Our Watch Fellowship

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Applications open Wednesday October 28

Applications close midnight Wednesday November 25


Have questions? Please email
gemma.courtney@walkleys.com

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, migrant and refugee women and other women who experience multiple forms of discrimination 
  • 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  
  • 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 2021.  Retreat dates are a two-day commitment and will be delivered in a COVID-safe manner.  

Retreat 1: February 16 and 17, 2021 (digital)
Retreat 2: April 27 and 28, 2021 (digital)
Retreat 3: June 8 and 9, 2021 (digital – TBD)

Read about our previous fellows here.

Application fee

It is free to apply for the fellowship. If we are able to run the third retreat in person, travel and accommodation costs will be covered for those needing to travel interstate for the fellowship program.

Who should apply?

The program is for reporters, editors, sub-editors, producers, chiefs of staff, media hosts, presenters, news directors and digital editors who have at least five years of media industry experience. 

Fellows can be working in print, broadcast or online journalism and from large or small organisations, including regional newsrooms or as a freelancer. 

People of all genders, ages and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

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

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 to apply for the Our Watch Fellowship Program

All applications must be submitted through the online entry form, open from Wednesday October 28. There are no hard copy application forms. NOTE: It is the responsibility of the entrant that any links provided to online works or broadcasts are available for at least six months after entries close.

Terms and Conditions

  • All applicants must be Australian citizens or residents working for Australian news outlets or as freelance journalists registered with an Australian Business Number.
  • 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.
  • Successful applicants must be able to participate in all of the fellowship retreats, which in 2021 will be run in a COVID-safe manner, scheduled for 16 and 17 February (digital), 27 and 28 April (digital) and 8 and 9 June (location TBC).
  • If we are able to run the third retreat in person, travel and accommodation costs will be covered for those needing to travel interstate for the fellowship program.
  • Successful applicants must demonstrate a willingness to organise and promote Our Watch visiting their newsroom to deliver a two-hour training session with their colleagues so their learnings can be shared with others.
  • Judges have the right to reject an application which in their opinion does not comply with the requirements of the competition. The judges’ decision will be final.
  • To facilitate easy access for judging, applicants should place URLs outside any pay wall. If that proves infeasible, the entry should provide a username and password for judges, plainly indicated in the supporting statement.

Selection Criteria and judging process

  • Applications for the Our Watch Fellowship Program will be open from Wednesday October 28, 2021 and close at midnight on Wednesday November 25, 2021. 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 Wednesday December 16, 2021.
  • 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.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
  • Applicants must be at least mid-career level with a minimum of five years working in the industry.
  • We are taking practical steps to improve diversity, including direct support for journalists to participate in the Fellowship. Places are set aside in the Fellowship to ensure representation of those communities most impacted by violence against women.  
  • 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.

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing ethical, evidence-based and sensitive journalism.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their capacity to apply cultural leadership in the 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.

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.

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

Further Resources:

Media Making Change

Our Watch reporting