Geoffrey Atherden. 

Writer and former president of both the Australian Writers’ Guild and Australian Writers’ Foundation, Geoffrey Atherden, has been appointed a director of Screenrights.

Atherden (Mother and Son, BabaKiueria, Grass Roots) has also served two terms on the board of Screen NSW and is a member of the Order of Australia. 

His appointment was announced at the Screenrights’ AGM last week and he joins re-elected members Ben Grant, MD of Goalpost Pictures; Chris Oliver-Taylor, MD of Matchbox Pictures; and Dean Ormston, head of membership services group APRA AMCOS and deputy chair of Australian Copyright Council. 

Screenrights Chairman Jill Bryant said the board was delighted to welcome Atherden.

“Geoffrey is a passionate advocate for the creators of Australian culture. He has wide-ranging experience within the industry and that will add to the wealth of industry knowledge already on the Board. I am also pleased that the membership chose to return the three board members seeking re-election as each brings considerable value to our skills mix," Jill Bryant said.

Bryant also paid tribute to retiring director Maureen Barron, former CEO of Screen NSW.

“Maureen has been an active Director for the last 9 years and has brought considerable expertise to the Board with her extensive industry experience. I shall miss both her passion and wisdom," said Bryant.

For the 2015-2016 financial year, Screenrights’ collections totalled $47.8 million, an increase of $2 million on the previous year. Distributions to members totalled $43.1 million, an increase of 11.7 per cent. Screenrights International distributed a record $1.6 million from overseas collecting societies to more than 2,000 members.

Chief executive Simon Lake said the collecting society was pleased to announce such strong results in a rapidly changing copyright environment.

“The results are testament to Screenrights’ ability to provide value for our members whilst also preparing for the future and contributing to the wider industry,” said Lake.

“In the coming year Screenrights will be investing in its streaming service EnhanceTV Direct to ensure that we continue to provide access for content users and payment for content creators. This investment will be crucial in strengthening our licences and growing our capabilities for future business.”

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