Rachel Perkins named AFTRS chair

AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood and newly appointed chair Rachel Perkins.

The Federal Government has appointed Blackfella Films founder Rachel Perkins as AFTRS chair for a three-year term.

It comes six months after Perkins announced her departure from the Indigenous-led independent production venture, which she set up in 1992 with then-business partner Michael Riley before forging a creative partnership with Darren Dale, whom she met in 2001.

Blackfella Films started with an international co-venture of documentaries from Sami, Māori, First Nations Canadians and Australians, and Warwick Thornton’s short film Payback, before going on to produce the likes of Mabo, Redfern Now, Total Control, Filthy Rich and Homeless, Addicted Australia and First Australians.

Most recently, Perkins produced, directed, and presented documentary series The Australian Wars.

She takes over from Debra Richards, who has held the position since Russell Howcroft departed last year after two terms.

Arts Minister Tony Burke Perkins’ was made for this role.

“Rachel is one of Australia’s leading storytellers, particularly when it comes to First Nations stories.

“As a graduate herself, Rachel knows the importance of AFTRS and the difference it makes.

“I know Rachel will be outstanding in this role – bringing her expertise, experience and enthusiasm to AFTRS.

“My thanks to previous Chair Russell Howcroft for his years of leadership, as well as Debra Richards for her time serving as chair.”