Friday, May 10, 2013


My ban turned one year old today. On this day, a year ago, Ruth Harley informed me that I had been banned from making any applications at all to Screen Australia as a result of my having harassed, intimidated and placed at risk members of Screen Australia's staff. A year later, many letters later, many blog entries later, two arrests later and a weekend in jail, I have still not been provided with one scintilla  of evidence that I have ever intimidated or placed at risk anyone at Screen Australia. As for the 'harassment' accusation, I suppose I am guilty of this in much the same way as Kate McClymont is guilty of harassing Eddie Obeid by continuing to ask questions that raise serious doubts about his honesty. McClymont's 'harassment' of Obeid have borne fruits. Mine of Ruth Harley have not! Such is life.

As I have written many times, if I am guilty of intimidating Screen Australia staff, if I am guilty of placing anyone within the organisation at risk, my being banned is entirely deserved. It would have been appropriate a year ago, I think, if the industry as a whole (or some body representing it) had asked Ruth Harley to please produce evidence of the crimes for which I had been banned and which I denied having committed. If Ruth had produced the evidence I would have looked both a fool and a liar and would, a year ago, suffered the damage to my reputation that I deserved. If Ruth had not produced the evidence (and she newer has,because never asked by anyone other than myself) it would be her reputation that took a king hit. Alas, not one person within the film industry, not one organisation, not one film publication, felt that this simple question of Ruth was worth asking. A dreadful form of cowardice. 

The reason why the question should have been asked has nothing to do with me,whether my fellow filmmakers like or respect men, but to do with principal. Senior Management of a tax-payer funded organisation such as Screen Australia should not be able to damage the career of a filmmaker as mine has been with impunity. Senior Management should not be able to either punish those whom they consider to be 'enemies' or to reward those who are 'friends'.

Hopefully Ruth's replacement will be someone with a commitment to the precepts of transparency and accountability; someone who will, amongst other things, either provide me with evidence of my having intimidated and placed at risk members of Screen Australia;s staff or lift the ban and offer me an apology. Such a move would, of course, require the imprimatur of the Board - three fellow filmmakers of which have made it quite clear that they do not believe that I am entitled to be provided with evidence of my crimes. Shame on thou Rachel, Claudia and Richard! 

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