Cathy Payne.

Banijay Rights CEO Cathy Payne will return to Australia to deliver the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture in person at Screen Producers Australia’s (SPA) Screen Forever conference next year.

Payne became the CEO of Banijay Rights in 2020 after the Banijay acquisition of the Endemol Shine Group. Her role sees her steer all distribution for the global giant, including formats Big Brother, Masterchef and Survivor, as well as scripted series such as Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror. Prior to, she was CEO of Endemol Shine International, a role she held since 2014.

Raised on the Central Coast, NSW, Payne’s career began via chance meeting with an executive from Hanna-Barbera Australia. Working her way through the ranks, Payne would go on to become CEO of Southern Star International. In that role, she was responsible for a number of key deals including the negotiation of the life of series  move for Australian hit series Home and Away from the UK’s ITV to Channel 5.

In 2009 Southern Star was acquired by Endemol, with Payne to go on to run its worldwide distribution wing from London before becoming CEO in 2014.

Over her career, Payne has witnessed and overseen some of the most significant changes in the television landscape, and has a focus on improving diversity and equality in the entertainment industry.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to deliver the Hector Crawford Memorial lecture at Screen Forever at such a critical time for Australia’s screen industry. I look forward to sharing my thoughts about production and distribution changes, challenges and opportunities for our incredible Australian stories,” Payne said. 

The Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture has been delivered at the Screen Forever conference since 1992, honouring its namesake’s legacy and emphasising the importance of independent productions.

In recent years, the lecture has been delivered by names such as Rachel Griffiths, Leah Purcell, Posie Graeme-Evans and John Edwards.

“We can’t wait to hear from Cathy at Screen Forever and applaud her contribution to the global and Australian industry over so many years. Having such an influential and accomplished Australian as our memorial lecturer for 2022 will provide invaluable insight and inspiration for our delegates,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner. 

The Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture will take place on the first day of the conference, March 28.

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