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 recognized his contribution to the film industry.
“Mr Crean served as co-chair of SPA’s Screen Export Council (SEC), formed in 2019. As co-chair alongside former minister Bruce Baird AM, Simon played a crucial role in fostering the potential of exporting Australia’s local film industry in collecting 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 put art and culture at the center of modern Australian life. It was Simon’s experience in the creative industries as a former arts minister that made him an integral part of the SEC.
“Simon has helped provide strategic oversight and focus on building the export capabilities and capabilities of Australian film companies, as well as fostering screen trading through intellectual property development 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 moving the Australian film industry forward. He understood the export and diplomatic value of our creative industries. It was an honor to have him as co-chair of the SEC, and also for SPA to work alongside him as chair of the EABC.
“We have been very proud to further promote the business opportunities of our members and the wider Australian film industry under Simon’s leadership, and his diligence and passion in supporting our creative industries will be a lasting legacy.”