Meet the Walkley Advisory Board
The Walkley Advisory Board is drawn from senior leaders in the Australian media
Laurie Oakes, one of Australia's foremost political commentators, has had a distinguished career in journalism that spans more than 40 years. His incisive political commentary... read more
Jill Baker is deputy editor of the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne. In a 30 year career in journalism, she has also worked for the Melbourne Herald, The Australian and The A... read more
Helen Dalley is one of Australia&rsquo;s most experienced and highly respected journalists and interviewers. Helen is a Walkley award-winning television journalist &nd... read more
David Higgins is one of Australia&rsquo;s most experienced digital journalists. He has edited the flagship websites for News Limited (News.com.au) and Fairfax (smh.com.au... read more
Dual Walkley winning photographer John Donegan has been picture editor of both the Melbourne Herald Sun and The Sunday Age. He held these positions between bouts of freelancin... read more
Colleen Egan is a Perth-based journalist and author. She has worked at The Australian, the Sunday Times and The West Australian, where she is currently an Assistant Editor. Sh... read more
Narelle Hooper is editor of the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine. Narelle has reported on Australian business and financial markets for nearly 20 years across print ... read more
Liz Jackson graduated with first class honours in philosophy and literature from Melbourne University, before qualifying as a Barrister-at-Law from Gray&rsquo;s Inn, Londo... read more
James Kirby is Managing Editor at AIBM, the online publisher behind Business Spectator and Eureka Report. James held senior positions on The Australian Financial Review, The A... read more
John Stanley is a journalist and broadcaster with Fairfax media Sydney radio station 2UE. &nbsp;His work as a political reporter includes two stints in Canberra, where he ... read more
Born in England, Peter Meakin, the Seven Network's Director of News and Public Affairs, moved to Australia via Brazil and Singapore with his family in the 1950s. He started wo... read more
Hedley Thomas is The Australian&rsquo;s national chief correspondent. He writes across the newspaper, specialising in investigative reporting with a particular interest in... read more
Laurie Oakes, ChairBack to Top
Laurie Oakes, one of Australia's foremost political commentators, has had a distinguished career in journalism that spans more than 40 years.
His incisive political commentary - such as the Oakes Report - and news-breaking ability has earned him the respect of peers and politicians alike and in 1998 he won the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership.
Oakes is renowned for his probing interviews and Canberra-shaking scoops. In 1997 he broke the travel rorts saga that ended the careers of three ministers and government staffers. He also scored an exclusive interview on Sunday with one of the "Travelgate" affair's surprise victims — John Howard's close friend and senior adviser, Graham Morris.
Oakes graduated from Sydney University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He joined The Daily Mirror the following year and in 1965 became state political roundsman.
By the age of 25, he was The Melbourne Sun-Pictorial's Canberra bureau chief. While reporting for this paper, Oakes also provided political commentaries for the Seven Network's Willesee At Seven program.
In 1978 he started his own political journal, The Laurie Oakes Report. The following year he joined Channel 10, where he stayed for five years before moving to the Nine Network.
For several years Oakes wrote about politics in The Age in Melbourne and The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney and provided political reports and commentaries to a number of radio stations.
Laurie Oakes is also a highly regarded political author, and has written a biography on Gough Whitlam and recently released Power Plays. Oakes presents “The Oakes Report”, a weekly political interview on Today, and files reports for Nine News and Today.
Please note, Laurie abstained from taking part in the board judging for the 2010 Walkley Awards, as he had entered his own work for consideration.
Jill BakerBack to Top
Jill Baker is deputy editor of the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne. In a 30 year career in journalism, she has also worked for the Melbourne Herald, The Australian and The Age. She has been editor of The Sunday Age and deputy editor of The Age. She was group publisher at Australian Consolidated Press. Jill won a Walkley award for newspaper feature writing, the News Limited Sir Keith Murdoch award and the Melbourne Press Club’s Gold Quill for a 7000 word article for the Herald Sun (published in October 2010) on being diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her husband’s unexpected death. Jill has now finished treatment and is delighted to be back at work full-time at the Herald Sun.
Helen DalleyBack to Top
Helen Dalley is one of Australia’s most experienced and highly respected journalists and interviewers. Helen is a Walkley award-winning television journalist – as a reporter, interviewer and presenter on the Nine Network for two decades.
Helen was a senior reporter, and alternate host on the well-regarded, agenda-setting Sunday program for 16 years. Helen hosted the Nine Network’s continuous coverage of the 2003 Iraq War and the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Her work has also featured on 60 Minutes and A Current Affair.
Helen was also a founding member of Nine Network's Business Sunday as a reporter and occasional presenter. She has hosted Today, A Current Affair Summer Edition, Today On Saturday, Nightline, and has played a major role in Nine's Federal Election coverage. She has also won the United Nations' Media Peace Award.
Helen now works with Sky News, as Host of the Sky News Late Agenda and Sky News Business Business View programs. She also played a major role in Sky News' coverage fo the 2007 and 2010 federal elections.
David HigginsBack to Top
David Higgins is one of Australia’s most experienced digital journalists.
He has edited the flagship websites for News Limited (News.com.au) and Fairfax (smh.com.au) and is currently News Limited’s Innovations editor, responsible for the development of next-generation digital news products.
David began his career with News Limited as a journalist at The Australian before moving to The Sydney Morning Herald in 1997.
In 2007 he returned to News as editor of News.com.au, doubling site traffic to 5.4 million Australians. During his editorship News.com.au was named Australia’s fastest growing brand by GPY&R and the newspaper website of the year by the PANPA industry organisation.
A two-time Walkley Award finalist, David covered technology, business and general news as a reporter. He is a former SMH deputy chief of staff and was the founding editor of the paper’s BIZ.com and Radar sections.
David holds an MBA from the University of Technology, Sydney. He is a past member of the PANPA Digital Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism.
John DoneganBack to Top
Dual Walkley winning photographer John Donegan has been picture editor of both the Melbourne Herald Sun and The Sunday Age. He held these positions between bouts of freelancing, based at various times in London, Jerusalem and Darwin.
After a decade at The Age, Donegan is freelancing again and is now based in Sydney where he launched 1826 Media in 2009.
He joined the Walkley Foundation in 2010, after serving as a judge of the photography categories in 2009.
Colleen EganBack to Top
Colleen Egan is a Perth-based journalist and author. She has worked at The Australian, the Sunday Times and The West Australian, where she is currently an Assistant Editor. She is best known for her eight-year campaign to prove the innocence of Perth man Andrew Mallard, who spent 12 years in jail for a murder he did not commit.
She received the 2006 Walkley Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and the 2007 Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Narelle HooperBack to Top
Narelle Hooper is editor of the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine. Narelle has reported on Australian business and financial markets for nearly 20 years across print and electronic media and is a former senior writer with the Australian Financial Review. She has worked as finance correspondent with ABC Radio's current affairs programs AM and PM, presenter of the weekly Business Report on Radio National and co-presented SBS TV's The Business Show. She previously reported on federal politics with BRW Magazine from Canberra.
Narelle grew up in country NSW and studied journalism at Canberra University. She has a Masters of Management (Financial Management) from Macquarie Graduate School of Management.
Liz JacksonBack to Top
Liz Jackson graduated with first class honours in philosophy and literature from Melbourne University, before qualifying as a Barrister-at-Law from Gray’s Inn, London. On her return to Australia in 1983 she worked as a legal adviser in the NSW Premier’s Department before joining the ABC in 1986. At ABC Radio she presented the Coming Out Show, the Law Report and Background Briefing before joining ABC TV's Four Corners program as a reporter in 1993. She has worked at Four Corners from then till the present, apart from presenting ABC TV’s Media Watch show in 2005. Throughout her career Liz Jackson has won numerous awards including three Logies and eight Walkley awards for excellence in journalism, including the Gold Walkley award in 2006.
Liz Jackson is married with two children.
James KirbyBack to Top
James Kirby is Managing Editor at AIBM, the online publisher behind Business Spectator and Eureka Report. James held senior positions on The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, Business and Finance in Dublin, The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and Business Review Weekly. He has written several business books, including biographies of Gerry Harvey and Richard Pratt and is a regular commentator on TV and radio.
John StanleyBack to Top
John Stanley is a journalist and broadcaster with Fairfax media Sydney radio station 2UE. His work as a political reporter includes two stints in Canberra, where he was Bureau Chief for the then Fairfax owned Macquarie Radio Network, and as State political correspondent in Sydney during the corruption dramas of the 1980s. At 2UE he was the inaugural producer of the Alan Jones breakfast show, Assistant Programme Director and later Programme Director of the Station, and from 1990 has presented News and Current affairs programmes at Drive, Afternoons and Breakfast. In 2012 he is hosting commercial radio's first full time news and current affairs breakfast show.
Peter MeakinBack to Top
Born in England, Peter Meakin, the Seven Network's Director of News and Public Affairs, moved to Australia via Brazil and Singapore with his family in the 1950s.
He started work in Adelaide as a copy boy on The Advertiser in 1959, switching to television in 1966 as news director at SES-8 Mt Gambier. The following year he moved to TVW-7 Perth and in 1969 was appointed news director at TEN-10 Sydney.
Peter became involved with the Nine Network in 1973, working for Mike Willesee's Transmedia on A Current Affair. He became Chief of Production for 60 Minutes in 1979, then Joint Executive Producer of Willesee in 1984 before his appointment as Director of Current Affairs for the Nine Network in 1987.
Following this, he also worked as Executive Producer of 60 Minutes, Sunday and Business Sunday and took up the position of Director of News and Current Affairs for Nine in 1993.
In November 2002, Peter was awarded a prestigious Walkley Award for Journalism Leadership and in April 2003, The Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society in the Presentation of News and Current Affairs.
In May 2003, Peter Meakin joined the Seven Network as Director of News and Public Affairs.
Hedley ThomasBack to Top
Hedley Thomas is The Australian’s national chief correspondent. He writes across the newspaper, specialising in investigative reporting with a particular interest in legal issues, the judiciary, public administration, corruption and politics.
Hedley, 43, first joined The Australian in 2006 after working for The Courier-Mail, The South China Morning Post and the Gold Coast Bulletin.
He is the author of Sick to Death, a book revolving around surgeon Dr Jayant Patel who was tried for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm in Brisbane after working as a director of surgery in Queensland. Dr Patel was convicted in July 2010. Hedley was responsible for uncovering his appalling background, leading to a public outcry and the criminal prosecution.
Hedley has won five Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley, in 2007, for his investigations into the fiasco surrounding the Australian Federal Police investigations of Dr Mohamed Haneef. Hedley is based in the Brisbane Bureau of The Australian, which he returned to in early 2010 after a two year stint in investor relations and media for a resources company.