Our Watch Fellowships

The Our Watch Fellowship Program is administered by the Walkley Foundation. This is a prestigious leadership opportunity for 14 outstanding journalists. They’ll have the opportunity to build and refine their knowledge of best practice reporting on violence against women, and deepen their understanding of the complexities of the issue, through a series of three retreats around the country. Fellows will be provided an opportunity to:

  • Deepen their knowledge of violence against women and its prevention
  • Engage in conversations with peers, veteran and award-winning journalists, and violence against women experts on the challenges and opportunities for advancing journalism on this topic
  • Develop skills in understanding and reporting on the complexities of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disabilities, culturally and linguistically diverse women and other women who experience multiple forms of discrimination and marginalisation
  •  Discuss effective approaches to interviewing victims, survivors and traumatised people
  • Understand common challenges, pitfalls and stumbling blocks to best-practice reporting, and develop practical techniques for producing more nuanced stories
  • Build skills to support colleagues and newsrooms to engage in best-practice reporting
  • Provide input into the development of key national resources for reporting on this topic
  • Support Our Watch to deliver a learning session in their own newsroom on best-practice reporting of violence against women to share the learnings of the Fellowship with colleagues

The Fellowship Program will be delivered as a series of retreats between February and June 2019. Retreat locations are to be confirmed, but they will occur in three different locations. Fellows are required to attend all three retreats. Attending each retreat in full may require that the Fellow travels on the day before or after the retreat.

Read about our current fellows here.

Application fee

It is free to apply for the fellowship. Participation in the retreats is free of cost – this includes travel, accommodation, and catering.

Who should apply?

We are seeking journalists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

The Fellowship Program is for reporters, editors, sub-editors, producers, chief of staff, media hosts, presenters, news directors and homepage editors who have at least five years of media industry experience. Fellows can be working in print, broadcast or online journalism. People of all genders are encouraged to apply.

In addition, there are dedicated spots for the following:

  • 1 spot dedicated for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander journalist
  • 1 spot dedicated for a journalist who works for a culturally and/or linguistically diverse publication or outlet
  • 2 spots dedicated for journalists working in regional or remote areas
  • Maximum of two spots for freelance journalists

The Our Watch Fellowship Program aims to have a mix of journalists from mainstream media, commercial, independent/alternative media and community media.

The Fellowship is specifically designed for journalists who can demonstrate their capacity to be an influencer in a newsroom. This does not necessarily mean they are an editor or news director – as leadership and the ability to influence newsroom culture can come from anyone in a newsroom.

Do Fellows have to have a background in violence against women reporting?

It is not necessary that Fellows have previously reported on violence against women. Fellows are also not expected to hold a strong understanding of the complexities of violence against women. Fellows are, however, required to demonstrate a commitment to advancing ethical journalism and demonstrate what positive change they would like to make as a consequence of their involvement in the Program.

How will applications be assessed?

The Walkley Foundation is administering the Fellowship Program selection process. An independent expert selection panel has been established to assess applications. Interviews will not be held; applicants will be assessed on their applications only.

The panel will base their selection on the following:

  • The applicant’s articulation of why they want to do this Fellowship, what they hope to learn from it, what they hope to do with it, what they think the news media’s role is regarding the issue of violence against women
  • The applicant’s commitment to advancing ethical, evidence-based and sensitive journalism
  •  The applicant’s capacity to be an influencer in a newsroom – as defined by their capacity to inspire, positively influence or capture the imagination of those with whom they work.
  • For those working in newsroom, a demonstrated willingness to support Our Watch to come to their newsroom to deliver a 2-hour training session with their colleagues so their learnings can be shared with others in the newsroom
  • An example of the applicant’s own quality reporting on a social issue, or an example of work that they have commissioned or edited (example does not need to be violence against women specific)
  • Ability to attend all three retreats – including that they have talked to their line manager about taking retreat dates off for professional development

Selection criteria

  • Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
  • Applicants must be at least mid-career level with a minimum of 5 years working in the industry.
  • Applicants must show a commitment to advancing ethical, evidence-based and sensitive journalism by providing three examples of their work that serves as Public Service Journalism. Public Service Journalism is defined as:

Journalism that aims to make a difference, with tangible public benefit to the community. This could include: Good civic journalism which gives a voice to the voiceless in our community; Journalism which starts a public debate on an important issue; Journalism which exposes incompetence or wrongdoing by those who should be working for the common good, especially in government or any institutions affecting the public; Journalism which points to solutions to important issues within the community or society which it serves.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of current issues and problems with reporting on violence against women and children within the news media and what they would like to see changed.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing ethical, evidence-based and sensitive journalism.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their capacity to apply cultural leadership in newsroom. This does not mean you have to have a managerial role or a formal leadership position – it is about demonstrating  your capacity to inspire, positively influence or capture the imagination of those around you.
  • Applicants must articulate why they want to do this Fellowship, what they hope to learn from it, what they hope to do with it and what they think news media’s role is regarding the issue of violence against women
  • The applicant must be available to attend all three retreats. This includes permission from their manager to take time out of the newsroom for professional development.

Terms and conditions

  • All applicants must be Australian citizens or residents working for Australian news outlets.
  • All applicants must certify that any work provided in their application, apart from normal sub-editorial/production treatment, is their original work and that they have adhered to the MEAA Code of Ethics in the work preparation, undertake to continue to abide by the Code of Ethics and have complied with all copyright requirements.
  • All entries must declare any legal complaints, defamation actions, contempt of court actions, suppression orders, challenges to the accuracy, corrections or claims of plagiarism, relevant to the work at the time of entry.
  • Applications for the Our Watch Fellowship Program will be open from Monday October 15, 2018 and close at midnight on Thursday November 15, 2018.
  • Applications will be considered by a selection panel comprised of senior journalists, industry members and Our Watch staff/board.
  • Successful fellowship applicants will be announced on Thursday December 6, 2018.
  • Successful applicants will be notified prior to the public announcement and be required to sign an MOU that confirms that they can take part in all three fellowship retreats.

Please read the full terms and conditions here.

Retreat dates

Successful applicants must be able to participate in all of the fellowship retreats scheduled for Friday February 8—Sunday February 10, 2019, Thursday March 28—Friday March 29, 2019 and Friday June 7, 2019.

If you have any further questions, please contact Gemma Courtney at gemma.courtney@walkleys.com or on (02) 9158 3822 or Lauren Dixon at lauren.dixon@walkleys.com or on (02) 9158 3820.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Go to www.dss.gov.au for more information.

Background of the Our Watch Fellowship Program and the National Media Engagement Program

Our Watch receives funding from several government and philanthropic sources to deliver the NME Program, which has two broad aims:

  • To positively influence the attitudes, behaviours and norms of the general public regarding violence against women, by encouraging best-practice reporting
  •  To build respectful and gender equitable newsrooms, industry bodies, news stories, and news sectors

The NME program consists of several key projects and initiatives including: a university curriculum, newsroom training for practicing journalists, the Our Watch Awards for excellence in reporting, a national survivor media advocacy project, development of national media reporting guidelines, hosting a series of forums and panel discussions, the Our Watch Fellowship Program, and the convening of the National Media Advisory Group.

The Our Watch Fellowship Program is funded by the Department of Social Services.  Our Watch is working in partnership with the Walkley Foundation to administer the Fellowship Program.

Our Watch background

Our Watch has been established to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that underpin and create violence against women and children. Our vision is an Australia where women and their children live free from all forms of violence. Our mandate is to stop violence before it happens. Our purpose is to provide national leadership to prevent all forms of violence against women and their children. Our work will always be based on sound research and strong and diverse partnerships.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.