“Passion, purpose and innovation – navigating challenges and driving real change in organizations”
Passion, purpose and innovation are essential ingredients for the vitality and growth of any organisation. They’re certainly three values that have always driven me, and which are core to my role as CEO of SBS. I believe in being passionate about what you do, having vision and doing things differently from those before you, and being your ‘authentic self’ – opening the doors to greater creativity and innovation. Diversity in the workforce also holds many benefits for businesses, with research showing a diverse range of viewpoints and experiences has a significant impact on financial performance.
Throughout SBS’s 40-year history, it has continued to evolve to ensure we reflect the real and changing face of today’s Australia, and to better serve our audiences across all platforms. We’ve embraced the digital evolution, helping us to engage with new audiences in innovative ways, and ensuring we’re remaining relevant for the Australia of tomorrow.
We live in an incredibly rich and diverse country, with the number of Australians born overseas now a staggering 28 per cent of the population. And given Australia is only growing in cultural complexity, SBS’s role is more important than ever.
Welcoming Speech – Prof. Rosemary Johnston
Guest Facilitator – George Donikian
Highlights from Lecture
Keynote Speaker – Michael Ebeid
Michael Ebeid is Managing Director of SBS, and has over 25 years’ experience in senior management and executive roles across the technology, telecommunications and media industries. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Business at Charles Sturt University. He began his career at IBM, where he held numerous positions over nine years, across marketing, finance and sales, including working in Tokyo, Japan. Michael then joined Optus Communications in its early days, becoming the company’s youngest Director, and in his ten years there he oversaw the development of Pay TV and telephony, and the launch of broadband in Australia. He then joined the ABC as the Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Marketing, where he managed the corporation’s strategic planning and was involved in launching iView, ABC News 24 and ABC3 for children. Michael is now in his fourth year as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of SBS. During Michael’s time at the organisation, SBS has launched National Indigenous Television (NITV) free-to-air, Australia’s first national and free Indigenous television channel, refocused SBS 2 to attract younger audiences to the network, expanded in-language programming across analogue and digital radio and increased its commercial revenues. Under his leadership, the organisation has embraced digital technologies and opportunities, with catch-up service SBS ON DEMAND now available on more platforms and devices than any other Australian broadcaster.
Guest Facilitator – George Donikian
George Donikian was born and raised in Sydney. His father was a Greek Armenian who had emigrated from Athens to Australia in 1949, with his fiancée following a year later. George grew up speaking Greek, Armenian and Turkish, and did not speak English until the age of 7.
Years later, George began his media career in radio. He made his start at Radio 4AM in Far North Queensland before returning to NSW to commence at 2WL in Wollongong. He cracked the big smoke next when he joined 2WS in Sydney.
In 1980, George commenced his television career when he was chosen to be the inaugural anchor for the World News program on Channel 0/28, which transmitted simultaneously to Melbourne and Sydney.
George was the anchor of the ‘much acclaimed’ SBS World News for the next 8 ½ years.
In 1988, George decided to test himself in the commercial world when he was wooed to the Nine Network by the legendary Sam Chisholm. At Nine, he presented the National Nine Morning News, the iconic Wide World of Sports, the top rated Coast to Coast show with “The King” Graham Kennedy and of course the Today Show with George Negus and Liz Hayes, before leaving to join Channel Ten.
From 1991 through to 2011, George presented TEN’s Evening News first from Adelaide and then from Melbourne in 1999, when he was chosen to anchor the TEN new Digital News for both Adelaide and Melbourne from TEN’s state of the art studios in South Yarra.
In 2012, George left Network Ten to set up his own media company, Donikian Media.
Among his many career sporting highlights, George has worked on the Nine Network’s State of Origin Rugby League, the 1990 Football World Cup in Italy, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
In 2004, George was elected President of four-time National Champions South Melbourne FC. He served one term before passing on the baton.
As well as being an Ambassador for SBS, George is also a Carlton AFL member and a special Club Ambassador for Melbourne Heart FC, who are the new owners of the former Melbourne Heart. He is also a Love of Language Ambassador for the State Government of Victoria.