The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy today announced the appointment of Mr Joseph Skrzynski AO as the new Chair of SBS.
"SBS is a vital and much-loved component of our national media landscape and I am sure that Mr Skrzynski will make an outstanding contribution as its new Chair," Senator Conroy said.
"Mr Skrzynski has made a significant contribution to SBS since taking up his position on the Board in March 2009 and I would like to congratulate him on his new appointment."
"I am sure that Mr Skrzynski will provide strong leadership and continue to help SBS meet the needs of an ever-changing and culturally diverse audience."
Mr Skrzynski migrated to Australia as a refugee with his Polish parents after the Second World War. He has had a distinguished career in his commercial endeavours as a pioneer of venture capital and private equity in Australia and his achievements in this field have been recognised with Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Australian and Asian Venture Capital Associations.
Mr Skrzynski has also made a significant contribution to the community, arts and media sectors and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2008 for service to the cultural environment. He is a former Chairman of the Sydney Opera House Trust and the Broadcasting Council, and was Acting Chairman of the Major Organisations Fund of the Australia Council. His career has included Board positions with bodies such as the Sydney Film School, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and the Australian Film Commission.
Mr Skrzynski was appointed to the SBS Board for five years as a non-executive Director on 27 March 2009, one of the first appointments made under the Rudd Government's merit-based process announced on 16 October 2008.
Mr Skrzynski will take up his position as SBS Chair on 17 December 2009. He is appointed as part-time Chair of the SBS Board for a five year term from 17 December 2009 until 26 March 2014.
Mr Skrzynski will replace Ms Carla Zampatti AC, who retires from the position she has held since 17 December 1999.
"I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to Ms Zampatti for her outstanding contribution to Australian broadcasting during her 10 years as Chair of Australia's national multicultural broadcaster," Senator Conroy said.
"Today, I am calling for expressions of interest to fill the vacancy on the SBS Board left by Mr Skrzynski's new appointment. I am also calling for expressions of interest in a position as a non-executive Director on the ABC Board."
All applications will be assessed on merit by an independent nomination panel. Details are available on the Department's website: www.dbcde.gov.au/abcsbsboards.
Background Mr Joseph Skrzynski Mr Skrzynski has made a significant contribution to the community, arts and media since 1969. He is a former Chairman of the Sydney Opera House Trust and was the Acting Chairman of the Major Organisations Fund of the Australia Council. He has held numerous positions relevant to the broadcasting industry, including Director, Sydney Film School (2004-current), Chairman, Broadcasting Council (1991-1993), Chairman, Australian Film, Television and Radio School (1985-1991) and Chief Executive and Commissioner, Australian Film Commission (1980-1984). Mr Skrzynski has strong expertise in financial matters and extensive experience in managing private and public companies. He is the co-founder and Managing Director of CHAMP Private Equity.
He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2008 for service to the cultural environment, particularly through visionary leadership and management strategies as Chairman of the Sydney Opera House Trust, mentoring Australian film makers, to business and to support for Indigenous scholarships.