2019 Brian Johns Lecture
2019 Brian Johns Lecture
The Centre for Media History at Macquarie University and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund hosted the 2019 Brian Johns Lecture on Tuesday 11 June 2019 at the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. Katrina Sedgwick, Director and CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, ACMI in Melbourne, delivered this year's lecture.
Brian Johns AO (1936-2016) had a lifelong commitment to Australian literature, broadcasting, digital media and the visual arts. “Amongst his many roles, he served as publishing director of Penguin Australia, managing director of the ABC, CEO of SBS, and director of the Copyright Agency,” CMH Director Virginia Madsen says. “The CMH and the Copyright Agency are proud to recognise his achievements with this important annual lecture.” Established in 2015 to honour Brian Johns, the lecture is now in its fifth year. The inaugural lecture was delivered by then ABC Managing Director Mark Scott.
L-R: Virginia Madsen, Katrina Sedgwick, Adam Suckling, Catharine Lumby
Sedgwick’s speech – Breaking Down the Silos – Creativity in the Digital Age – discussed how the proliferation of digital media technologies has fundamentally changed the rules about media and content. As digital technologies permeate our lives and these powerful creative tools become increasingly accessible – in our studios, our offices, our homes, our schools, in our pockets – we can access and create content in ways that were previously unimaginable. The impact is not just for media consumers and media companies, but for creative producers and practitioners across all media and artforms – as much for writers, sculptors, musicians as for video artists and journalists. Access to digital tools for creation and distribution are enabling galleries, museums and libraries to make and distribute original media content as do banks, insurance companies and tourism operators. It brings enormous challenges to our traditional ways of working, but as the digital era has changed the distribution and consumption of media and culture, it is empowering audiences and their expectations. It is enabling institutions and practitioners to break out of their silos, harnessing these tools for collaboration and transformation. How can the creative and media industries leverage these opportunities to achieve their goals? How can we embed these benefits more deeply within government policy as our society, industries and economy transforms? What does this mean for cultural and media institutions and how can we ride this wave to apply our subsidy to make a difference to our industry and audiences?
Katrina Sedgwick is the Director and CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, ACMI in Melbourne. She has an extensive background as a commissioner, creative producer, festival director and performer. Her previous roles include Head of Arts for ABC TV, founding Director/CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival and its Investment Fund, Artistic Director for Adelaide Fringe 2002 and Come Out ’99 (Australian Festival for Young People) and Special Events Producer for Robyn Archer’s 1998 and 2000 Adelaide Festival of Arts. While Sedgwick started as a nine-year-old performer in the Australian film classic The Last Wave directed by Peter Weir, she is about to oversee a $40 million redevelopment of ACMI. To close in mid 2019, ACMI will re-open in mid 2020 with a brand new museum. A new permanent exhibition will interpret the moving image from its origins in shadow and light play to today's leading-edge technologies such as virtual reality.