A publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne


Citizen editor and reporter awarded 2020 Walkey reporting grants

Reporting projects initiated by a lecturer and a student from the Centre for Advancing Journalism are among the winners of the 2020 Walkley Foundation grants for public interest journalism. 

Citizen editor and reporter awarded 2020 Walkey reporting grants

The Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism honours the work of the legendary ABC Pacific correspondent, pictured above. The 2020 winners are the Centre for Advancing Journalism's Jo Chandler, and Pacific specialist reporter Nic Maclellan.


The Walkley Foundation yesterday awarded grants valued at a total $134,000 to support Australian reporters pursuing public interest journalism projects.


Among the 11 grant recipients is Jo Chandler, a lecturer at the Centre for Advancing Journalism and editor of The Citizen whose proposed project has received support through the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism, awarded in honour of legendary ABC Pacific correspondent.

Chandler researches and writes on public interest topics, including a longtime focus on climate change science and impacts, and has reported extensively from Papua New Guinea over the past 12 years. Her recent work has appeared in The New York Times and The Guardian, among others. This $10,000 grant will allow her to return to the Pacific – when Covid19 restrictions allow – to research a series of reports exploring issues of climate justice in the Pacific. The stories will appear in The Monthly and Griffith Review.



Jess Malcolm, a Citizen reporter and student in the Centre for Advancing Journalism’s Master of Journalism program, received a freelance regional reporting grant – the only student reporter to secure the honour.  The grant underwrites her travel to rural areas to report a news feature for The Citizen which will likely also be co-published by one of our regular mainstream media partners. Examples of Malcolm’s previous work can be found here.

The grants program supports Australian journalists to produce significant journalism in any medium. The Walkley Foundation said “judges have been rigorous in selecting projects on the basis of originality, public interest, value and impact. These are stories that will surprise, educate and make a difference. In this round, the emphasis was on applications that were supported by co-publishing arrangements”.

Walkley Foundation Chief Executive Louisa Graham said: “We were thrilled with the diversity of entries and stories selected. It is clear there are many stories to be told in these under-reported areas.  We thank our grant partners and only wish we had more money to fund this sort of public interest journalism.”

For full details, click here.


About The Citizen

THE CITIZEN is a publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism. It has several aims. Foremost, it is a teaching tool that showcases the work of the students in the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism and Master of International Journalism programs, giving them real-world experience in working for publication and to deadline. Find out more →

Winner — BEST PUBLICATION 2016 Ossie Awards