Government picks two new directors for ABC board

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The federal government has filled the two vacant seats on the ABC’s board, appointing Nicolette Maury and Louise McElvogue as new directors, marking Labor’s first appointments to the national broadcaster since its return to power.

Both women come with digital and media experience respectively, with Maury currently the CEO of sustainability solutions business Avani Solutions, and McElvogue having spent time at a number of UK media outlets including the BBC and the Murdoch-owned The Sunday Times.

McElvogue has also had a tenure as the CEO of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Nicolette Maury brings plenty of digital experience to the ABC board.

The office of the Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said both directors were nominated via the merits-based appointment process, handled by the independent Nomination Panel.

The board appointments come as the federal government continues the process of finding a successor to outgoing chairman Ita Buttrose, who has opted to stand down after her term expires in March.

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Maury and McElvogue will both serve five-year terms, effective immediately, replacing Joseph Gersh, who was not reappointed after one term earlier this year, and Fiona Balfour, who departed in February less than two years into her term.

Balfour, a former chief information officer at Qantas and Telstra, stepped down from the board following pressure from Buttrose over a perceived conflict with her directorship at a Telstra-affiliated company.

Maury’s background includes executive roles at eBay and Intuit Australia, and most recently senior roles at Bank Santander in both London and Madrid, before returning to Australia as CEO of Avani.

Louise McElvogue has spent time at a number of UK media outlets including the BBC and the Murdoch-owned The Sunday Times.

McElvogue is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Technology Sydney, also serving as non-executive director at online education platform, Cluey, as well as president of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ NSW Council.

Rowland congratulated both Maury and McElvogue on their appointments.

“The ABC, like many media organisations, faces significant challenges in today’s media environment, grappling with evolving audience trends, audiences who are increasingly consuming media digitally, and new technologies changing how their work is conducted.

The appointment of these two highly accomplished women to the board will bolster the public broadcaster’s digital transformation, media and governance acumen as the ABC implements its Five-Year Plan,” she said.

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