Natalie Miller has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in this year’s Australia Day Honours List.
Miller, a previous Medal of the Order (OAM) recipient, was recognised for distinguished service to the film industry through the promotion of screen culture, as a mentor to emerging filmmakers, particularly women, and contributions to advisory and professional organisations.
She said the award was “totally unexpected” but she was extremely proud and pleased the film industry had been recognised. Her career in film has stemmed from a background in journalism and public relations. “I did the public relations for the Melbourne Film Festival for 17 years and eventually I bought the rights to a film by Luis Bunuel so I could distribute it,” Miller said. “Gradually it just expanded. I focused on art house films.”
In 1967, distribution company Sharmill Films was born and in 1984 Miller became the executive director of Longford Cinema. In 1993, she became the co-founder and co-manager of Cinema Nova, a role she continues today. “It’s been my life,” she said. “In that time I’ve raised a family and family has always come first, but film is my career and I love it. “I’d stop doing it if I stopped having fun.”
Governor-General Quentin Bryce said the awards “elevate the concept of giving to others”. “They heighten our respect for one another, and they encourage Australians to think about the responsibilities of citizenship in our democracy,” Ms Bryce said.