ABC Australia Hires for Scripted, Factual


The ABC in Australia has made two executive appointments in its new content division, including tapping former Stan exec Rachel Okine as head of scripted.

Effective September 4, Okine will oversee the largest scripted slate in Australia, responsible for all ABC drama and comedy. She moves across from Stan, where she was the senior commissioning editor overseeing a slate of scripted drama and comedy, feature films and feature documentaries.

Former Netflix executive Susie Jones is taking up the role of head of factual. Jones, who assumes the post on July 24, will manage the largest output of factual and documentary content in Australia, from science to religion, true crime to investigative journalism, natural history to travel, as well as the internal success stories of Landline, Gardening Australia, Compass, Back Roads and Muster Dogs.

Okine and Jones will report to Jennifer Collins, head of screen content.

“To be able to welcome creative executives of the caliber of Rachel and Susie to the ABC is incredibly humbling,’’ said ABC’s chief content officer, Chris Oliver-Taylor. “They’re both exceptional leaders and bring direct experience of commissioning programs at two of the best streamers in the world, Netflix and Stan. The ABC will significantly benefit from their experience and knowledge.”

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to build upon the ABC’s legacy of delivering excellent storytelling to audiences here and abroad as we steer a course through the next stage of its digital evolution,” Okine said. “Under the leadership of Chris Oliver-Taylor and Jennifer Collins, it’s promising to be a very exciting time of transformative change.”

Oliver-Taylor said, “Rachel brings local and international experience across distribution and streaming to the ABC, where she will lead a supremely talented team of commissioning editors. She will be a brilliant addition to our team and will build on the incredible legacy that is the ABC’s scripted output.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the ABC as head of factual,” Jones said. “The ABC so often captures the national conversation, and building on that brilliant pedigree, I look forward to working closely with the team to bring fresh, thought-provoking new shows to all Australians.”

Oliver-Taylor said, “This is the third time that I have worked with Susie. Susie was the first person I hired at Matchbox Pictures, and I worked very closely with her, most recently at Netflix. I cannot wait to see what impact Susie will have on such a vital part of the ABC’s output.”