The Walkley Awards began in 1956 with just five awards ... now, 34 are awarded annually.
The Walkley Foundation for Journalism is a non-profit company limited by guarantee with broad aims to support and encourage professional and ethical journalism and promote and reward excellence in the Australian media.
The Foundation is supported primarily by sponsorship, grants and funding on a not-for-profit basis.
No other organisation in Australia delivers such a broad range of services wholly dedicated to the promotion of high quality ethical journalism across the nation.
The Trustees are responsible for the oversight of the administration and management of the Foundation. They include:
- Laurie Oakes, political editor, Nine Network
- Christopher Warren, federal secretary, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
- Gina McColl, arts editor, The Age
- Philippa McDonald, senior reporter, ABC TV News and Current Affairs
- Stuart Washington, senior business reporter, Fairfax Media
The Walkley Foundation’s core mission is to foster excellence in journalism and support a robust and independent media, which deepens and enriches democracy and lies at the heart of a free society.
It manages the Walkley Awards, Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards and Freelance Journalist of the Year Awards as well as a year-round professional development program for journalists and media practitioners.
The Walkley Advisory Board is a committee of 10 to 12 senior media industry members who judge the Walkley Awards, advise the trustees on matters relating to the awards and act as ambassadors for the foundation.
The Walkley Awards were started by Ampol Petroleum founder Sir William Gaston Walkley in 1956 with just five categories, all recognising excellence in print journalism.
William Walkley appreciated the media’s support for his oil exploration efforts and envisaged awards that recognised emerging talent in the Australian media.
The Walkleys have grown organically over the years, expanding to encompass broadcast and digital journalism, as well as innovation in the craft. A two-tier judging system, modelled on the Pulitzer Prize, was also introduced.
Walkley Award-winning stories have chronicled Australia’s history, people and events. They have grown organically to now recognise 34 categories, including the coveted Gold Walkley Award.
The Walkley Foundation also produces The Walkley Magazine – Inside the Media in Australia and New Zealand: A quarterly publication in which the nation’s most senior journalists and media professionals candidly discuss issues from politics to business and insider industry info.
Many leading Australian journalists and commentators contribute to the magazine, including Malcolm Farr, Pilita Clark, Paul McGeough, Phillip Knightley, Geraldine Doogue, Julianne Schultz, Max Uechtritz, Bill Leak, Ita Buttrose, Quentin Dempster, Patrick Smith, Emma-Kate Symons, Neil Breen, Anne Lampe, Paul Bongiorno, Hugh Riminton, Michelle Grattan, Laurie Oakes, Anne Davies, Kerry O'Brien, Alan Kohler, Peter FitzSimons and more.