New CinefestOZ board chair Margaret Buswell.

Margaret Buswell has taken the reins as CinefestOZ chair after being elected to replace co-founder Helen Shervington.

The board of the festival also welcomed Duncan Ord as a new member, while saying goodbye to David Barton and former treasurer Jen Burrows.

Buswell, who has served as the board’s deputy chair for the past six years, comes from an accounting background and is known as the founder and director of tourism business Villa, which she started in 1992.

In accepting the role, she paid tribute to her predecessor.

“Helen is co-founder and tireless CinefestOZ advocate and contributor,” she said.

“Her vision and leadership have seen the festival flourish and grow into the largest destination film festival in Australia.”

“During her six years as Chair, CinefestOZ was inducted into the Tourism Council WA Hall of Fame and is a finalist in the upcoming National Tourism Awards.”

“We thank Helen for her outstanding leadership and stewardship of the festival in some difficult times, she will continue as a Board member for the coming year.”

Shervington said she was “absolutely delighted” with her replacement.

“Margaret has very strong connections with our south west and regional host communities and brings a wealth of experience to the role through accounting background and her tourism business,” he said.

“I wish Margaret and the board all the very best as they take the next steps with the festival.”

Continuing CinefestOZ Board members include Gary Evershed as deputy chair and treasurer, Emma Scotney as deputychair, Pauline Vukelic as secretary, Diana Wearing Smith, and Jub Clerc. 

Long-standing CinefestOZ CEO, Malinda Nixon, continues in her role managing the festival, which this year will be held from August 24– 28 August 2022, preceded by CinefestOZ Albany from April 28 – May 1.

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