Film critic and television personality awarded a Doctor of Letters

24 May 2023
Margaret Pomeranz  recognised for her impact on the Australian arts
The University of Sydney awarded Margaret Pomeranz AM a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) for her impact on popular culture, film and performing arts.

Margaret Pomeranz AM received her Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) during a ceremony held on Tuesday, 23 May, in a ceremony presided over by Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO.

After receiving her honorary doctorate, she taught a masterclass for students at the University.

“Margaret’s contribution to the arts community has been enormous – she is a cultural icon and has been a passionate and enthusiastic champion of the Australian film industry for decades. I was lucky enough to work alongside her at the ABC, and it’s an honour to celebrate her many varied achievements on and off our screens today,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

Margaret Pomeranz photographed at her honorary doctorate ceremony

Professor Simon Bronitt (left), Margaret Pomeranz , and Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO (right).   

Ms Pomeranz studied economics at the University of Sydney before transferring to Macquarie University to study a Bachelor of Arts in German and Social Psychology. 

During her degree, she travelled to Vienna, and while studying German there, she worked freelance as a journalist for the Bulletin and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) rural radio.

In 1971, she completed her degree and started her career in film and television as a screenwriter by attending the Playwright’s Studio at the National Institute of Performing Arts. In 1980, she became a writer and producer at the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

After six years at SBS, she established The Movie Show with her co-host David Stratton, which was rebranded as At The Movies in 2004 when it moved to the ABC. The duo presented their insights into film and cinema to Australia for 28 years. Mr Stratton also received a Doctor of Letters from the University of Sydney in 2006, recognising his career and contributions to intellectual life at the University.

Ms Pomeranz was an executive producer of The Movie Show and the documentary series, Front Up and Subsonics. She held the same executive position for the Australian Film Institute Awards and Inside Film Awards, and between 1994 and 2000, she appeared in cameo roles in multiple films and television series.

I was lucky enough to work alongside her at the ABC, and it’s an honour to celebrate her many varied achievements on and off our screens today.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO

When she left ABC, she teamed with Graeme Blundell at Foxtel for the review program Screen and presented movies for the network.

Ms Pomeranz has served as the Chair and Vice-Chair of Watch on Censorship, President of the Film Critics Circle of Australia, and a member of the Australian Standard Board. In addition, she has appeared before the Classifications Board numerous times, playing an essential role in challenging decisions made by the body. 

In 2005, she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to the film industry as a critic and reviewer, promoter of Australian content and an advocate for freedom of expression in film.

Ms Pomeranz was the first woman honoured with a star on the Winton Walk of Fame at an outback film festival in 2007.

Currently, she is on the Board of Directors of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA) as Vice Chair. 

Faye Couros

Assistant Media and PR Advisor (Central)