Film in storage

Annual Report 2015-16

Governance and Legislation

Governance and Legislation

The NFSA is accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield (from 21 September 2015). Senator the Hon George Brandis was Minister for the Arts until 21 September 2015.

We guide the delivery of our outputs through our corporate governance framework. This includes our enabling legislation and other legislative instruments, our managerial and organisational structure, our corporate policies and strategies, and our 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 entitles, and the accountability of Commonwealth companies
  • the Public Service Act 1999 which sets out the CEO’s powers in relation to staffing.



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 (PBS) and our Corporate Plan.

The NFSA Board provides policy leadership to the NFSA, oversees our performance, and sets our strategic direction.
It also plays a key role in ensuring good corporate governance by making sure 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.




LLB (University of Melbourne)

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Hon Associate, Graduate School of Government (University of Sydney)

Ms Trainor is a non-executive director and advisor whose experience covers over 20 years on boards in the public and private sectors ranging from infrastructure, urban development, public transport, tourism, hospitality, sports, arts and culture and Indigenous advancement and welfare. She co-chaired a Federal Government review of the Australia Council for the Arts in 2012 and is a former member of the board of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She is the chair of the Barangaroo Arts and Culture Panel.

Ms Trainor is a member of the board of Infrastructure Australia, a former member of the advisory board of Leighton Contractors, and she has been a member of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority since 2009. Her background is as a lawyer, newspaper journalist, public sector executive, and consultant in issues management, public policy and corporate affairs.




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

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

Mr Denning is the Managing Director/Executive Producer
of Carbon Media, an award-winning creative services agency and television production company based in Brisbane, Australia. Mr Denning also served as a Non-Executive member of the NFSA Board for a period of three years from December 2011 to December 2014.





Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Ms Cody is a marketing and business consultant with more than 20 years of industry expertise. She has a respected reputation in the corporate sector for working with some of Australia’s leading brands within the arts, manufacturing, retail and property sectors, helping to guide many businesses through key periods of change and growth.

As a consultant, Toni 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. She is a past Director and Vice Chair of the Kambala Girls’ School Foundation, and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.




BEc (Hons)

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. He established the Showcase channel in 2006 as the Australian HBO which was eventually acquired by Foxtel.

He has held a number of high-level industry positions, including as 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.




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) as well as a freelance journalist and cameraman.

Table 3 Board meeting attendance 2015–16
Table 3 Board meeting attendance 2015–16

Table 3 Board meeting attendance 2015–16

Board meetings

The Board met six times during 2015–16. A senior officer from the Ministry for the Arts attended Board meetings as
an observer.

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

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 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.

Our committees

The committee structure accommodates changes to our operating environment, and committees are formed where necessary or folded when no longer required. The exception is 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 and assurance 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.

Table 4: Audit Committee composition 2015–16

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
Jeff Lamond Independent member from September 2008 to September 2015


The majority of Audit Committee members are independent members, in accordance with the PGPA Audit Committee Rule (Rule 17). The committee met five times in 2015–16.


Table 5: Audit Committee attendance 2015–16
Table 5 Audit Committee attendance 2015–16

Table 5 Audit Committee attendance 2015–16

NFSA Funding and Stakeholder Development Subcommittee

The Funding and Stakeholder Development Subcommittee was established in January 2015 as an advisory subcommittee to the NFSA Board. The subcommittee provides advice, direction and support to address a key strategic priority for the NFSA’s long-term sustainability: increasing self-generated income. The subcommittee met five times in 2015–16.


Table 6: Funding and Stakeholder Development Subcommittee attendance 2015–16
Table 6 Funding and Stakeholder Development Subcommittee attendance 2015–16

Table 6 Funding and Stakeholder Development Subcommittee attendance 2015–16

Finance Subcommittee

The Finance Subcommittee 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. The subcommittee met once in 2015–16 to review the internal budget.


Table 7: Finance Subcommittee attendance 2015–16
Table 7 Finance Subcommittee attendance 2015–16

Table 7 Finance Subcommittee attendance 2015–16

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.


Michael Loebenstein
Chief Executive Officer/General Manager, Strategy and Engagement

Meg Labrum
General Manager, Collection

Denise Cardew-Hall
General Manager, Corporate and Business Affairs/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 is as shown in figure 7 and below.


  • Chief Executive Officer
  • General Managers
  • Senior Managers/Senior Curators.
NFSA Leadership Team
NFSA Leadership Team

NFSA Leadership Team

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:

  • the Strategic Plan 2015–18
  • the Corporate Plan 2015–16 to 2018–19
  • our Collection Policy
  • 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.

Internal audit

A number of performance and compliance reviews were undertaken during the year by our internal auditor, Synergy Group Australia Ltd, as part of the Internal Audit Plan for 2015–16. Internal audit activity for this financial year focused on reviews of our:

  • sales and distribution functions
  • implementation of our Strategic Plan 2015–18
  • Mediaflex systems controls (digital asset management controls)
  • stocktake procedures.
  • Internal audit activity is monitored by the Audit Committee.

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 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 this Annual Report on page 83.

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. Risk identification occurs at several levels:

  • Strategic risks are identified by the management team through our business planning processes.
  • Corporate or operational-level risks are identified through business planning, project planning and operational processes.

Monitoring of risk management occurs through:

  • regular monitoring of outcomes by management
  • audit and review of our activities by audit bodies
  • contract management by specialist NFSA contract managers and line managers.

The Board receives regular risk analysis and mitigation reports.

Fraud control

Our Risk Management and Fraud Control Plan is updated annually, and our Audit Committee monitors internal controls and reporting on fraud incidents.

Management of human resources

In 2015–16 we focused our resources on delivering the priorities in our Strategic Plan. In order to address the impact of the reduction in Government Appropriations that were announced in MYEFO 2015, we underwent an internal organisational review in February 2016 to reduce our staffing numbers. The review resulted in changes to our organisational structures and the delivery of some program activities. It also resulted in a continual focus on business process improvement.

Figure 8 Total number of staff, 2010–11 to 2015–16 (includes ongoing, non-ongoing and casual staff)
Figure 8 Total number of staff, 2010–11 to 2015–16 (includes ongoing, non-ongoing and casual staff)

Figure 8 Total number of staff, 2010–11 to 2015–16 (includes ongoing, non-ongoing and casual staff)

Our people

At 30 June 2016 we had 183 employees (170 full-time equivalent staff) compared with 206 staff (173 full-time equivalent staff) in 2014–15.

The average length of service in the Australian Public Service (APS) for our ongoing staff is 10.29 years, with 24.7% having between 10 and 20 years of service, and 16.5% having been with the NFSA for more than 20 years.

We continue to employ a diverse workforce, with a higher representation of female staff (58%) than male staff. This is also reflected in our senior management team (at the EL2 level and above) of which 64% are females. The percentage of staff identifying as Indigenous is 2.2%.

Our employment conditions and policy comply with government policy and meet legal requirements in Australia. Our Senior Executive Service (SES) staff are employed under individual employment contracts, while APS1 to EL2 staff are employed under the NFSA Enterprise Agreement 2012–2104. This agreement has a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2014 but remains in place until a new one is agreed by staff and approved by the Fair Work Commission.

The Workplace Consultative Committee, which represents our APS1 to EL2 staff, met six 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 to meet budget reductions.

Figure 9 Gender and age of NFSA staff 2015–16 (includes ongoing, non-ongoing and casual staff)
Figure 9 Gender and age of NFSA staff 2015–16 (includes ongoing, non-ongoing and casual staff)

Figure 9 Gender and age of NFSA staff 2015–16 (includes ongoing, non-ongoing and casual staff)

Table 8 NFSA staff – gender and classification level 2015–16 (includes ongoing and non-ongoing staff)
Table 8 NFSA staff – gender and classification level 2015–16 (includes ongoing and non-ongoing staff)

Table 8 NFSA staff – gender and classification level 2015–16 (includes ongoing and non-ongoing staff)

Developing our people

Building a productive workforce with the highly specialist skill sets required to maintain the national audiovisual collection is one of our main priorities. Attracting, engaging, developing and retaining our people with the skills and capability to foster a culture of genuine collaboration, innovation and excellence will continue to be a key focus.

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.

More than a third (32%) of our staff had the opportunity to act in higher level roles this year, and staff also attended a range of external courses covering technical skills. We implemented our first e-learning management system which gave all staff the opportunity to complete essential APS training courses in the workplace and further interest-based training at home.

In addition, we continued to strongly support our staff attending national and international conferences, as well as undertaking external studies (with financial and other support provided under our Studies Assistance Scheme). We supported four staff members to participate in the Graduate Certificate in Audiovisual Archiving through Charles Sturt University, as part of a focused initiative to help build internal archiving capability.

This year we focused on developing our leadership capability, with our Senior Leadership Team completing a three-month development program. Further development was offered through executive coaching, tailored to individuals’ needs.

Figure 10 Percentage of NFSA staff across our offices 2015–16
Figure 10 Percentage of NFSA staff across our offices 2015–16

Figure 10 Percentage of NFSA staff across our offices 2015–16

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 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. Our Melbourne office was refurbished this year with sit-to-stand workstations for all staff, including training on the correct use of the equipment. We have also continued with reimbursements for visual aids, and quit smoking support.

We also maintain our Employee Assistance Program for any staff and their families needing counselling or support services. Our workplace is supported by appointed and qualified First Aid Officers, Harassment 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. Our Work Health and Safety Committee meets every quarter.

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, such as 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.

In October 2015 we delivered resilience and mental health training for staff located in our Canberra and Sydney offices, and our human resources managers were accredited in the mental health first aid course. During 2016 we revised and implemented a suite of Work Health and Safety and Rehabilitation Policies and Guidelines, which were then made available on our intranet. We did not have any notifiable incidents in 2015–16.


Legislative compliance reports 

National Flm 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.

No ministerial directions were received during the year.

No Government Policy Orders applied during the 2015–16 financial year.

Freedom of information and information
publication scheme

We are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), including Part 2 which requires us to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). We comply with the IPS by publishing information on our website, including a plan of the information we publish.

In 2015–16 we received two requests for documents under the FOI Act: one document was released with redactions. Documents that have been 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 under appendix 5: Access to information.

Public Policy Engagement

We participated in the following public consultations in 2015–16:

  • consultation by the Department of Communications and the Arts on the Guiding Questions and Exposure Draft: Copyright Amendment (Disability and Other Measures) Bill 2016
  • the Productivity Commission’s Intellectual Property Arrangements inquiry
  • the Attorney-General’s Department – Secretary’s Review of Commonwealth Legal Services.

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 had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of the NFSA in 2015–16, and
  • 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 2015–16 the NFSA did not identify any significant non-compliance issues in relation to the finance law. The NFSA requires cost centre managers to internally report all compliance breaches – minor as well as significant.

Indemnity applying to the NFSA Board, members or officers

In 2015–16 there was no indemnity that applied to the accountable authority, any member of the accountable authority or officer of the entity against a liability (including premiums paid, or agreed to be paid, for insurance against the authority, member or officer’s liability for legal costs).

Related entity transactions

We can confirm that in 2015–16 there were no related entity transactions, as defined under the 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. The total payment to advertising and market research organisations in 2015–16 was $96,865 (GST-inclusive), comprising payments to advertising agencies for recruitment advertising.

There were 2 suppliers whose advertising and market research services cost over $10,000, as shown in table 9.

Table 9: Advertising and market research expenditure over $10,000

Supplier Type of services provided 2015–16
$ incl. GST
iSentia Pty Ltd Media Monitoring $18,002
Whirlwind Print Printing of advertising materials $23,713

Protecting the environment

The NFSA has various storage vaults, laboratories and office space that combine to make us a moderate-sized energy user. We recognise that our business activities have an impact on the environment and we are committed to reducing this impact across all of our sites. We achieve this through a range of sustainable and ever-improving business practices.

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.


  • Of the electricity purchased across all NFSA sites,
  • 10% is green power.
  • We maintain sub-metering on all electrical distribution boards to help identify anomalies and high-usage areas.
  • Our procurement policy continues to ensure we purchase low emission and power consumption items by preference.

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.
  • Our Headquarters’ centralised lighting and computer system is monitored 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 use environmentally friendly cleaning products where we can and advocate reductions in chemical use and developing alternative methods.