17 months in the case of one lot of correspondence) that it does not exist. On the other hand, if the correspondence does not exist, it would not be unreasonable to ask Harley if she is in possession of any other information that has led to her banning me.

Could you please ask Caroline Fulton (Acting Assistant Secretary, Creative Industries and Sector Development, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) to ask Ruth Harley to produce the correspondence she is referring to. If she cannot or will not produce the correspondence a whole host of questions arise that I trust someone within your ministry will ask. If Ruth Harley and Fiona Cameron would like to identify on which dates I wrote the offending correspondence (in either emails or letters) I will publish it on my blog.

best wishes

James Ricketson

1 comment:

  1. Was Harley's decision to ban Rickeston made after consultation with the Screen Australia Board or was it off her own bat? If it was not consulted, does the Screen Australia Board countenance the banning of filmmkers in the absence of evidence in support of the ban? Will the Screen Australia Board ask to see the correspondence that Ruth Harley refers to or is Ruth Harley being given carte blanche to ban any filmmaker who is critical of Screen Australia policy or who has made a nuisance of themselves by lodging a complaint which, it seems, has not been dealt with in accordance of Screen Australia's own guidelines?