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Walkley Foundation announces new Judging Board members

April 2024

The Walkley Foundation has welcomed five incoming members of the Walkley Judging Board: Colleen Egan (Former journalist and author, WA), Claire Mackay (ABC, SA), Konrad Marshall (Good Weekend, Victoria), Solua Middleton (ABC, Queensland) and Jake Nowakowski (Herald Sun photojournalist, Victoria).

They join Sally Neighbour, announced earlier this year as the new chair of the Walkley Judging Board, and existing members Cameron Stewart (deputy chair), Sarah Abo, Suzanne Dredge, Anton Enus, Rashell Habib, Gabrielle Jackson, Kate Kyriacou, Donna Page, Mark Riley and Kathryn Wicks.

The Walkley Awards for Excellence in journalism, first presented in 1956, are Australia’s premier national awards, benchmarking quality, best practice and ethical reporting. 

Walkley Foundation CEO Shona Martyn said: “We are delighted to welcome these new members of the Walkley Judging Board, roles with a great responsibility. The integrity and reputation of the Walkley Awards depends on the scrutiny, diligence, impartiality and knowledge of its Judging Board, who choose the winners of each category and the Gold Walkley-winner. The sixteen members of the Judging Board are senior journalists drawn from media organisations across Australia, all with impressive reputations in their different areas of work. Along with the first round judges who serve on specialist panels to select the finalists in each category, the Judging Board ensure fair, balanced and confidential consideration is applied in Australia’s most important media awards”

The Walkley Foundation is at the heart of the Australian media, recognising and promoting excellence in the craft. The Foundation advocates for high quality journalism and works collaboratively with journalists and media organisations across the country.

We thank outgoing board members Michael Brissenden (former chair), Neil Breen, Dean Lewins, Hamish Macdonald and Sarah-Jane Tasker for their valuable contribution to the Foundation and journalism.


Media enquiries 

Please contact Walkley Foundation communications manager James Gorman on 0414 990 480 or  ​

You can find information about the Walkley Awards judging process here, and the Terms and Conditions of the Awards here and conflict guidelines here.


About the new Judging Board members

Colleen EganColleen Egan, former journalist and author (WA)
Colleen Egan’s journalism career spanned more than 20 years, from a regional West Australian newspaper to political coverage for The Australian, court reporting at the Old Bailey in London, weekly opinion columns in WA’s major newspapers and assistant editor of The West Australian. Colleen is best known for her eight-year investigation into the case of Andrew Mallard, who was jailed in 1994 for a murder he did not commit. Colleen’s work resulted in Mallard’s conviction being overturned and a cold-case review that matched evidence to a convicted murderer. She won the Walkley Award in 2006 for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. Her book, ‘Murderer No More: Andrew Mallard and the Epic Fight that Proved His Innocence’, was also long-listed for a Walkley. From 2017 to 2023, she was chief of staff to the WA Attorney General, assisting the government’s law reform agenda. She is now an independent consultant in Perth. 

Claire MackayClaire Mackay, News Editor, ABC (SA)
Claire is News Editor of the ABC’s South Australia newsroom, leading a news team with a proud record of breaking high impact investigative stories. Claire has been in News and Technology leadership positions for the past 10 years leading and developing the ABC’s multiplatform teams across the country. Claire began her ABC career as a News cadet journalist in the Sydney newsroom in 1998. She has worked as a journalist, producer and presenter reporting on a wide range of stories all the way from India to remote NT communities. Claire has worked for the ABC in NSW, QLD, the NT and SA. Claire grew up in country NSW and began her media career in regional television. 

Konrad MarshallKonrad Marshall, Senior Writer, Good Weekend (Victoria)
Konrad Marshall is a senior writer with Good Weekend magazine, based in Melbourne and specialising in longform stories about sport, the arts and science. He also hosts its weekly podcast, Good Weekend Talks. Before joining the magazine, he was a features writer for The Age, and deputy editor of The Melbourne Magazine. That followed almost a decade working for various US newspapers in New York, Florida and Indiana. He is the author of several books, most notably Yellow & Black: A Season with Richmond, and has worked with numerous athletes to help tell their stories, including iconic Australian tennis star Ash Barty (My Dream Time) and former AFL player and coach now transgender advocate Danielle Laidley (Don’t Look Away). Konrad has twice been named as Best Print Journalist by the Australian Sports Commission, and is the only two time winner of the Harry Gordon Award for Australian Sports Journalist of the Year.

Solua MiddletonSolua Middleton, Digital Journalist, ABC (Queensland)
Solua Middleton is a digital journalist with ABC News interactive digital storytelling team, Story Lab, and a proud Torres Strait Islander with more than 20 years’ experience of telling stories across multiple platforms and mediums. Formerly with the Koori Mail, she earned the Henry Mayer Media Prize before joining NITV as a videojournalist and news producer, and later self-publishing Indigenous newspaper Be Counted. Solua has been with the ABC since 2010, working with ABC Gold Coast as an Open Producer and senior Features reporter before transitioning to Story Lab where she is co-leading a project on Australia’s Indigenous rich history. In 2017 she received a UNAA Media Award for ABC’s Right Wrongs, and in 2012 a Clarion Award for the ‘Aftermath’ flood project. Her impactful ‘DreamBox’ project which captured the dreams of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationwide was recognised as a 2012 Human Rights Media Award finalist. Solua also serves as the ABC’s Bonner Committee Deputy Chair.

Jake Nowakowski, photojournalist, Herald Sun (Victoria)
After leaving a career as a graphic designer in 2003, Jake Nowakowski found himself freelancing both at home and abroad before eventually accepting staff positions at the North West Star in Mount Isa and The Cairns Post. He is currently employed as a staff photographer at the Herald Sun in Melbourne, and won the 2023 Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year award.



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