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Classification Review Board Annual Report 2014–15

Classification Review Board Annual Report 2014–15

Convenor’s letter of transmittal

Australian Government – Classification Review Board 

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield MP,
Minister for Communications, Minister for the Arts,
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Government
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with subsection 85(1) of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, I am pleased to submit a report on the management of the administrative affairs of the Classification Review Board for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

Yours sincerely

Signature of Fiona Jolly 

Fiona Jolly
Acting Convenor

14 October 2015

Locked Bag 3, HAYMARKET NSW 1240
Telephone 02 9289 7100 Facsimile 02 9289 7101 www.classification.gov.au

Introduction

The Classification Review Board is an independent statutory body that reviews, on application, decisions of the Classification Board. The Review Board makes its decisions in accordance with the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the Classification Act), the National Classification Code and the classification guidelines.

This report includes an overview of the work of the Review Board in 2014–15.

The Review Board received secretariat support from the Classification Branch.

Convenor’s overview

Acting Convenor – Fiona Jolly 

This is my first report as Acting Convenor of the Classification Review Board. I would like to acknowledge the work of Ms Victoria Rubensohn AM, who held the position of Convenor from 6 February 2009 to 5 February 2015 and also Ms Jane Smith who held a position on the Review Board from 7 December 2011 until 6 December 2014. I join the rest of the Review Board in wishing Victoria and Jane well in their future endeavours.

It was a quiet year for the Review Board with only one application for review. Certain members of the Review Board convened for one day to make this decision.

The classification of Boychoir was reviewed during the reporting period. The distributor of the film applied for the review. On 4 March 2015, the Classification Review Board overturned the M classification decision of the Classification Board and classified the film PG with consumer advice of “Mild bullying violence and themes”.

Although there was only one application to consider during the reporting period, I would like to thank the Review Board members for their professionalism and dedication during 2014–15 and I look forward to continuing our work together.

I would also like to offer my thanks to the Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP, for his continued support during 2014–15.

Finally, I would like to thank members of the Classification Branch who have provided comprehensive secretariat support and valuable advice to the Review Board and its members over the past year.

Fiona Jolly
Acting Convenor

Classification Review Board profiles

Convenor – Victoria Robehsohn AM 

VICTORIA RUBENSOHN AM

Convenor

APPOINTED: 6 February 2009
REAPPOINTED: 6 February 2012
APPOINTMENT EXPIRED: 5 February 2015

Ms Victoria Rubensohn AM holds a Master of Arts degree, a Master of Human Rights degree, a Bachelor of Laws degree, and has been a Member of the Order of Australia since 2004. She has worked in radio and television in Australia and the USA - and more generally in communications, especially in communications regulatory policy, for most of her professional life.

Ms Rubensohn has been a Member of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, a Member of the Immigration Review Tribunal and Chairman of the National Film and Sound Archive. She has chaired Australian Government committees in the communications and intellectual property areas. Ms Rubensohn also chaired the Telephone Information Services Standards Council for 15 years and was a Consumer Member of the Mobile Premium Services Code Review Committee in 2011–12.

She is Consumer Director of Communications Compliance Ltd, a member of the Standing Advisory Committee on Consumer Affairs of the Australian Communications Consumer Network and is an Independent Reviewer for the Advertising Standards Bureau. Ms Rubensohn runs an international communications consultancy, specialising in regulatory policy, is a Director of the Communications Law Centre and is the founding Director and Secretary of Media Access Australia.

Deputy Convenor – Fiona Jolly 

FIONA JOLLY

Deputy Convenor

APPOINTED: 7 December 2011
APPOINTMENT EXPIRED: 6 June 2015
REAPPOINTED: 1 July 2015
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 30 June 2016

Ms Fiona Jolly, 47, resides in Wamboin NSW and works in the ACT. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Advertising Standards Bureau and previously held numerous positions with a number of Australian Government agencies. Ms Jolly has also held positions on numerous Boards including as Director of Australian Business Volunteers (current), the Ministerial Advisory Council for Women (ACT), Majura Primary School Board and as National President of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Australia.

Ms Jolly holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (ANU) and a Master of Laws (Melb) specialising in communications and international trade law. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms Jolly is the parent of four children aged seven to fifteen years and has been actively involved in her local community through her children’s school and sporting commitments as well her volunteer work with the YWCA over a period of 15 years.

Classification Review Board Member – Jane Smith 

JANE SMITH

APPOINTED: 7 December 2011
APPOINTMENT EXPIRED: 6 December 2014

Ms Jane Smith, 55, lives in Ballarat, Victoria. She is currently the inaugural Director of the new Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka, a technology rich interactive museum. Her previous role was as Director of theshinyshinyworld Pty Ltd, an organisation providing strategic advice on a range of communications issues and creating artwork and projects that express concern for the environment and human interaction. Ms Smith’s previous positions include senior roles with the ABC from 1990 to 1997, Chief Executive Officer with the NSW Film and Television Office from 1997 to 2006 and Vice President of Seed Productions, a film production company in 2007. Ms Smith was the inaugural Head of the Centre for Screenwriting at the Australian Film Television and Radio School 2009–10.

Ms Smith is currently Chair of the Committee for Revision of Mobile Premium Services (MPS) Codes and a member of the Digital Media Thought Leadership Group for the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation. She has also represented on a number of other Boards including Ausfilm, Screen Finance Group, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, and the Broadcasting Council. Ms Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts (Flinders) majoring in psychology and history and a Post Graduate Diploma in Criminology (Melb). She is actively involved in the community through her extensive career in both the public and private sectors as well as her involvement in the arts and film community.

Classification Review Board Member – Peter Attard 

PETER ATTARD

APPOINTED: 7 December 2011
APPOINTMENT EXPIRED: 6 June 2015
REAPPOINTED: 1 July 2015
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 30 June 2016

Mr Peter Attard, 47, lives in Melbourne, Victoria. He has been the director of two small retail businesses, managing digital music sales, importing food, wine and beer from Malta, as well as being involved in a variety of hospitality projects and ventures. He is currently working as a travel consultant in business travel, in Melbourne’s Docklands.

He has created and taught Media, Visual Literacy, Visual Arts and Photography curriculum in both Secondary and TAFE education, as well as serving as Co-ordinator of these studies at various colleges in Victoria.

Mr Attard has been a committee member of the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM), judged ATOM student film awards and is a member of the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

Mr Attard holds a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts) from the University of Melbourne. He is the father of three teenage children, and actively pursues his passions of film appreciation, music, AFL Football and travel.

Classification Review Board Member – Peter Price 

PETER PRICE

APPOINTED: 7 December 2014
APPOINTMENT EXPIRED: 6 June 2015
REAPPOINTED: 1 July 2015
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 30 June 2016

Mr Peter Price OAM, 50, resides in Sydney, NSW and is an advertising and communications professional with over 25 years’ experience in multi-national agencies in Johannesburg, London and Sydney. He is the Managing Director of First Light, an advertising agency he founded in 1994.

His experiences as a victim of multiple crimes in South Africa helped steer him in the direction of violence prevention and law enforcement advocacy. Mr Price has been closely involved with the development of Crime Stoppers in both Australia and abroad. Mr Price has been a Director of Crime Stoppers in Australia since 1999 and has served as Chairman for five years and as Deputy Chairman for six years. He currently serves as CEO (part time) of Crime Stoppers NSW and Vice President of Crime Stoppers International.

In 2009, Mr Price was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to community safety through executive roles with Crime Stoppers.

Mr Price was also a Board Director of the Internet Industry Association from 2011 to 2014. He holds a diploma in marketing management and is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Legislative base

The Classification Review Board is established under the Classification Act. The Classification Act provides that the Review Board is to consist of a Convenor, a Deputy Convenor and at least three, but no more than eight, other members.

The Governor-General appoints members of the Review Board. Under the Classification Act, the Minister must, before recommending an appointment, consult with state and territory ministers with responsibility for classification. The Classification Act also requires that regard is to be had to the desirability of ensuring that membership of the Review Board is broadly representative of the Australian community.

Decisions of the Review Board

In the reporting period, the Review Board conducted one review. The review was completed within the statutory timeframe.

The report for the Review Board’s decision is published on the classification website at www.classification.gov.au.

Table 16: Decisions of the Review Board
Title Media Review applicant Review Decision Original classification Review classification
Boychoir Film Becker Entertainment 4 March 2015 M PG

Attendance at Review Board meetings

The Review Board convened for one day in 2014–15 to deal with one application.

Table 17: Attendance at Review Board meetings
Review Board member Meetings 2014–15 Number of meeting days 2014–15
Fiona Jolly (FJ), Acting Convenor, ACT 1 1
Peter Attard (PA), VIC 1 1
Peter Price (PP), NSW 1 1
Table 18: Composition of panels in 2014–15
Title Number of meeting days Panel members
Boychoir 1 FJ, PA, PP

Complaints

The Review Board received no complaints about its decisions in the reporting period.

Judicial decisions

Aspects of a Review Board decision can be reviewed, on application, by the Federal Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth).

In the reporting period, no application for review of the Review Board’s decisions was lodged with the Federal Court.