A former AFTRS executive is suing the school and head Sandra Levy for more than $1 million over claims that she bullied and micromanaged staff.
Professor Katherine Blashki has launched legal action over claims she was forced to work outside normal operating hours at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School when she was initially told her hours could be flexible because of her intellectually disabled daughter.
In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Blashki – a leading academic in new media who headed up the research and education division at the school – claims Levy also bullied her and micromanaged her by witnessing and noting what time she left work.
She says she couldn’t arrive at the school’s Moore Park headquarters until 9.30am and, knowing this, Levy would still schedule executive meetings at 9am, making decisions on her behalf. Professor Blashki also says she had no control over her division's budget, was denied time and resources for academic research, and was not allowed to travel overseas for various conferences.
All claims have been denied by Levy and the school. They are yet to file a defence.
“The AFTRS governing Council expresses its total confidence and support for the staff and management of the school in this matter,” AFTRS said in a statement.
Levy is a former executive of Nine and ABC and was appointed head of AFTRS in 2007. Since then a number of changes have been made to the school's curriculum, which has been met with both enthusiasm and criticism.
Professor Blashki, who resigned from the school in June last year, is seeking damages for discrimination, misleading and deceptive conduct, and breach of contract.
The case returns to court on February 7, next year.