New Head of Production position to oversee development and production investmen

22 August, 2013 by IF

Screen Australia’s Head of Production Investment Ross Matthews and Head of Development Martha Coleman will depart the agency at the completion of their contracts in December 2013. The agency’s organisational structure has been reviewed to ensure good transition and business continuity for the industry during a time of significant change. 

After close consultation between Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley, incoming Chief Executive Graeme Mason and the Board, as well as consideration of industry comments, Screen Australia has decided to combine the roles of Head of Production Investment and Head of Development into a new Head of Production position. 


This position will oversee the Development, Production Investment and Documentary functions at the agency. The position will be advertised both domestically and internationally at the end of August, and will be recruited jointly by Ruth Harley and Graeme Mason. The recruitment will be managed through Braithwaite Steiner Pretty.

Screen Australia’s CEO Ruth Harley said, “There are natural synergies between our development, production investment and documentary functions and this change will allow the funding areas to work more closely together. We believe that this is a more streamlined structure, enabling us to be more efficient, and will make it easier for the industry to work with us.

“Ross Matthews has brought enormous experience and legendary relationship skills to the hugely challenging job of integrating production financing programs from the legacy agencies. Ross and his excellent team have rigorously overseen the expenditure of the majority of Screen Australia’s funds for the production of film, documentary, television drama, children’s television and innovation programs with safe hands and remarkable powers of negotiation.

“Martha Coleman’s exceptional strategic and creative skills have transformed feature film script development practice in Australia. She’s recruited an outstanding team, whose contribution to the craft of script development has been widely acknowledged within the sector. Martha has led the development of a suite of script and talent development programs, which has seen great films and scripts take their place on the world stage,” said Dr Harley.

After four years with Screen Australia, Elizabeth Grinston has resigned from her position of General Counsel to take up the role of General Counsel at the University of NSW in October. Screen Australia will recruit a new Head of Legal Services. This role will be advertised both externally and internally in the coming week, and will be recruited jointly by Ruth Harley and Graeme Mason. The recruitment will be managed through Mahlab.

Dr Harley said, “Elizabeth has brought rigour and insight into the creation of Screen Australia’s legal processes and the administration of the Producer Offset and co-production programs. Elizabeth has built a formidable legal team to provide services to the production industry. She has contributed great clarity to the integration of the agency’s legal processes and has led the redesign of Screen Australia’s legal agreements to align with industry best practice.

“These three exceptional senior leaders have been major contributors to the successful integration of the three legacy agencies and set a sound base for the future. We salute their contribution and wish them every success with their future directions,” said Dr Harley.