The Walkley Foundation Team

Lauren Dixon

General Manager

Lauren manages the Walkley Foundation’s national awards program, overseeing the entry and judging process for the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism and all the awards, prizes and scholarships in the mid-year program. She also manages the Walkley Foundation’s relationships with our many wonderful corporate, media and government partners. She has a Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Business from QUT.

John Bergin

Professional Development Lead

John Bergin is The Walkley Foundation's Professional Development Lead, responsible for shaping and guiding the organisation's ongoing work supporting journalists through training, mentoring, scholarship and fellowship programs.

He was previously the Project Manager for the Google News Initiative Training Network, managed by The Walkley Foundation, which has taught thousands of journalists, editors and students practical digital skills since its launch in 2019.

He has also held senior editorial roles at Sky News and SBS News, consulted to NewsCorp Australia and been a journalism lecturer at the University of Western Australia.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales and a Certificate IV in Marketing from North Sydney College of TAFE. He will complete a Graduate Diploma of Project Management with RMIT at the end of 2021.

Barbara Blackman

Executive Officer

Barbara began her long career with MEAA back in 1987 as the personal assistant to the federal secretary of Actors Equity. Prior to this she worked in the music industry and spent several years at the Australian Film Institute working on the AFI Awards. Before joining the Walkleys team to provide essential administrative support, Barbara worked in various administrative roles within MEAA and the NSW Journalists Benevolent Fund.

P: (02) 9158 3821
M: +61 425 297 081

Kate Burgess

Communications Project Manager

Kate manages communications for the Walkley Foundation, including the weekly newsletter. With a background in financial journalism spanning print and digital titles in Australia and the UK, she was involved in setting up the Asia-Pacific editorial operations for Inframation, an infrastructure-focused newswire part of the UK-based Mergermarket Group.

Kate’s experience includes a three-year stint in London reporting for the energy-focused newswire ICIS, as a capital markets reporter for the Australian Financial Review and professional services editor for BRW. She began her career as a financial analyst with PwC.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Technology Sydney, and is currently studying a Master of Sustainability at the University of Sydney.

Gemma Courtney

Events and Marketing Manager

Gemma joined the Walkley Foundation in 2018 as part of the Foundation’s newly developed strategic direction. She manages the coordination and delivery of a range of events and programs. Gemma previously managed The State Media Award Program. She has also managed the 2019 and 2021 Our Watch Fellowships Program. Gemma has previously worked in a range of online content, theatre and TV production.

P: (02) 9158 3822

Clare Fletcher

Communications & Editorial Manager

Clare manages communications and editorial for the Walkleys, including editing The Walkley Magazine. She also works on programming events including Storyology and public talks. If you’ve got a story idea, a great project you want to share, or a hot tip for a brilliant speaker, you should definitely email Clare. Originally from St George in regional Queensland, Clare started as an intern at the Walkley Foundation after graduating from Queensland University of Technology in 2006. She has been hard to get rid of ever since, even after a couple of years living in New York as a freelance writer.

Helen Johnstone

Development Manager

Helen joined the Walkley Foundation in 2018 as part of the Foundation’s newly developed strategic direction to better support and sustain quality journalism. Helen is responsible for driving a wide range of programs including providing scholarships, offering grants and developing tools for increased digital media literacy. In addition she works with funders and oversees our donation program (including bequests). Helen has previously held roles in sponsorship, philanthropy and communications in arts, non-profit, media and publishing organisations both in Australia and the UK. If you are interested in discovering how you can support a fair, far-reaching and quality media – please drop Helen a line.