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New appointments to ABC Board

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, today announced the appointment of Mr John Gallagher QC as Deputy Chair, and Mr Steven Skala as a Director of the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I am very pleased that Mr Gallagher, who has served on the Board since 1999, has accepted the invitation to serve as Deputy Chair," Senator Coonan said.

“I am also delighted that Mr Skala has agreed to join the Board. He has significant experience in commercial broadcasting, having previously served on the Board of Channel 10, and has a strong interest in public broadcasting.”

“I am also confident that Mr Skala’s background in corporate governance, business and management, along with his media experience, will make a valuable addition to the ABC Board during his five-year appointment.”

Mr Skala is Vice-Chairman of Deutsche Bank Australia and New Zealand. Between 1985 and 2004, Mr Skala was a partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler, Solicitors and head of its corporate and commercial practice.

Amongst other roles, he is currently Chairman of Film Australia and a Director of the Board of The Australian Ballet. He was a Director in the Channel Ten group of companies during the 1990’s.

"I am confident that Mr Gallagher will continue to make a valuable contribution to the ABC,” Senator Coonan said. Mr Gallagher has been appointed as Deputy Chair until the end of his current term, in February 2008.

Mr Gallagher first joined the Board in December 1999 and was re-appointed in February this year. He is a Barrister and Queen′s Counsel. Mr Gallagher was formerly a Director of Mackay Television Limited (1971–87) as well as a Director of companies operating hotels in Queensland and New South Wales from 1960 to 1996.

"The ABC is one of Australia′s primary cultural institutions with a very significant and valued role to play in Australian life," Senator Coonan said.

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