ABC appoints Head of Factual, Documentaries.

The ABC has appointed Jennifer Collins to the newly-expanded role of Head of Factual.

Collins has been acting in a similar role for the last 12 months overseeing such shows as Poh’s Kitchen,Q&A, Collectors, Gardening Australia and Catalyst. She has previously worked on The Chaser’s War on Everything,The Glasshouse, The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Paralympics Games, My Favourite Book and My Favourite Film and more.

Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said “Jennifer brings a wealth of expertise and proven success to this expanded position. She brings a high level of energy and vision, which will be vital for the future development of programming for ABC TV.”

Meanwhile, Alan Erson has been appointed the new Head of Documentaries, responsible for developing and commissioning in ABC TV’s slate of independently-produced documentaries.

He replaces Stuart Menzies, who is now the new Controller for ABC2.

Erson has been ABC TV Commissioning Editor for science, history and natural history documentaries. He has overseen more than 115 hours of television including The PM is Missing, Bombora:The Story of Australian Surfing, Penguin Island, Darwin’s Brave New World, Two in the Top End, Lizard Kings, How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer, Voyage to the Planets, Surviving Mumbai and The Making of Modern Australia.

Prior to joining ABC, he worked with BBC, Canada’s CBC, Discovery and National Geographic channels.

Kim Dalton, said “Alan’s has a wonderful ability to identify stories and subjects, across a broad range of genres that resonate with our audience. He has a great track record in working with the independent documentary sector to bring these programs to the screen.”

Head of Documentaries will report to Head of Factual Jennifer Collins.

Both Collins and Erson will take up their new roles immediately.


  1. Unfortunately, the ABC truly eroded the in house culture of narrative producers, directors and production expertise long ago. Ronnie you are spot on, News/CAFF and Factual, and to a degree entertainment persists, but even when i joined the ABC in the late 80’s, drama and comedy was being gradually outsourced, and so there was little talent left with the sortof skills required for complex and larger budget productions. I am not holding my breath for what will flow with Head of Fiction. Sorry for my pessimism.

  2. Absolutely agree Ronnie. The drama department at the ABC is crawling with bureaucrats who lack inspiration and are unable to truly understand creative types – writers, director, producers. Just look at the junk (or nothing) they turn out. It needs a very big broom!

  3. The fact that both News/Caff and Factual at the ABC can draw from strong internal candidates speaks to a healthy ecosystem of career pathways for those people who are interested, experienced and talented in their particular field. The decade long saga of being unable to find a Head of Drama is because they don’t have that same ecosystem. This is a very strong argument to rebuild the drama department – I hope the new Head of Fiction is encouraged and empowered to lead a team of talented drama professionals with leadership potential.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.