My portfolio represents more than three decades in film journalism, and professional writing. I have been writing regularly in the public domain since 1987.
As arts journalist:
With an honours degree in English literature from Sydney University and a masters in film studies from the UK, I started out writing a column for the former national affairs monthly, Australian Society magazine. Between 1987 and 1993, I reviewed the latest Australian films in the context of developments within the local film industry.
This segued into lecturing in cinema and cultural studies at the University of Wollongong over four years, during which I initiated a festival of Australian film shorts.
In the mid-1990s, I re-located to Indonesia where I was a regular contributor on cinema to the English-language newspaper, the Jakarta Post. My contributions included interviews with local filmmakers, reviews of films and festivals, and extended year-in-review pieces.
Over the years, my work has been commissioned by numerous media outlets, including Metro, Metro Education, Anne Summers Reports, The Australian, Cinema Papers, Filmnews, Media Information Australia, Australian-Canadian Studies and Black & White magazine.
Much of the material published here at my writer’s site was originally printed in the Canberra Times, to which I contributed almost every week between 1997 and 2017.
My first book, Dancing to His Song: the Singular Cinema of Rolf de Heer, the most comprehensive and up-to-date study of the oeuvre of the Australian auteur, was published by Currency Press and Currency House, Sydney, in 2015.
Dancing to His Song: the Singular Cinema of Rolf de Heer is available in both paper and ebook editions:
‘Is Jane Freebury’s book perhaps the best yet to chronicle the career of an Australian film-maker?’
Thorough research and sharp insight are ‘articulated in a prose style that is both scholarly and reader-friendly’. Rolf de Heer is ‘lucky to have found so eloquent a chronicler who, without gush and with critical rigour, so firmly fixes his achievement in the reader’s mind’ — Adjunct professor, author and co-editor (The Oxford Companion to Australian Film), Brian McFarlane in Inside Story
This book’s achievement lies in part in how it explores ‘the contradictions in de Heer’s artistic identity’.
When it gets into the ‘nitty-gritty of close analysis’ it is ‘often astute, teasing out how the complexity of de Heer’s audiovisual rhetoric belies the simplicity of his themes’. For ‘a fond, detailed, and engaging account’ of de Heer’s vision ‘you could do no better than turn to this book’ — Film critic and author, Jake Wilson in the Australian Book Review
As professional writer:
I became a professional writer in 1999 and worked in corporate communications in the Australian Public Service as a ministerial speechwriter/writer and editor.
During 2002-12, I worked with content specialists to prepare speeches for policy announcements, peak industry conferences, to welcome foreign dignitaries, new enterprise launches, commemorations and awards.
This work involved preparing speeches for Australian Government ministers in the following portfolios:
- Industry, Tourism and Resources (and Small Business)
- Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- Australian Tax Office
- Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
- Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
During 2017, I was commissioning editor for Asian Currents, the ebulletin of the Asian Studies Association of Australia.
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