Actress Noni Hazlehurst AM has joined the AACTA board, replacing former member Sigrid Thornton.

“We very excited to welcome Noni to the AACTA board,” AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella tells IF. “Sigrid Thornton has been completely amazing, but she is stepping down from the board for the time being and Noni is filling her place. Sigrid has left really big shoes for someone to walk into, but Noni’s experience, expertise, business acumen, and her enormous support for AACTA over the years makes the ideal candidate.” 

Trewhella states the timing couldn’t be better for Hazlehurst to join the organisation, which he describes as entering a “consolidation phase”. 

“As an organisation we’re now about 19-20 months old… It’s had a couple of huge years in that early phase and now we’re looking at consolidating for the next three to five years,” he says. “We have just completed the second awards cycle and now we’re really ready to consolidate and revitalise different parts, and it’s great to have people step up to help with those changes.

“Noni is someone who has had that real depth of experience and knowledge of the industry… Also, and it’s a special time in her trajectory with the roaring success of A Place Called Home.” 

Hazlehurst has worked in the Australian screen industry for 40 years and her outstanding work has been recognised numerous times. Examples of such awards include four AFI Awards (Little Fish, Waiting at the Royal, Fran and Monkey Grip) two Logies, an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from Flinders University, and an Order of Australia. 

Of her appointment to the board, Hazlehurst says, ““I’m delighted to be asked to serve on the AFI | AACTA board, and hope to help nurture our filmmakers, and to attract local and international audiences as the industry continues to grow. With 40 years’ experience of telling Australian stories in various media, I look forward to this new opportunity to celebrate and promote our culture and history on screen, and I will endeavour to work to ensure the success and recognition of our artists and craftspeople both at home and internationally.”

She joins current board members Geoff Brown, Russel Howcroft, Ian Sutherland, Alaric McAusland, Mike Baard, Jennifer Huby, Robert Sessions, and Chair Alan Finney. 

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