George Savvides announced as new SBS chair

George Savvides, a member of the SBS board since 2017 and acting chair since June 3, has been announced as the new chair of the broadcaster for a period of five years, effective today.

Savvides’ experience spans corporate governance, business and finance, alongside an “extensive knowledge” of the broadcaster itself.

He was appointed to the board as deputy chair on February 23, 2017 and is the current chair of the SBS board remuneration committee and a member of SBS’ community advisory committee.

Savvides also has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian and New Zealand health care sector. He was managing director of Medibank and ASX-listed Medibank Private for 14 years until 2016. He has also served as managing director and CEO of Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Smith & Nephew and CIG Healthcare.

He has an honours degree in Industrial Engineering from UNSW and a masters of business administration from UTS. Savvides served as chair of World Vision Australia for 18 years, and is a former chair of Kings Transport Group Limited and Macquarie University Hospital. He is currently a board member of Insurance Australia Group Limited and NZX-listed Ryman Healthcare, and chair of Next Science Pty Limited.

Savvides replaces Dr Bulent Hass Dellal AO who had held the position for a decade – the maximum period a chair can hold the position for.

Savvides said on his appointment: “It’s a great honour to have the opportunity to chair SBS. Over 45 years, SBS has played a vital role in informing and shaping Australia, not only meeting the needs of multicultural communities and our First Nations people, but helping all Australians explore and celebrate our diversity. It is a truly unique organisation, supporting economic and civil participation, and striving to inspire all Australians to experience the benefits of social inclusion.

“SBS’s role for the next 45 years will be even more important as our nation’s diversity increases, and I look forward to working with the board, executive and the entire SBS team to ensure SBS continues to play a special role in Australia’s future.

“I also acknowledge former chair, Dr Bulent Hass Dellal AO, who I had the great privilege to work with. I thank Hass for his inspiring and passionate advocacy for SBS and the role it plays in Australia.”

Minister for communications, cyber safety and the arts, Paul Fletcher, congratulated Savvides on his appointment.

“Mr Savvides is an eminent Australian and a highly respected businessman. I am pleased that he is stepping into this position and have no doubt that as chair he will continue to make a valuable contribution to the Board of SBS,” Fletcher said.

SBS managing director, James Taylor; said: “On behalf of the Board and SBS, I’d like to congratulate George on his appointment. Since being appointed as Deputy Chair in 2017, and most recently as Acting Chair, he has played a key role in ensuring SBS is a contemporary media organisation in a rapidly changing sector, serving and celebrating a contemporary and diverse multicultural society. I look forward to continuing to work with George and the SBS Board as we evolve in service of all Australians.”

SBS unveiled a range of diversity initiatives, including appointing two Indigenous Elders in residence, this week following claims of racism from former reporters at the broadcaster


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