Australian performer and activist Chloe Dallimore has stood down as president of MEAA Equity after six years in the role.
Ms Dallimore said it was a difficult decision but felt she needed to step aside because of personal reasons. Her resignation was formally accepted last night at a meeting of the MEAA Board, which also approved the appointment of actor, director and producer Jason Klarwein as Equity federal president, effective immediately, for the remainder of the current term which ends in mid-2021.
Ms Dallimore said she was proud to have steered the union through #MeToo with the development of the Sexual Harassment and Bullying Code, her work on resolving a stalemate over imported artists with Live Performance Australia, and the recognition of gender diversity in our union. She said Equity’s relationships with LPA, Screen Producers Australia, agents and major producers have healed, developed and thrived, even through challenging negotiations and issues.
“The recently agreed Cultural Leave clause in the Michael Cassel Group agreement gives me such hope for the continued ‘heart discussions’ that our union needs to have in every corner of our workplaces,” she said.
“The Diversity Committee was in its infancy when I started, and since then the Wellness Committee, Acting Parents, Indigenous Committee MEAA and Musical Theatre Committees have all been created and are now an important resource for our staff and members. I leave you all in incredible hands and I look forward to the next phase of our union.”
Equity Director Andrew Crowley praised Ms Dallimore’s natural leadership skills and immense contribution to the union over the last six years: “The industry and our members have always looked to Chloe for guidance and leadership, and she has always delivered, particularly during the pandemic, one of the most challenging periods in Equity’s 80 year history. We are forever grateful for her tireless dedication to improving the lives of Australian performers.”
The new Equity federal president, Jason Klarwein, has served as Queensland representative on the MEAA Board since 2015 and been a member of the National Performers Committee since 2013. Mr Klarwein is the first Equity president based outside NSW.
Mr Klarwein said: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Chloe Dallimore as president of Equity. Chloe has worked tirelessly in a volunteer capacity for the last six years building not only union membership but fostering in some of the biggest industrial and cultural changes our industry has seen for many decades.
“I look forward to representing our members and industry colleagues who are in the midst of what only can be described as the biggest challenge since World War Two. However, I am buoyed by the fact that I stand on the shoulders of incredible artists who have built the amazing cultural reputation we have worldwide and have dedicated their free time to the betterment of working conditions and pay.
“We are the storytellers of our nation and the custodians of our future. It is only through culture that a country such as ours can truly see and experience itself and hopefully give birth to a strong, vibrant and inclusive future.”
MEAA federal president Simon Collins said Ms Dallimore had done a magnificent job as part of the union’s leadership team over the last six years. He said there would be a seamless transition under Mr Klarwein as the new Equity federal president.