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Graeme Mason announces departure from Screen Australia at end of second term

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason will depart the agency at the end of his second term in November 2023. Mason announced the news to staff this morning and recruitment for the CEO position will commence shortly.

Graeme Mason

Mason joined Screen Australia as CEO in November 2013 with over 20 years of local and international screen industry experience across all aspects of production, distribution, sales and acquisitions.

During his decade long tenure he has led the agency through some of the sector’s most significant changes from the rise of free-to-air multichannels, to the launch of Broadcast Video On Demand and streaming services. He has overseen a huge growth period in the screen industry with last year’s Drama Report revealing an all-time high $2.29 billion expenditure in Australia on scripted screen production. Mason steered the agency and industry through a multitude of challenges and opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his time as CEO Mason has been an advocate for online content creators and for all creatives to make the most of new platforms and reach new audiences and under his leadership the agency has launched multiple initiatives with platforms including YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram. Last year the agency announced the Games: Expansion Pack funding program to support Australian independent game studios to increase the quality of their digital games and help them transition into businesses of scale.

Mason oversaw the release of the milestone study Seeing Ourselves which provided baseline data on diversity in Australian television and led to the development of several initiatives and programs to create pathways for creatives to tell more diverse screen stories. Screen Australia will release its follow up Seeing Ourselves report later this year.

A champion of First Nations stories and the agency’s First Nations Department, Mason has seen creators take charge of their own stories and achieve acclaim and success, here and around the world.

Under Mason’s leadership Screen Australia commissioned Screen Currency, the most significant report ever undertaken into the value of Australia’s screen industry, and launched Gender Matters, Screen Australia’s efforts to address the underutilisation of women and under-represented genders in key creative roles in the Australian screen industry. The Gender Matters $5 million plan, Taskforce and KPI that were announced in 2015 put gender equality in the screen industry firmly on the agenda and has resulted in real change.

Mason has also been a passionate supporter of initiatives and programs that empower content creators to make the most of their own opportunities, and ensure they’re thinking creatively, globally, and commercially. Mason has developed important relationships and partnerships that have helped Australian creatives leverage opportunities internationally and find pathways for Australian stories to resonate on a world stage.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “It has been a great privilege to have been in this role providing support, encouragement and assistance to so many amazing Australian content creators. The screen sector is one of Australia’s best success stories. It is unparalleled in its cultural influence here and reflecting Australia globally. It is a phenomenal business and economic driver, and it is fuelled by an extraordinarily large group of dedicated hard working talented people. I am delighted that I got to come home to Australia to take on this role. I look forward to the year ahead celebrating the wealth of local screen content and assisting Screen Australia and the screen sector going forward.”

About Graeme Mason

Over his more than 25-year career Mason has worked internationally across film, television and multimedia businesses for large US studios, a UK television network, independent productions and government agencies. He worked in both factual and entertainment TV programming in Australia, before moving to the UK, where his work encompassed all aspects of film production, sales and acquisitions, and distribution, for companies such as Polygram Filmed Entertainment. From 1998 to 2002 he was President of Worldwide Acquisitions for Universal Studios. He then joined Channel 4 Television UK as Head of Media Projects and later became Managing Director of Rights, before moving to New Zealand to lead the New Zealand Film Commission from 2009 to 2013.