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Govt Picks Ex-Foxtel Chief Kim Williams for ABC Chair

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that Mr Kimberley (Kim) Williams AM be appointed the next Chairperson of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Board, following Ita Buttrose AC OBE when she finishes on 6 March.

Mr Williams has extensive experience across the screen, music, sports and media industries, and has made eminent and substantial contributions to the cultural life of the nation.

He is currently Chair of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, Co-Chair of the State Library of NSW Foundation Board and Director of Stradivarius Pty Ltd.

Mr Williams has held a number of Chief Executive positions across the creative industries, including the Australian Film Commission, Southern Star Entertainment, Fox Studios Australia, Foxtel, and NewsCorp Australia – and he is a recognised producer, innovator and executive leader.

His previous non-executive positions have included Chair of the Copyright Agency, the Sydney Opera House Trust, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Film Finance Corporation, Musica Viva Australia, the Richard Gill School, Deputy Chair of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, and an AFL Commissioner.

In 2006, Mr Williams was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the arts, film, and television industries.

Mr Williams was nominated for appointment by the independent Nomination Panel as part of the merit-based appointment process for the ABC and SBS Boards, and the Leader of the Opposition was consulted on the appointment in accordance with the legislated process.

The Chairperson position is part-time for five years, with remuneration set by the Remuneration Tribunal.

The Government acknowledged outgoing Chairperson Ms Ita Buttrose AC, OBE for her “… strong and steady leadership of the national broadcaster throughout her five-year term.”

According to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese: “The ABC plays an essential role in Australia – it’s a pillar of our democracy, a lifeline in disaster, a voice for the regions and part of our cultural identity.

“It’s vital our national broadcaster has a safe and experienced pair of hands at the helm – and that’s what Kim will provide.

“Kim is eminently qualified to provide ongoing stability and leadership to this deeply valued Australian institution.”

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, added: “Over the course of his impressive career, Mr Williams has held several significant roles at high-profile media and arts organisations, and he is a natural fit for the ABC.

“He’s shown a commitment to independence, to innovation and to best practice governance.

“We are confident Mr Williams will bring strong leadership and focus to the ABC Board, which is why he is being recommended to the Governor-General for this important role.

“The Government thanks Ms Ita Buttrose her for leadership of the ABC Board over the last five years. She was the right Chair for the right time, and we wish her well for the future.”

In a statement, the national broadcaster said, “The ABC welcomes this appointment. Mr Williams is a respected and experienced leader with deep connections across the media, arts, sport, political and business sectors.

“Mr Williams’ appointment signals the continuation of stability and good governance at the ABC Board under the leadership of Ms Buttrose over the past five years.”


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