Erika Addis. (Photo: Erin Lee)

Erika Addis will be the next national president of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS), the first woman to lead the organisation in its history.

Elected during the ACS AGM on Saturday, Addis succeeds Ron Johanson, who has steered the society for some 14 years.

Addis has previously served as Queensland president and as national vice-president.

In accepting the role, she thanked ACS’ members for their support, and paid tribute to Johanson’s legacy, including his efforts to make the organisation more diverse.

In particular, she noted his strong efforts to integrate the work of ACS Women’s Advisory Panel, which she previously chaired, into the organisation.

Last year, at Johanson’s instigation, the group evolved into the Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation working panel.

“That evolution reflects the extent to which the ACS of the second decade of 21st century is a global citizen, aware of its place on the world stage, that sees and values the importance of the contribution of women, First Nations peoples and all minorities,” Addis said.

“Like all of us, I want the ACS to thrive, and to reach out not only to those who have the privilege and good fortune to know what they can gain from the ACS, but also to those whose life experiences are rich in ways that many members of the ACS national executive may not have lived experience. Those who don’t yet know or understand what they can gain from the ACS. Many storytellers of the coming generations will have different ways of seeing and experiencing the world and we have a lot to learn from them.”

In addition to diversity and inclusion, Addis noted her focus will be on governance, outreach efforts, and technical and industry-based research.

Johanson will continue to work with the ACS and its national sponsors, telling IF: “I will remain a servant of the society.”

Reflecting on his time as national president in the ACS e-newsletter, he said it had been an honour, and wished Addis “smooth sailing with the wind at her back”.

“It is difficult for me to put into words how much I have enjoyed my time as national president because the title doesn’t really fit the involvement which happens on so many levels. You have all inspired me to do better, and while there were times I possibly did not come up to par, I believe we achieved so much together, and our beloved society can hold its head up high as a valued global entity.

“I am very proud to be part of such an important society and its role within our industry and the optimism we all share for the future.”

Addis officially starts in the role May 1.

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