John B Fairfax with 2019 Young Australian Journalist of the Year Oliver Gordon. Photo: Adam Hollingsworth

The John B Fairfax family has pledged to support the Walkley Foundation’s awards and professional development opportunities for young Australian journalists over the next 10 years with a gift of $1 million.  

Walkley Foundation Chief Executive, Louisa Graham, announced the contribution at the Walkley Foundation’s Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism in Sydney. 

In 2008, the Walkley Foundation established the Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards to celebrate and encourage the next generation of rising stars in journalism. The Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards have six categories, with category winners in the running to win the overall award of Young Australian Journalist of the Year. Tonight Mridula Amin was named the overall 2021 winner, having also won the Longform and Visual Storytelling categories. 

The John B Fairfax family through its foundation—the Jibb Foundation—has supported the awards since 2017. With the Jibb Foundation’s contribution, the Walkley Foundation has lowered entry fees for young journalists, provided a mentoring program for category winners and supported the overall winner with a fully-funded opportunity to visit newsrooms in the US.

From 2022 this financial contribution will not only sustain these awards for the next decade, but also allow the Walkley Foundation to expand the professional development opportunities associated with winning a Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award.

Ms Graham said: “This increased commitment is significant for the Walkley Foundation and the industry. The scale of this generosity echoes Sir William Walkley’s founding donation that set up the Walkley Awards 65 years ago, and his sister-in-law June Andrews’ 2019 bequest to the Walkley Foundation.

“The Fairfax name has long been associated with the glorious history of Australian journalism. With this announcement the Fairfax legacy will be synonymous with a bright future for the next generation of Australia’s best journalists,” Ms Graham said.  

John B Fairfax AO said: “We are extremely proud to be supporting an award that promotes excellence in journalism and encourages young Australian talent. We are also delighted to provide meaningful support to the Walkley Foundation, which has consistently embodied the values of integrity and quality in the profession.”

“This is an extraordinary gift,” Ms Graham said. “It is a legacy that enshrines the principles of best practice and ethical journalism in our next generation of reporters. Supporting young journalists reflects the culture that was started long ago by the Fairfax family in one of the country’s best known media empires, Fairfax Media. This is a relationship we are most proud of,” Ms Graham said.

Read an interview with John B Fairfax about his family’s contribution to supporting young journalists here.

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For  further information and images, contact 

To learn more about the Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards, visit https://www.walkleys.com/awards/young-journalist-of-the-year/ 

If you would like to follow John B Fairfax’s example and show your support for quality journalism, please donate online here or contact: helen.johnstone@walkleys.com