Singer Kasey Chambers shot from the chest up looking directly at camera, one side of her body is partially obscured

Annual report 2017-18

Governance and Legislation 2018

Governance and Legislation

The NFSA is accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield.

We guide the delivery of our outputs through our corporate governance framework, which includes our enabling legislation and other legislative instruments, managerial and organisational structure, corporate policies and strategies, and resource management practices.

We are governed by three pieces of legislation:

  • the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Act 2008 (the NFSA Act), which sets out our broad functions and activities (see appendix 2 for our functions and powers)
  • the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act), which sets out the use and management of public resources by the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities, and the accountability of Commonwealth companies
  • the Public Service Act 1999, which sets out the CEO’s powers in relation to staffing.

Our Board

The Board and our Senior Executive work together to develop, implement and monitor key strategies that enable us to meet the government’s objectives, as outlined in the NFSA Act, the Portfolio Budget Statements and our Corporate Plan.

The Board provides policy leadership to the NFSA, oversees our performance and sets our strategic direction. The Board also plays a key role in ensuring good corporate governance by making sure that effective and appropriate systems of control, reporting and accountability are in place.

Board members are appointed by the Minister for the Arts under section 11 of the NFSA Act.

NFSA Board Members

NFSA Board (L-R): Mr Kim Ledger, Mr Wayne Denning, Ms Fiona Scott, Ms Gabrielle Trainor, Ms Jude Donnelly, Mr Peter Rose, Ms Toni Cody and Ms Caroline Elliott. (Absent: Paul Neville).




LLB (University of Melbourne)

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Ms Trainor is a non-executive director and advisor with more than 25 years’ experience on boards ranging from infrastructure, transport and urban renewal to sports, arts and culture and Indigenous education and welfare. Among her current appointments, Ms Trainor is a director of Infrastructure Australia, the ACT City Renewal Authority and the Major Transport Infrastructure Board. She is a commissioner of the Australian Football League and of the Australian Sports Commission. Ms Trainor is chair of Barnardos Australia. She is a member of the boards of ANZ’s OnePath Life Insurance and OnePath General Insurance and WAM Global Ltd.

She is a Churchill Fellow and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2017, Ms Trainor was named an officer in the Order of Australia.



BA (Sociology, Psychology, Political Geography) (Central Queensland University)

Master of Business Administration (Corporate Governance, Strategy, Entrepreneurship) (Queensland University of Technology)

Mr Denning, a proud Birri Gubba man, is the Managing Director of Carbon Creative, an award-winning creative services agency and television production company based in Brisbane, Australia.

Mr Denning is determined to give a positive voice to Indigenous Australians, through innovative and engaging design, content and strategy for children’s television and within the corporate arena.

He has also recently been a member of the Queensland Theatre Board, a Digital Ambassador for the Queensland Government and a member of the Queensland Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group.



BEc (Monash University)

Ms Cody is a marketing and business consultant with more than 20 years of industry expertise. She has advised a range of established and emerging companies as well as not-for-profit organisations, predominantly on strategic business planning, branding, funding initiatives and cultural change.

Ms Cody is currently a Director of the Sydney Theatre Company and a member of its Finance Committee and STC 50 Committee. She was a Director of the Australian Ballet from 1999 until 2010, Chair of the Australian Ballet’s Audit Committee and Chair of its Future Education Fund Committee.



BEc (Hons) (University of Adelaide)

Mr Rose is a Consultant to Foxtel, Foxtel Movies, Presto and other digital platforms. He initiated the introduction of a number of successful and award-winning Australian television drama series to the Australian pay TV industry, including Love My Way, Tangle, Satisfaction and Cloudstreet.

Mr Rose has held a number of high-level industry positions, including Marketing Director of the South Australian Film Corporation, Head of Marketing and Distribution for Hoyts Theatres, Managing Director of Roadshow, Coote and Carroll and Executive Vice President of International Marketing for United International Pictures.



(BBus) (Western Sydney University)

Master of Administration and Management

(Australian Graduate School of Management)

Ms Scott provides strategic marketing and communications advice to the infrastructure, fast-moving consumer goods and agricultural sectors and is a political commentator on Sky News. She holds several government, private sector and charity board positions.

Ms Scott was the Federal Member for Lindsay between 2013 and 2016. Prior to politics, she was a strategic marketing and communications specialist working with ASX-listed companies, including Westfield, GPT, Auto One and Wattyl Paints. She was also the NSW representative on Auto One’s National Members Advisory Council.



BEc (University of Monash)

Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand

Ms Elliott is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive experience in corporate consultancy, including strategic, governance and financial advisory roles. Ms Elliott

is currently also a non-executive director of St John’s Ambulance (Victoria), DorsaVi Limited and Wiltrust Nominees Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Edward Wilson Estate. She held previous non-executive director roles at Cell Therapies, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Public Transport Ombudsman Limited. Ms Elliott was a finalist in the 2000 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.



Mr Kim Ledger is a West Australian businessman and entrepreneur who founded and successfully operated a number of businesses in Perth, Adelaide and, more recently, New York. He has an ongoing relationship with the film industry through his work as Patron of Australians in Film (Heath Ledger Scholarship) in Los Angeles.

Mr Ledger co-founded Scriptwise, a non-profit foundation set up to educate people about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, and he is a Member of the Management Committee of Cyrenian House (WA Council on Addictions). He has been Patron of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, including Pro-State Ride WA, since 20



Ms Donnelly is a senior public affairs and communications specialist with over 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors.

Ms Donnelly is a former Policy and Media Adviser to the Australian Government and was the General Manager Media and Communications for the Richmond Football Club from 2007–10. In 2013 she took up her current position as the Head of Government and Stakeholder Relations for the Australian Football League.

Ms Donnelly also serves on the boards of AFL Sports Ready and the Melbourne Press Club.



Mr Neville has a keen interest in Australian cinema, and experience in the governance of a collecting institution.

Mr Neville was the Federal Member for Hinkler from 1993 to 2013, and was Chair of the Coalition’s Communications Committee and the All Party Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and the Arts. He is on the board of Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association. He was a former area manager for Birch Carroll and Coyle (a subsidiary of Greater Union Theatres) and a freelance journalist and camera operator.

Board meetings

The Board met four times during 2017–18. A senior officer from the Department of Communications and the Arts attends Board meetings as an observer.

Board members are paid remuneration and allowances as determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

The PGPA Act requires members to notify other members of any material personal interest when a real and/or perceived conflict arises. A conflict register is maintained by the NFSA and is reviewed and updated at each Board meeting.

Table 7: Board meeting attendance 2017–18
Member 14 AUGUST 2017 20 NOVEMBER 2017 20 FEBRUARY2018 18 APRIL2018
Gabrielle Trainor (Chair) Attended Attended Attended Attended
Wayne Denning (Deputy Chair) Attended Attended Attended Did Not Attend
Toni Cody Attended Attended Attended Attended
Peter Rose Attended Attended Attended Attended
Paul Neville Attended Attended Was not a Board member at this time Did not attend (leave)
Fiona Scott Attended Attended Attended Attended
Kim Ledger Attended Attended Attended Attended
Caroline Elliot Attended Attended Attended Attended
Judith Donnelly Was not a Board member at this time Attended Attended

Our committees

Our committee structure accommodates changes to our operating environment, and committees are formed where necessary or ceased when no longer required, with the exception of the Audit Committee, which is required by the PGPA Act.

Committees meet as needed and report to the Board on their deliberations and work plans.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee provides independent advice to the Board on the appropriateness of the NFSA’s financial reporting, performance reporting, system of risk oversight and management and system of internal control.

The Audit Committee comprises a majority of independent members, in accordance with PGPA Audit Committee Rule 17.

Title Member Membership period
Chair Carol Lilley Independent Chair from 1 October 2014
Members Lennard Marsden Independent member from 1 December 2015
Wayne Denning Board member - Audit Committee member from 22 September 2015
Lee Walton Independent member from 1 December 2015
Caroline Elliott Board member - Audit Committee member from 20 November 2017

NFSA Funding and Stakeholder Development Committee

The Funding and Stakeholder Development Committee was established in January 2015 as an advisory committee to the NFSA Board. The committee provided advice, direction and support to address increasing self-generated income. The committee was ceased in November 2017 as we refocus on priorities in the NFSA’s new Strategic Vision for a Digital Archive.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee was established in September 2014 as an advisory committee to provide independent assurance and make recommendations to the Board on the preparation and adoption of the annual internal budget.

Indigenous Connections Committee

The Indigenous Connections Committee was established in May 2017 as an advisory committee to the NFSA Board. The committee provides advice, direction and support for partnership development and delivery to ensure that the NFSA is aligned with the cultural directions and aspirations of traditional owners.

Our management structure

Our management structure comprises a Senior Executive Team and a Leadership Team.

Our Senior Executive

The Senior Executive is responsible for high-level corporate strategy, senior staffing arrangements, resourcing decisions, planning priorities and leadership. This is achieved with input from, and the support of, Senior Managers and NFSA committees.


  • Jan Müller

    Chief Executive Officer
  • Meg Labrum

    General Manager, Collections and Access
  • Denise Cardew-Hall

    Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer

Our Leadership Team

The Leadership Team is a forum that enables all Senior Managers to play a proactive role in developing and implementing our strategic and operational direction.

Composition of the Leadership Team is shown below and also in figure 5.


  • Chief Executive Officer
  • General Manager, Collections and Access
  • Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer
  • Senior Managers, Chief Curator, Chief Information Officer, Manager Facilities, Manager Indigenous Connections

Corporate governance

Our performance framework is supplemented by a comprehensive business planning framework that ensures we achieve high standards of governance and accountability. Key corporate documents include:

  • NFSA: Strategic Vision for a Digital Archive
  • Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21
  • Collection Policy
  • NFSA Digitisation Strategy 2018–2025
  • a number of key business strategies and implementation plans.

Business planning and performance reporting are fundamental to our delivery of the outcomes, programs and key performance indicators identified by government, and to the achievement of our strategic objectives.

Business planning

We have an integrated business planning process for the development of the Corporate Plan, annual branch plans and the annual budget, with links to other key business processes. These include priority setting, workforce planning, risk assessment, resource allocation and development of individual work plans and development plans.

Policies and procedures

We have a range of policies and procedures in place covering employment, workplace health and safety, procurement, contract management, information services, emergency, business continuity and disaster recovery. In 2017–18, we developed an agency-wide policy register.

Internal audit

During the year our internal auditor, KPMG, undertook a number of performance and compliance reviews as part of the Internal Audit Plan for 2017–18. Internal audit activity for this financial year focused on reviews of our:

  • Digital and Media Operations network security
  • website platform implementation
  • credit card receipting.

Internal audit activity is monitored by the Audit Committee (see Board Committees, above).

External audit

Under section 43 of the PGPA Act, the Auditor-General is the external auditor of the NFSA. The Auditor-General, through the Australian National Audit Office, has audited the financial statements to ensure that they have been prepared in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards and other requirements prescribed by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015. The financial statements are included in section 5 of this Annual Report.

Risk management

Formalised risk management is a central element of our operations and promotes a culture that supports the identification, mitigation and review of all strategic, operational and financial risks. In 2017–18, we implemented a new Risk Management Policy and Framework and developed an agency-wide risk register.

Risk identification occurs at several levels:

  • strategic risks are identified by the management team through our business planning processes and captured in the risk register
  • corporate or operational-level risks are identified through business planning, project planning and operational processes and captured in the risk register.
  • Monitoring of risk management occurs through:
  • regular monitoring of outcomes by management
  • regular review of identified risks by the Leadership Team
  • audit and review of our activities by audit bodies
  • contract management by specialist NFSA contract managers and line managers.

The Board and Audit Committee receive regular risk analysis and mitigation reports.

Fraud control

We update our Risk Management and Fraud Control Plan annually, and our Audit Committee monitors internal controls and reporting on fraud incidents. In 2017-18, the NFSA had no fraud incident reports

Management of our human resources

Our people

We are committed to creating a diverse workforce. We have a higher representation of female staff (56.35%) than male staff. This is also reflected in our senior management team (at the EL2 level and above) where 82.35% are female. Staff identifying as Indigenous represent 1.02% and people with disabilities 1.52%.

Our employment conditions and policy comply with government policy and meet legal requirements in Australia. Our SES staff are employed under individual employment contracts, while APS1 to EL2 staff are employed under the new NFSA Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 which was agreed to by staff, approved by the Fair Work Commission and came into effect on 21 September 2017.

The Workplace Consultative Committee, which represents our APS1 to EL2 staff, met four times during the year for consultations between management and employee representatives on workplace matters. The committee’s consultations covered a range of workplace issues, including implementation of new human resources policies and development of proposals.

Developing our people

Our people have a deep understanding of the collection and a range of skills and knowledge that they share with other staff members and the public. To further develop our staff, we have adopted the 70:20:10 model of learning, recognising that most learning (around 70%) is through on-the-job experience and mentoring, in-house seminars, all-staff meetings and higher duties. Further learning (about 20%) is gained through networking, attendance at conferences and external forums, and cross-agency projects. The last 10% of learning is achieved through more formal training or education, such as attending courses or undertaking formal studies.

Keeping our people safe and healthy

We are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy work environment. We are also committed to providing return-to-work opportunities for staff who are ill or injured, consistent with our legislative obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

We continue to promote health and safety within the workplace by providing influenza vaccinations, workstation assessments and ergonomic equipment. Most of our staff now have sit-to-stand workstations and have been trained on the correct use of the equipment. We continue to provide reimbursements for visual aids and quit smoking support.

We provide our Employee Assistance Program for staff and their families needing counselling or support services. Our workplace is supported by appointed and qualified First Aid Officers, Workplace Contact Officers and Emergency Wardens.

Our workplace safety is monitored by our Health and Safety Representatives and our Human Resources Work Health and Safety Manager. We hold quarterly Work Health and Safety Committee meetings. There are systems in place for staff to quickly and easily report any hazards or incidents and accidents, and we act on these in a timely manner.

We supply our staff with personal protective equipment as required,including safety boots, heavy duty gloves and clothing. We also provide ongoing education about safe work practices, including regular manual handling training and management refresher training.

During the year all staff participated in Work Health Safety Awareness training and senior management and the Senior Executive undertook Due Diligence training. All NFSA properties underwent a full hazard inspection.

We delivered mental health training in 2018 for staff in Canberra with staff from Sydney and Melbourne participating.

The NFSA had one notifiable incident this year involving a chemical spill from a Debrie machine. There were no injuries. Following this the machine was closed down and has now been de-commissioned.

Legislative compliance reports

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Act 2008

Section 41 of the NFSA Act requires us to report the particulars of all disposals of significant collection items. We did not dispose of any items that we considered to be significant during the year.

Ministerial directions and government policy orders

Section 42 of the NFSA Act provides that the Minister may, by legislative instrument:

  • give written directions to the Board in relation to the performance of the functions and exercise of its powers, or
  • require the provision of a report or advice on a matter that relates to any of the NFSA’s functions or powers.

In March 2018, the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Regulations 2018 were amended to specify that restrictions on financial transactions apply to amounts greater than $2 million.

Freedom of Information and Information Publication Scheme

The NFSA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), and since 1 May 2011 we have been required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) in Part 2 of the FOI Act. We comply with the IPS by publishing information on our website, including a plan of the information we publish. Documents that are released are listed in the FOI Disclosure Log on our website.

Further information about accessing information we hold, including links to our website, can be found in appendix 5.

Public policy engagement

We participated in the following public consultations in 2017–18:

  • Inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions submission and appearance at public hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories
  • Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Rule Independent Review—Consultation Draft submission
  • Digital economy strategy submission.

The written submissions (including joint submissions) that are intended for publication are available for viewing on the Information Publication Scheme page of our website at and/or on the websites of the relevant review bodies.

Judicial decisions and reviews by outside bodies

We can confirm that there were:

  • no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals that have had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of the NFSA in 2017–18
  • no reports about the NFSA made by the Auditor-General, a committee of either or both Houses of the Parliament, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Significant non-compliance

In 2017–18 the NFSA did not identify any significant non-compliance issues in relation to the finance law.

Indemnity applying to the NFSA Board, members or officers

The NFSA has appropriate Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance cover through the Commonwealth’s general insurer, Comcover.

Related entity transactions

We can confirm that in 2017–18 there were no related entity transactions, as defined under PGPA Rule 2014, 17BE.

Advertising and market research

In accordance with reporting requirements contained in section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, we annually report our total expenditure on advertising and market research.

There were three suppliers whose advertising and market research services cost over $10,000, as shown in table 9.

Table 9: Advertising and marketing research services over $10,000
Supplier Type of services provided 2017–18$ incl. GST
Meltwater Australia Pty Ltd Media Monitoring $37,400
Seed Print Group Printing of advertising materials $17,496
The Press Society Pty Ltd Publicist $101,314

Protecting the environment

We strive to reduce our environmental impact while complying with environment-related legislation, including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Our continual commitment to environmental sustainability can be demonstrated through the following initiatives.

Collection storage conditions

All of our environmental storage conditions are managed in line with international curatorial standards and, where possible, electronically monitored to ensure the maintenance of a stable, cost-effective climate.


We maintain sub-metering on all electrical distribution boards to help identify anomalies and high-usage areas. Our procurement policy continues to ensure that, by preference, we purchase items with low emissions and power consumption.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

The scheduling of our boilers, chillers and air handlers is constantly monitored and readjusted seasonally to provide savings where possible.


Our ongoing boiler maintenance and good building management continue to maintain reduced gas consumption levels.

Waste and recycling

We employ a segregated waste management policy to correctly handle paper, cardboard, mixed recyclables, toners, chemicals, metals and waste to landfill.


We are using energy-efficient LED lighting whenever light fittings are being replaced. We monitor our Canberra Headquarters’ centralised lighting computer system to provide savings where possible.


We continue to closely monitor water usage at all sites, laboratories and for landscaping use, to introduce efficiencies where possible.


We insist on using environmentally friendly cleaning products where we can and advocate reductions in chemical use and developing alternative methods.