Friday, November 14, 2014

Still seeking evidence of the crimes for which I have been banned by Screen Australia 30 months down the track!

Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
ACT 2601                                                                                           14th Nov. 2014

Dear Ombudsman

I wish to register a formal complaint against the Screen Australia board for banning me, again, without providing evidence in support of the allegations made against me.

The latest two year ban is really just an extension of the first two year ban –placed in the absence of any evidence at all that I had intimidated or placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff.

In reality this is a lifetime ban because I will continue to be critical of Screen Australia if and when I believe such criticism is warranted. Likewise, I will praise Screen Australia when I believe the organization to be deserving of praise.

The reason for the latest ban has been expressed in the following way:

“That your deliberate, repeated and inappropriate personal attacks on Screen Australia staff through letters and internet publications appear intended to humiliate and damage the reputation of Screen Australia staff in a way that is unacceptable to Screen Australia.”

I request that the Ombudsman ask of the Screen Australia board examples of when I have engaged in “inappropriate personal attacks…intended to humiliate and damage the reputation of Screen Australia staff.” As was the case with the first lot of allegations (intimidation, ‘placing at risk’) I cannot respond to these unless I know which of my comments are deemed to have been ‘inappropriate person attacks.’

I have asked this question of your office many times now but will do so again:

“Request of the Screen Australia board that it identify instances in which, in my correspondence with staff prior to the ban of May 2012, I either intimidated or placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff?”

I have enclosed some recent letters of mine in which I have sought to resolve this matter as calmly as is possible for a filmmaker whose career and income has been severely damaged by the Screen Australia board’s ban.

A lifting of the board’s ban would have no effect on my ability utilize the services of Screen Australia. What would come into effect, what was in effect prior to my official ban, would be an unofficial ban. What is important to me now, however, is an acknowledgement that no ban should have been implemented in the first place and an apology from Screen Australia for having done so.

best wishes

James Ricketson
Cc Senator George Brandis
Graeme Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Screen Australia.