Walkley Journalism Innovation Grants

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Grants overview
2015 winners
Program partners

Contact us

Rose Powell, innovation manager:
rose.powell [at] walkleys.com and 02 9333 0963

The cornerstone of the Walkley Foundation Innovation Program is a pool of seed funding, offered annually since 2013 for proposals for innovative projects in journalism, media and storytelling, with the support of Google Australia.

The program launch and applications for the 2017 intake will open before the end of March. You can sign up for updates here.

2016 Winners

More than 20 projects were selected to the program longlist and participated in training and project development workshops in Sydney and Melbourne.

The successful applicants were announced in October 2016. Summaries of the winning projects, briefly described below, can be found in the official announcment here.

FiveARM Crisis Journalism Secure Reporting Tool
Nick Chesterfield (West Papua Media)
Award: $15,000

Reportermate (previously Time Serious)
Nick Evershed
Award: $15,000
Update #1: Nick Evershed wants to let the robots do the boring work Feb. 24, 2017

Moonshot Podcast
Kristofor Lawson and Andrew Moon
Award: $5,000

Creating a Community Radio Newsroom for the 21st Century
William Martin, Jim Beatson & Susan Forde
Award: $15,000

Applications will open in early 2017

Quick links for prospective applicants:


Overview of the innovation grants

The Walkley Foundation exists to support and empower journalism through a full program of awards, events and training. As the news industry has been severely disrupted over the last decade or two, seeking out and supporting innovative new ventures and projects has become fundamental to this mission.

In partnership with Google Australia, the Fund runs an annual grants program and is open to funding a broad range of ideas across the news, media and civic engagement industries. We’re fairly open-minded about what these projects could be but are interested anything that enables journalism, and especially empowering journalism to fulfill its critical role in democracy of speaking truth to power, and helping create and sustain engaged and informed public.

Eligible recipients include journalists, developers and entrepreneurs — or teams of all three. Mainstream media organisations are not eligible to enter internal projects, but staff working at these organisations can enter independent projects. In previous years  we have had finalists from The Guardian, The ABC, Fairfax Media and News Corp but each idea is judged purely on its merits and the team’s ability to execute upon their plans.

Details about the 2017 program will be published before the end of March 2017. You can register for updates here. In 2016 the seed pool was $50,000. Grant amounts are decided by a jury of experts and have ranged in the past from $5,000 to $30,000. 

The value of the program goes beyond the award money. In April, we announce a longlist for the awards. These applicants are invited to participate in workshops in two states to further develop their projects and business plans. We announce final decisions on awards in June, and the winners receive mentoring and expert advice. Grant recipients are expected to provide updates on their progress as we are committed to sharing lessons learned by innovators across the industry.


      • James Kirby, managing editor of Eureka Report
      • Ramin Marzbani, leading technology and internet analyst
      • Jacqui Park, CEO of the Walkley Foundation


2015 winners

Chart Collective team, “Chart Collective”: An online multimedia platform that plots stories of place and environment, working toward an expanded interactive map format.Jay Cooper, Nick Cooper & Veronica Ridge, “ISSIMO.IO”: A sophisticated yet simple digital platform that enables journalists without technical or marketing skills to edit and publish a viable digital publication.Karina Brindley & team, “Elevate Business Leaders Forum”: A platform for regional business leaders to share their business journey in a digital story format.
Charlotte Harper, “Editia”: Editia will work with journalists to publish expanded versions of their in-depth feature articles as standalone publications in ebook form or via print on demand.Melissa Sweet & the Croakey team, “Croakey”: Transforming the Croakey blog into a new online platform to showcase its innovative health and public service journalism.Courtney Sanders, “MyCatalogue”: A fashion and culture content platform, monetised via a state-of-the-art e-commerce affiliate program that supports local, independent fashion designers.

Innovation Program partners

The Walkley innovation grants are part of our journalism innovation program. We’re always looking for new partners from the worlds of journalism, business and non-profits who can help transform journalism. Read more about working with us or just email the Walkleys’ innovation manager Rose Powell or our general manager, Louisa Graham. Our current partners:


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