Thea McLeod and Anousha Zarkesh.

The Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) has appointed Thea McLeod as its new president, succeeding David Newman, while Anousha Zarkesh has been named vice president.

In accepting her new role, McLeod said it was an honour, and paid tribute to Newman’s work over the past two years.

“Dave’s passion, dedication and energy have been invaluable to the casting community, fostering positivity through challenging times. I am especially elated to be teaming with Anousha Zarkesh as the vice president, who is renowned for her expertise in championing cultural diversity in casting,” she said.

“The CGA continues to focus on inclusivity in the media production industry as one of its key objectives. Furthermore, the CGA is passionate about creating further opportunities for actors and young casting directors in the immediate future. An exciting year lies ahead for the Casting Guild of Australia and its members.”

McLeod noted she was delighted to see that the majority of casting directors in Australia were now members of the guild, and that the CGA hopes to shed light on the casting process while supporting members and allies.

“Casting is such an important element in all media formats- television, film, theatre, commercials; as well as emerging media formats such as web series. Casting directors pour their hearts and souls into their work, ensuring that the right performers are enlisted with the task of bringing a story to life.

“As such, it’s fantastic to see casting directors gaining recognition in the entertainment industry. Australia is making some great strides, with ceremonies such as the AACTA’s having introduced an award dedicated to our brilliant craft. Exciting times lie ahead for the casting industry in Australia and internationally as we continue to collaborate and improve the industry”.

Zarkesh said: “Greatly honoured to be joining as VP for the CGA and collaborating with Thea as president.  It’s an exciting period forging ahead after such a tumultuous time and with such great leadership over the past nine years, I look forward to representing all casting directors across the country in our future endeavours.”

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