Annual Report 2016 - 17 cover image

Annual report 2016-17

Governance and Legislation

Governance and Legislation

The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) is accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Minister for 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 Chief Executive Officer’s powers in relation to staffing.

Our Board

Our Board and 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 NFSA 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 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




LLB (University of Melbourne)

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Hon Associate of the 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 and hospitality to sports, arts and culture, and Indigenous advancement and welfare. She co-chaired an Australian 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.



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 Creative, 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.



BEc (Monash University)  

Ms Cody is a marketing and business consultant with more than 20 years of industry expertise. 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 (STC) 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.



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 cameraman.



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, Ms Scott 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 (Monash University)

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

Ms Elliot is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive experience in corporate consultancy, including strategic, governance and financial advisory roles. She has sat on the boards of the Public Transport Ombudsman, Cell Therapies Pty Ltd, and the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre. She is currently serving on the St John’s Ambulance Victoria Board.



Mr Ledger is a Western Australian businessman and entrepreneur who founded – and successfully operated – a number of businesses in Perth, Adelaide and, more recently, New York. Kim 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). Kim has been Patron of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (Pro-State Ride WA) since 2010.

Board meetings

The Board met six times during 2016–17. 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.

Board committees

Our 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.

Table 7: Board meeting attendance 2016–17
Member 12 AUG 2016 22 SEP 2016 14 NOV 2016 1 MAR 2017 10 APR 2017 19 JUN 2017
Gabrielle Trainor (Chair) Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended
Wayne Denning Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended
Toni Cody Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended
Peter Rose Attended Attended Attended Did not attend Attended Attended
Paul Neville Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended
Fiona Scott Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Attended Attended Attended
Kim Legder Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Attended for 1 agenda item only Attended
Caroline Elliot Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Was not a Board member at this time Attended for 1 agenda item only Attended



Table 8: Audit Committee composition 2016–17
Title Member Membership period
Chair Carol Lilley Independent Chair from 1 October 2014
Members Wayne Denning Board member
Audit Committee member from 22 September 2015
Lennard Marsden Independent member from 1 December 2015
Lee Walton Independent member from 1 December 2015






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.

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

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 provides advice, direction and support to address a key strategic priority for the NFSA’s long-term sustainability: increasing self-generated income.

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 the input from, and support of, senior managers and NFSA committees.


Chief Executive Officer:

Meg Labrum, Acting Chief Executive Officer (6 January 2017 to 30 June 2017)

Michael Loebenstein (to 6 January 2017)

Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer:

Denise Cardew-Hall

General Manager, Collection:

Jacqui Uhlmann, Acting General Manager, Collection
(6 January 2017 to 30 June 2017)

Meg Labrum (to 5 January 2017)

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 4.


Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer
General Manager
Senior Managers/Senior Curators/
Chief Information Officer

NFSA Organisation Chart

Figure 4: 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 2016–20
  • the Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
  • 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

During the year a number of performance and compliance reviews were undertaken by our internal auditor, KPMG, and our former internal auditor, Synergy Group Australia Ltd, as part of the Internal Audit Plan for 2016–17. Internal audit activity for this financial year focused on reviews of:

  • stocktake processes (Synergy)
  • Strategic Plan 2016–20 implementation (Synergy)
  • Mediaflex systems controls (Synergy)
  • workers compensation and rehabilitation management (Synergy)
  • protective security (KPMG).

Internal audit activity is monitored by our Audit Committee.

External audit

Under section 43 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (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 section 4 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. 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 our human resources

Our people

At 30 June 2017 we had 164 full-time equivalent staff. We continue to employ a diverse workforce, with a higher representation of female staff (58%) than male. This is also reflected in our senior management team (at the EL2 level and above) where 79% are female. Staff identifying as Indigenous represent 1% and people with disabilities 2%.

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

The Workplace Consultative Committee, which represents our APS1 to EL2 staff, met three times during the year for consultations between management and employee representatives on a range of workplace matters.

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.

Our e-learning management system continues to provide all staff with the opportunity to complete essential APS training courses in the workplace and further interest-based training at home.

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 of 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 offices are in the process of being refurbished 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 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, and 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, 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 2016 we delivered mental health and resilience training for staff located in our Canberra and Sydney offices. Our Human Resources Manager was accredited in the mental health first aid course in May 2016.

In March 2017 the NFSA had one notifiable incident involving a small mould contamination, resulting in one compensation claim being accepted. Procedures were updated, training was provided to all staff, and mould testing will be maintained in future years to ensure this type of incident does not occur again.

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.

No ministerial directions were received during the year, and no government policy orders applied during the 2016–17 financial year.

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.

In 2016–17 we received one request for documents under the FOI Act. 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: Access to information.

Public policy engagement

We did not participate in any public consultations during 2016–17.

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 2016–17
  • were no reports about the NFSA made by a committee of either or both Houses of the Parliament, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

There was one report about the NFSA made by the Auditor-General ANAO Report No.52 2016–17 Performance Audit, Managing Underperformance in the Australian Public Service Across Entities (we were one of eight agencies audited).

Significant non-compliance

In 2016–17 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

In 2016–17 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 2016–17 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 2016 - 17 $ incl. GST
iSentia Pty Ltd Media Monitoring $18,054
The Press Society Publicist $15,488
Whirlwind Print Printing of advertising materials $12,948












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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 computer system is monitored to provide savings.
  • We continue to closely monitor water usage at all sites, laboratories and for landscaping use.
  • We insist on using environmentally friendly cleaning products where we can and advocate reductions in chemical use and developing alternative methods.