The Walkley Foundation Team

Shona Martyn

Shona Martyn


Shona Martyn is a highly experienced journalist, editor and former book publishing executive. A former New Zealand Journalist of the Year, she started her career as a cadet journalist at the Auckland Star and then covered education, medicine and politics at The New Zealand Herald. In Australia, she has been the editor of The Sydney Morning Herald's Good Weekend and Spectrum sections, was the founding editor of the award-winning HQ magazine and a feature writer and arts editor of Vogue Australia. She served as publishing director at both Transworld/Random House Australia and HarperCollins Australia before returning to journalism in 2017. Shona was a longtime member of the board of the Sydney Writers' Festival and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Lauren Dixon

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.
Barbara Blackman

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

Jess Braddock

Jessica Braddock

Events & Awards Co-ordinator, MEAA State Media Awards

Jess is responsible for the event and award coordination of MEAA's State Media Awards, which are managed by the Walkley Foundation. She also assists the team with a variety of Walkley programs and events. After crossing the ditch from New Zealand, Jess spent two years in content, contributing to and editing a media newsletter. Back in Wellington, she coordinated fundraising events for the SPCA and studied communications. Jess is keen to hear from anyone who is interested in entering, judging, sponsoring or being part of the State Media Awards.
Kate Burgess

Kate Burgess

Professional Development Manager

Kate manages the Meta Australian News Fund and the Walkley Foundation's training programs, including the Google News Initiative and the Mentorship Program. 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

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

Clare Fletcher

Communications & Editorial

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. Clare's first novel will be published in August 2022.

James Gorman

Communications Manager

James Gorman has worked as a reporter, producer and senior media adviser. Most recently Head of Communications at financial and biotech company iQ Group Global, James has also worked in communications at the City of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. In journalism, he has worked for Seven, Nine, News Corp, and as a freelance journalist, after starting his career at the Blacktown City Guardian.

Julie Johnson

Development Manager

All photos: Anna Kucera/Walkley Foundation.