Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Soap Opera continues!

The quality of my screenplays, the potential of my projects to reach an audience, is of secondary importance to Screen Australia than that some member of its staff may feel at risk as a result of having to read correspondence from me or talk to me. And this is because of claims made by Ruth Harley for which she provides no evidence at all and which she will discuss no further.  As far as ‘talking’ is concerned (talking with me posing a risk to Screen Australia staff!) I have had only one conversation with anyone at Screen Australia regarding CHANTI’S WORLD, just before the dispute proper began – in Sept 2010. This was with Ross Mathews, Julia Overton and (for part of the meeting) Liz Crosby. The meeting was amicable. There were no raised voices, no threats, no intimidation, no making of anyone feel at risk as a result of my behaviour.  Ross, Julia and Liz would, if they were asked, confirm this. Fiona Cameron and Ruth Harley know that this was both an amicable and (it seemed at the time) a productive meeting. There has been no other meeting with anyone from Screen Australia since August 2010 There has not been one telephone conversation between myself and anyone at Screen Australia. In short, no opportunity for me to make anyone feel at risk. If anyone were to ask Ruth Harley (or Ross Mathews, Julia Overton or Liz Crosby) if what I write here is true, they would receive no answer at all. This is because the true answer, of which all four are aware, would be, “James is right. The meeting was an amicable one.” Other than Ross not responding to my letters (subsequent to the one published yesterday) the real problems began when Fiona Cameron decided to attribute to me (in writing, on file) a totally untrue motive for lodging a complaint with Ross about Julia Overton’s breach of the agreement we had arrived at in the meeting. This is all well documented and I will not bore the reader with the details. I will, however, bore the reader with a copy of a letter of the kind that Ruth Harley claims amounts to harassment, intimidation and placing the staff member at risk. It’s contents will be of interest only to anyone in search of a sue of wording on my part that is evidence of the intimidation and harassment of which Ruth Harley has accused me.

Liz Crosby
Screen Australia
Level 4, 150 William St.
Woolloomooloo 2011                                                                                                10th.Jan 2011

Dear Liz

The new year has begun and, after four months of asking, I can still not get an answer from Ross or Julia to a simple (but critical) question relating to the appropriateness or otherwise of my CHANTI’S WORLD development application. Given that I have no intention of dropping this, despite Ross and Julia’s stonewalling and Fiona’s Cameron’s determination not to lets the facts influence her in any way, I am hoping that you may be able to help resolve this matter.

You cannot know precisely, of course, what was said by whom at the 25th. August meeting but you were present for the last five or so minutes of it and are well aware that it ended amicably - with the problems relating to Julia’s refusal to acknowledge receipt of letters or answer questions, over a period of three months, resolved. (Or so it seemed!)  What is your understanding of what had been resolved? It is my contention that, in relation to CHANTI’S WORLD, it was agreed that I would make a development application, the clear implication being that such an application would be ‘appropriate’ – several of my questions of Julia over a period of a few months having had to do with ‘appropriateness’. Some weeks later Julia declared that my application had been ‘inappropriate’. Both propositions cannot be correct!

If I was not pleased with the outcome of the meeting with Ross and Julia as a result of the resolution I have described many times, what was it that I was pleased with? I would certainly not have been pleased if the outcome had been that a CHANTI’S WORLD application from me was ‘inappropriate’. Nor would I have made an application if this is what I had been told.

Given what seems to be Elisa Harris’ refusal to even ask Ross and Julia if my account of what was said in the meeting is accurate or not (and, needless to say, Fiona’s similar lack of interest in this vital question) could you please let both me and the Ombudsman’s office know what your recollection is of the resolution of the 25th. August meeting? Why was I pleased? If not with the fact that I would be able to apply with CHANTI’S WORLD, with what?

Yes, I know that Fiona has said that all future communication on this matter must be with her but Fiona has also made it quite clear, in writing, that she has no intention of communicating any further on this matter – a bureaucratic sleight of hand worthy of ‘Yes Prime Minister’, ‘Monty Python’ and, of course, the novels of Franz Kafka.

I have attached a copy of my 5th. Jan letter to Elisa Harris in the Ombudsman’s office. It speaks for itself. I am copying this to Elisa in hopes you and she might, at least, speak on the telephone and move this matter closer to a resolution based on facts and not on suppositions made by Elisa about Fiona’s thought processes.


James Ricketson
cc Elisa Harris, Ombudsman’s office

1 comment:

  1. Leaving aside the question of who is right and who is wrong in this dispute one thing is clear – it has gone on for much too long and there should be some mechanism whereby it reached a quick and equitable resolution. The amount of time and energy wasted on this has clearly been enormous.
    It is not enough for Screen Australia to write, “You have done this,” and then produce no evidence that Ricketson has done anything. It is likewise not enough for one person to call another a liar without being able to prove it. The missing ingredient is facts. Agreed upon facts. Either a letter (or letters) exist to back up Cameron’s and Harley’s assertions or they do not. It is not a matter of opinion. If they exist, if Ricketson has been lying, sue him. It’s as simple as that. If the letters do not exist, it is Harley who is guilty of intimidation – her stating that they do and her banning of Ricketson on trumped up charges a form of bullying not appropriate in the Chief Executive of Screen Australia.