Sarah Powell appointed as new ADA Executive Officer

Sarah Powell joins the ADA as our new Executive Officer.

Tuesday 5 April 2022
For immediate release

Canberra, Australia—The Board of the Australian Digital Alliance (ADA) is thrilled to announce that Sarah Powell has joined the organisation as our new Executive Officer. Sarah will commence in the role on Monday 9 May 2022.

ADA Chairperson Derek Whitehead OAM said Ms Powell was selected for the position based on her extensive experience and her leadership in advocating for law reform in New Zealand.

“Sarah’s experience in and passion for copyright law reform advocacy makes her an outstanding choice to lead the ADA as we continue our reform efforts,” he said.

Ms Powell was instrumental in copyright reform in New Zealand, where she chaired the LIANZA Standing Committee on Copyright from 2019–2021 and was an active member of the Universities NZ Copyright Expert Advisory Group. Ms Powell contributed to the submissions by those bodies to the Review of the New Zealand Copyright Act which commenced in 2018.

“Sarah’s appointment comes at a time when there is more work to be done reforming Australia’s copyright system,” Mr Whitehead said, “The Board and I warmly welcome Sarah to the ADA, and look forward to working closely with her to continue to promote the public interest in copyright.”

Ms Powell is currently studying law at Victoria University in Wellington. Prior to joining the ADA, she was employed by AJ Park, a legal firm specialising in intellectual property. She has also held the role of Copyright and Open Access Adviser at Auckland University of Technology (2018–2021) and Rights Specialist at Auckland War Memorial Museum (2015–2018).

Commenting on the appointment, Ms Powell said she was excited to be taking on the role.

“I have such admiration for the ADA as a staunch advocate for the public interest in Australia and international copyright debates – something that I am personally motivated by. I am looking forward to working with the ADA members to continue to champion that important agenda,” Ms Powell said.

“Protecting creativity is important, but I am equally passionate about the need to also provide equitable access to copyright material. I look forward to working closely with the Board and members to continue the ADA’s impressive advocacy and outreach work. 

“I am honoured to take the reins of this important body at such a pivotal time in Australia’s copyright history. With the passage of the government’s copyright access reforms continuing, and the need for reform to support emerging activities such as artificial intelligence, I am up for the challenges ahead.”

Ms Powell takes over the position from Ben Rice, who led the ADA from September 2020 to November 2021. Upon commencement, Ms Powell will also take up the position of Copyright Law and Policy Advisor at the Australian Libraries and Archives Copyright Coalition (ALACC).


Interviews and media contact

Ms Powell is available for interviews by request. All media inquiries related to this media release should be directed to:

Mr Elliott Bledsoe
Copyright Officer
Australian Digital Alliance

0405 059 367