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SBS Chair steps down

3 June 20200 comments

Dr Bulent Hass Dellal, AO, has stepped down as SBS Chair after three years and ten years as a board member.

He said it had been an honour to serve at time of change for both media and Australia’s diverse communities as he came to the end of the ten-year limit of service outlined in the SBS Act.

“It has truly been an honour to have been the Chair and to have served on the Board of SBS during such a transformative period for the media sector, and a time of tremendous change and growth for the organisation,” Dr Dellal said.
 
“No other media organisation provides the nuanced reflection and exploration of what it means to be Australian today, like SBS. Its ability to do so is built on 45 years of fostering relationships and authentic connections with Australia’s diverse communities, telling their stories and creating greater understanding and celebration of our differences as a nation.
 
“I have had so many proud moments, in particular, during these unprecedented times as SBS has responded to the coronavirus pandemic. The content and services that SBS has been providing to keep so many Australians informed and safe exemplify its vital role and value to our society. 
 
“I want to thank everyone at SBS – the Board, the Executive team, and all of the incredible staff throughout the organisation – for their ongoing support. It has been a privilege to work with people so passionate about the work that they do, and who have such an unrelenting belief in the purpose and Charter of SBS.  I may no longer be on the Board, but I will continue to be an avid audience member and ambassador for SBS,” he said.

SBS Managing Director James Taylor paid tribute to Dr Dellal.

“I’d like to congratulate Hass, on behalf of the Board and the organisation, on reaching the remarkable milestone of a decade of service on the SBS Board, and thank him for the significant contribution he has made to the evolution of the organisation,” Mr Taylor said.
 
“Hass has a deep understanding and appreciation of multicultural Australia, and extensive experience and genuine passion for driving social cohesion in this country. His endless energy and commitment to the reason SBS exists has inspired all those who have worked with him over the ten years, and particularly during the last few as Chair. He will be missed in the Boardroom and around the corridors of SBS, but his legacy will be lasting.”
 
Dr Dellal joined the team as director in 2010 but was reappointed for three more years in 2015. He had been acting chairman for a year when the board made his role permanent in 2017. The SBS board has yet to appoint a successor.

Previously Dr Dellal was a board member of refugee and migrant settlement agency AMES Australia.

AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth said Dr Dellal has been an unwavering champion of diverse communities.

“Hass has always had an understanding of the importance to culturally and linguistically diverse communities of seeing themselves represented in programming and public conversations; and the positive affect that can have in terms of making people feel valued, safe and welcome in this country,” she said.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) Chairperson Mary Patetsos said multicultural Australia owed Dr Dellal a debt of gratitude.

“Dr Dellal’s stewardship of the organisation, especially over the past three years as Chairman, has solidified and strengthened SBS during challenging times for public broadcasting in Australia,” she said.

“Under Dr Dellal’s leadership SBS has ensured that the voices of many migrant communities, newly arrived refugees, and new and emerging communities have,” she said.