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Pacific Journalism: Issues, impact and importance

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Pacific Journalism: Issues, impact and importance

Introduced by the undisputed icon of Pacific reporting in Australian media, Sean Dorney, a discussion about why it is vital that Australian audiences know more about the issues and challenges faced by our closest neighbour. Our expert panel of journalists provide insight into reporting on the region including guidance on how Australian journalists can give voice to Pacific island perspectives. They explore the challenges and opportunities of reporting on international issues when grounded by the Pandemic, and how collaboration can support better journalism. Featuring:

  • Welcome: Tess Newton Cain, Project Lead Griffith Asia Institute and Sean Dorney, Veteran ABC Pacific journalist
  • Ben Bohane, freelancer, photojournalist, TV producer, author
  • Samantha Magick, Managing Editor, Islands Business
  • Nic Maclellan, freelance journalist
  • Moderator: Stefan Armbruster, Correspondent Qld and Pacific, SBS



Stefan Armbruster is the Brisbane-based correspondent for SBS World News, reporting on Queensland and the Pacific for the past 15 years, regularly travelling across the state and region. He began as a broadcaster at public radio 4ZZZ-fm in Brisbane, and worked overseas for the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, Dow Jones, CNBC, and the ABC in Australia. His reportage on Aboriginal & Torres Strait islander, Pacific, environment and multicultural issues has been recognised with numerous awards.

Ben Bohane is a photojournalist and tv producer who has spent more than 25 years reporting the Pacific islands for Australian and global media. He is based in Vanuatu and was the inaugural winner of the 2019 Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism by the Walkley Foundation.

Sean Dorney is a veteran journalist of Pacific reporting within the Australian media. In 2018 his illustrious 40-year career as a journalist in Papua New Guinea and throughout the Pacific islands region was recognised with the Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. Sean’s passion for the region, and for the work of the Australian media in telling Pacific stories to Australian audiences, is legendary and unquenchable.

Nic Maclellan works as a journalist in the Pacific Islands, and was awarded the 2020 Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism by the Walkley Foundation. He is a correspondent for Islands Business magazine (Fiji) and a contributor to Pacnews, Inside Story and other regional media. His latest book “Grappling with the Bomb” – a history of British nuclear testing in Kiribati – was shortlisted for the EPAA Scholarly Book of the Year in 2019.

Samantha Magick is the Managing Editor of Islands Business, the flagship publication of Front Page Limited, a totally Fiji-owned company. Established more than 30 years ago and originally known as Islands Business International, IB is the premier publishing group in the Pacific Islands region. Islands Business magazine boasts a field of experienced correspondents based across the Pacific Islands region and has subscribers throughout the Pacific Islands and in Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan.

The 2022 Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism is open for applications. Find out more and apply by 11.59pm AEST April 26, 2022.

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