Ian Darling

Ian Darling

Chair & Moderator

Ian Darling is an award-winning social impact documentary filmmaker. He is Executive Director of Shark Island Productions and Founder and Chair of the Shark Island Institute.

His director and producer credits include Suzy & The Simple Man, Paul Kelly — Stories of Me, The Oasis, Polly & Me, Wall Boy, The Soldier, In The Company of Actors, Alone Across Australia, Woodstock for Capitalists and Stories From the Inside. He is also an Executive Producer of How To Change The World, UNREST and Last Cab To Darwin.

He is currently in pre-production on The Genesis, a documentary about homelessness, and an environmental film about forests. He is also Executive Producer for 2040, and Brainiacs, both in production.

He is Chair and Moderator of Good Pitch Australia, and is currently working with 19 social impact documentaries and outreach campaigns, with films including That Sugar Film, Gayby Baby, Prison Songs, The Hunting Ground, Frackman, Call Me Dad, Constance on the Edge, Zach’s Ceremony, Whiteley and Blue.

Ian Darling has been Chair of The Caledonia Foundation since 2001, and was Managing Director of the Caledonia Investments group from 1992 to 2003.

He is a Member of the Impact Partners Advisory Board in New York. He is Founder and Patron (and former Chair) of the Documentary Australia Foundation, and also Patron of the ArtsLab, Kangaroo Valley. He was Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company and the STC Foundation, from 2006-2010. He has been a Director of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Chair of The Oasis Youth Support Network, and Member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board.

He is a Life Patron of the Sydney Theatre Company, a Governor of the National Gallery of Victoria, and a Benefactor of the National Portrait Gallery. He is an Eminent Member of the Geelong Grammar School Foundation, having led the project for the School for Performing Arts and Creative Education (SPACE). He was a recipient of AbaF’s Business Arts Leadership Award and his homeless film project THE OASIS was named one of ‘Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts of All Time.’

He was recently named Australia’s Leading Philanthropist in 2017 by Philanthropy Australia. He received the AFI Award for Best Direction in a Documentary, is a Walkley Awards Finalist, and has been nominated for numerous Australian Directors Guild, AFI, Film Critics and IF awards. His photographs have been finalists in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, the Sydney Life Photography Prize and the Head On Portrait Prize.

He has a MBA from IMD Switzerland, and a BA from the Australian National University.