Producers Anita Jacoby and Sue Maslin, writers Ray Harding and Bevan Lee, and actor Magda Szubanski were among the screen professionals who received Australia Day honours on Saturday.
Jacoby, a former managing director of ITV Studios Australia and head of development and production at Zapruder’s Other Films, was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the broadcast and print media, and to community mental health groups.
An authority member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and a board director of AFI | AACTA, Jacoby has worked in the industry for more than 30 years. Her extensive list of credits include The Gruen Transfer, Enough Rope, Hungry Beast, Angels and Demons, 60 Minutes, and the Today Show. She is a member of Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and a supporter of the Documentary Australia Foundation. In 2013, she established the Jacoby Walkley Scholarship, which supports young journalists.
Outside of her screen work, Jacoby is a board director of Women in Media, and has worked with organisations such as Headspace, Alzheimer’s Australia, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Harding, who has written for Neighbours, and served as story editor, script producer, writer and series consultant for Home and Away, was also named an AM for his significant service to the broadcast media, particularly as a script writer and producer for television. Over his career, Harding has written more than 684 episodes of television in Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Sweden. He was a writer and producer of A Country Practice from 1985 to 1994, with his episode ‘Lest We Forget’ winning an AWGIE Award in 1986.
Others named as an AM over the weekend included actor John Derum; Emeritus Professor Sharon Bell, who was head of studies at AFTRS in the early 90s; philanthropist Timothy Sims, who founded the International Screen Academy; and John Menzies, former Screen Queensland board member.
Producer of films such as The Dressmaker and Japanese Story, Maslin was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the Australian film industry as a producer, and through roles with professional bodies.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be honoured in this way,” said Maslin. “My contribution has been in partnership with so many brilliant and creative people and it means a lot if our work has made a positive difference to the Australian screen industry and in particular, women.”
Maslin established production and distribution company Film Art Media with Daryl Dellora in 2008, and most recently executive produced documentary Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible. Maslin is known as a strong proponent for the increased participation of women in the screen industry. A founding member of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters taskforce, she is a patron and former president of WIFT Victoria, and continues to serve as inaugural president of the Natalie Miller Fellowship,
Szubanski was named an AO for her distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor, comedian and writer, and as a campaigner for marriage equality.
Among those awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) were Bevan Lee, writer and creator of shows such as A Place to Call Home and Packed to the Rafters; actor Robert Taylor (Longmire, Killing Time); Epix Productions director and producer Garry Gibson; Serbian Film Festival director Petar Kozlina; Indigenous film and documentary maker Pantjiti McKenzie and veteran publicist Eileen O’Shea. Actress Cornelia Frances was awarded an OAM posthumously, recognising her service to the performing arts as an entertainer.
Veteran and actor/filmmaker Warwick Young, who is currently developing a film program for veterans with AFTRS, was honoured for his services to veterans and their families. Young is the drama coach for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Arts for Recovery program and was a cast member/advisor Sydney Theatre Company and ADF production ‘Long Way Home’.
Other honorees included Olivia Newton-John, named a Companion of the Order (AC) for her eminent service to community health, particularity for people living with cancer, through support for medial research, and as a songwriter and performer; and Kylie Minogue, who was recognised as an AO for her distinguished service to the perming arts as a national and international recording artist and entertainer.