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Dr Patricia Edgar AM

Dr Patricia Edgar is an Australian of great energy and vision who has made an enormous contribution to our society during her prominent career.

Honour Roll

Pat graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Education with Honours. Her involvement in television and the media began in 1967, when she commenced a Masters Degree in Film and Television at Stanford University. From Stanford, she proceeded to an academic posting at the University of Chicago, before returning to Australia. At La Trobe University, where she chaired the Centre for the Study of Educational Communication and Media, Pat combined teaching with study, and was awarded a PhD in 1974. In 1994, Pat was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt) from the University of Western Australia.

Pat is currently Director of the Australian Children's Television Foundation. Pat has published many significant and influential works, often challenging the complacency surrounding the impact of television on Australian society. Her pioneering work in the field of children's responses to television laid the groundwork for much of her success in producing quality television. Her career came to a turning point in 1981 when she was appointed Task Force Director, responsible for setting up the Australian Children's Television Foundation based in Victoria.

Since that time Edgar has been at the forefront in the development of children's television both in Australia and overseas. Pat has been the Executive Producer for a range of highly successful children's series including Round The Twist, Crash Zone, Lift Off, Winners and Touch the Sun. All of these productions have received great acclaim, attracting a host of national and international Emmy Awards. Her programs are now viewed by children in over 100 countries around the world. At the Chicago International Festival of Children's Films in 1986, the jury gave a Special Award which recognised the Australian Children's Television Foundation's outstanding achievement in developing quality films for the children's audience. This award resulted from the Festival's overwhelming response to the Winners series.

Pat's impact on the field of children's television will long be remembered. The quality of her work is a reflection of her belief that a successful program must capture not only the eyes and ears, but also the heart and emotions of its audience.

A major focus of Pat's work has been to bring educators and television producers together, and to provide an intellectual context for children's television. She has proven that quality television can encourage children to read, and sales of children's books related to her programs have reached thousands worldwide.

In 1995, the Australian Children's Television Foundation hosted the 'First World Summit on Television and Children'. The Summit, held in Melbourne involved 637 delegates from 71 countries. The Summit has been followed by a number of regional summits in Asia, Africa and the Americas; and two world summits in London (1998) and Thessaloniki (2001). The Fourth World Summit on Media and Children will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2004. This ongoing summit 'movement' brings together all those concerned in the development, production and transmission of children's audiovisual media around the world to debate issues, learn from each other and devise ways to co-operate and collaborate.

In Australia, Pat has served on a number of government committees including the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, the Australian National Commission of UNESCO, and the Council of the Australian Film and Television School.

John Morris, the former Chief Executive of the Australian Film Finance Corporation says about Pat: "Patricia has the power of ruthless persuasion to her ends so that once she has decided something is worth doing, she will work relentlessly to make that happen and happily involve as many people as is necessary to achieve success without much regard for their sensibilities. This is the sort of single-minded determination to achieve results that only very great people have. Thank goodness she is nearly always right".