Walkley Mentorship Program

It’s no secret that the news industry faces many challenges. Audiences are fragmenting. Media consumption habits are evolving. The economic model for news is changing. Trust in journalism is wavering while false and misleading information is on the rise.

Amid this tumult, it’s easy to forget that our industry colleagues, often the younger ones, are faced with a choice: sink or swim. But without senior journalists to help, they face a tough time just keeping their heads above water.

The success of journalism rests in our commitment to mentoring others. Present-day experts of the craft have an essential role in helping to shape and guide the next generation of talent.

The Walkley Mentorship Program supports journalists by providing an opportunity to develop their skills, build their networks, and learn from those who have walked the path before them.

Applications are open now, closing on October 1, 2021. The program is open to journalists across the industry and to all ages and levels of experience. Unfortunately, mentees who have participated in the program in the last three years cannot apply.

About the program

Over 12 months, ten mentees will be selected and matched with suitable mentors who will share their experiences, insights, and expertise with them to guide their career development.

The program requires participants to meet a minimum of 8 times over the 12 months. If COVID-19 public health orders allow it, face to face meetings are preferred, but phone conversations or videoconferencing is also acceptable.

Who can apply to be mentored?

Journalists of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to apply.

  • Applications from journalists working in regional and rural areas are encouraged.
  • Applications from journalists with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are encouraged.
  • Freelance, part-time and full-time journalists are all invited to apply.
  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia.
  • Unfortunately, mentees who have participated in the program in the last three years cannot apply.

Who are the mentors?

The Walkley Foundation selects mentors according to the mentees’ career goals and desired areas of development. Mentors will be drawn from a pool of senior news journalists, including Walkley-winners and industry leaders.


Applications are now open. Apply using the online form here. Applications close on October 1, 2021.


Terms and conditions

  • The Walkley Foundation’s mentoring program requires commitment from both parties to make it work. Mentees should understand that the program will require a time commitment and be happy to prioritise time to communicate with their mentor.
  • The candidate must understand that once they have committed to participate in this mentoring program if for any reason they cannot see the program through to its conclusion, they must notify the Walkley Foundation and their mentor as soon as possible.
  • The confidentiality and privacy of the mentor-mentee relationship must be strictly adhered to at all times.
  • This relationship covers 12 months from the introduction to the mentor. Once the mentoring program has concluded, the mentor and mentee are no longer formally required to continue the arrangement. If both parties agree to continue a mentor-mentee relationship, they understand that it is not subject to any oversight or responsibility on the part of The Walkley Foundation.
  • The Walkley Foundation expects that if the mentoring relationship is not working for any reason, one or both persons will notify the Foundation promptly and in good faith to address the issue. The Walkley Foundation reserves the right to allocate a new mentor or mentee if other options are exhausted.

With thanks to Mentorship program supporters:

The Dennoch Fund, a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundationand the Hantomeli Foundation.

Need help? Get in touch with john.bergin@walkleys.com or 0410 590 379.

Thank you to our mentors

We’d like to thank those mentors, many of them Walkley winning journalists, who have advised, supported and encouraged our mentees over the years. Their insight and experience in producing quality journalism is invaluable in helping to support the next generation of journalists and to sustain a fair and far-reaching industry.

Our grateful thanks to:

The 2020 Walkley Mentorship Program: Mentees announced

Australian journalists of all ages and experience levels were invited to apply to the 2020 Walkley Mentorship program. With thanks to our funders we are delighted to announce the following eight mentees:

  • Tanya Ali, Executive Producer, Race Matters – FBi Radio

  • Charmayne Allison, Senior Reporter, Shepparton News

  • Kamin Gock, Journalist, Nine News Perth

  • Donna Lu, Australasia Reporter, New Scientist

  • Steven Saphore, Photojournalist

  • Peri Strathearn, Managing Editor, Murray Bridge News

  • Kristie Sullivan, Journalist, Grant Broadcasters

  • Kate Thomas, Copywriter, Hireup

Response was enthusiastic for this twelve month program with applications received from all corners of the country. Thanks to funding from the Dennoch sub-fund, a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation and the Sidney Myer Foundation, the Foundation had six mentorship opportunities available. In response to a rallying cry, the Walkley community donated funds which provided two additional opportunities.

From Karen Percy, Mentorship Committee member and Walkley Director

“It was really tough selecting only eight mentees from a really strong field of applicants. We know the upheaval in the industry in recent years has meant younger journalists can’t always learn from experienced journalists and so there is a real desire from many for career guidance and skill development. We hope that this mentorship program will go some way to meet this need and look forward to developing the program in the future.”

Mentees will be introduced to their mentors over the coming weeks and the program will begin at the end of the month.

Further information on the mentorship program can be found here.

If you are interested in lending your support to the program please contact helen.johnstone@walkleys.com or donate online here.

With thanks to our funders: