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Vale: Simon Crean

Former Labor leade who served as Arts Minister in the Gillard government, has died.

Former Labor leader Simon Crean, who served as Arts Minister in the Gillard government, has died aged 74.

He died after his morning exercise while in Germany as part of an industry delegation.

Screen Producers Australia has acknowledged his contribution to the screen sector.

“Mr. Crean was a Co-Chair of SPA’s Screen Export Council (SEC), formed in 2019. As Co-Chair alongside Former Minister for Bruce Baird AM, Simon played a crucial role in advancing the export potential of Australia’s local screen industry in taking Australian stories to the world,” SPA said in a statement.

“During his time as Arts Minister from 2010 to 2013, Simon spearheaded and launched Creative Australia, a $235 million vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern Australian life. It was Simon’s expertise across the creative industries as former Arts Minister that made him such an integral part of the SEC.

“Simon helped provide strategic oversight and focus on building export skills and capabilities of Australian screen businesses as well as boosting screen trade through the development of intellectual property and co-productions in underserved markets.”

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner added, “Just last year I had the great pleasure of participating in the European Australian Business Council (EABC) delegation to Europe and sharing this experience with Simon, like other delegates, I have fond memories of that time spent together so recently.

“Simon was a force to be reckoned with when it came to the progression of the Australian screen sector. He understood the export and diplomatic value of our creative industries. It was an honour to have him as Co-Chair of the SEC, and also for SPA to work alongside him as the chairman of the EABC.

“We took great pride in further advancing business opportunities of our membership and the wider Australian screen industry under Simon’s guidance, and his diligence and passion when championing our creative industries will be an enduring legacy.”

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