Now in its third year, the Women in Media national conference is a unique gathering of talented women from across the sector from journalism to public relations. We’re back at Bond University, with a new theme – Equip, Elevate, and Empower.
Rachel Berger is one of Australia’s most highly regarded, adept and adaptive comedic talents working variously as a comedian, broadcaster, novelist, columnist, agitator and television entertainer.
She’s taken four solo shows to the Edinburgh Festival and her dynamic presence and engagingly sharp observations have made her an extremely popular performer both live and on television, across Australia and overseas.
Berger’s high public profile has done much to establish the position of women in comedy providing a distinctive voice for women’s opinions and viewpoints.
She’s also a woman of remarkably diversified talents. In addition to playing the xylophone and carving avocado pips into small Buddhas, she’s recently stopped feeling guilty. There are no cows too sacred for this Berger.
ShellShocked Media and 9Honey
Shelly Horton’s high school guidance counsellor said she was too opinionated and talked too much, so she should tone it down. Rather than take his advice, she turned it into a job description and became a journalist.
Now Horton’s opinion can be heard nationally a number of times each week with regular segments on Channel Nine’s Today, Today Extra, 3pm News and Weekend Today. She’s also the lifestyle presenter for 9Honey.com.au and co-host of Talking Married – a chat show dissecting Married At First Sight.
Her career highlights include 11 years reporting for ABC Radio and TV, eight years as a presenter on Channel Seven, six years as a journalist at Fairfax and five years as the South Pacific correspondent for Entertainment Tonight USA.
As if that’s not enough, she is a sought-after MC and also runs her own presentation and media training company, called ShellShocked Media.
She teaches people how to shine on camera and how to build their confidence. Basically, she helps people find their inner Beyoncé.
Ginger Gorman is an award-winning social-justice journalist based in Canberra, Australia. In 2013, Gorman and her family suffered the effects of online hate first-hand, and it was this experience that set her on a professional journey into the world of trolls.
In 2017, her series of articles on trolling for Fairfax newspapers in Australia went viral and became some of the most read Australian stories of the year.
She is now in demand as an expert on online hate and has written and spoken extensively about trolling and social media self-defence in Australian and global contexts.
Her first book, Troll Hunting, was published in February 2019.
Michelle Gunn is the editor of The Weekend Australian. Under her editorship, the newspaper has won the News Media Award Weekend News Brand of the year for four out of the past five years.
In 2018, the newspaper also took out the overall News Brand of the Year award. Gunn was appointed editor in September 2012. Prior to that, she held many senior positions on the paper including Deputy Editor, National Chief of Staff, Sydney Bureau Chief and Social Affairs editor.
She is married with two teenage boys.
Jenny Brockie is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected journalists and broadcasters. Her media career of more than 40 years spans digital, television, radio and print. Brockie currently hosts the multi-award winning program Insight on SBS TV.
Prior to her work at SBS, she spent more than two decades at the ABC in a variety of roles including television documentary producer/director, morning radio presenter, television interviewer and national and international reporter.
She started her career as a cadet reporter in ABC television and radio news in 1977, moving to daily television current affairs in 1979. She joined the Four Corners reporting team in 1983.
In 1985-86, Brockie took a year’s maternity leave, briefly returning to Four Corners as a reporter, before she was recruited to help establish a Documentary Department at the ABC in 1987. It was there – as Producer/Director – that she made the ground-breaking documentaries Cop It Sweet about Sydney’s Redfern police, and So Help Me God about Campbelltown local court south-west of Sydney.
In 1994, Brockie took up an offer to present the Morning Show on ABC Radio Sydney, then 2BL. After two years, she returned to television to produce her own interview series Speaking Personally, before making two further television documentary series for the ABC – Our Street about three different streets in Australia and Bad Behaviour about criminal motivation.
In 2001, she left the ABC to present the weekly current affairs show Insight on SBS television.
Brockie has won a swag of awards for her work including a Gold Walkley, three other Walkley Awards (two for documentaries and one for Interviewing), a Logie, two Australian Film Institute Awards, and a Human Rights Award. She has also won eight United Nations Association Media Peace Awards for her work on Insight.
Living Black Host
Karla Grant, a proud woman of the Arrernte people, is the Executive Producer and host of Australia’s award-winning and longest-running Indigenous current affairs show Living Black on NITV. With more than two decades of media experience, Grant has dedicated a huge part of her career to working in Indigenous news and current affairs, witnessing and reporting on the shifts in policy and attitude towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Starting at SBS almost 20 years ago as a presenter, producer, reporter and director of the Walkley award-winning ICAM – Indigenous Current Affairs Magazine – program, Grant was appointed as the Executive Producer of the network’s Indigenous Media Unit, where she developed Living Black – now a Deadly Award-winning show.
For 11 years, she managed SBS’s coverage of The Deadly Awards. Before joining SBS, Grant worked on Channel 10’s Aboriginal Australia and hosted a weekly show on Canberra’s community radio station 2XX.
Award-winning Political Journalist
Annika Smethurst is the National Political Editor for the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald Sunday and Sunday Mail – Sunday News Corp papers). She began her print career in Bendigo in regional Victoria before being selected for a cadetship with the Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne.
She worked as a state political reporter at the Herald Sun before joining the Canberra press gallery. In 2015, she won a Walkley for the Choppergate scandal. She won her second Walkley in 2017 for a series of articles which revealed former Health Minister Sussan Ley had purchased a property while on a taxpayer-funded trip to the Gold Coast.
Smethurst was the 2016 Young Press Gallery Journalist of the Year and the 2017 Press Gallery journalist of the year.
In June, her Canberra apartment was raided by seven AFP officers a year after she wrote a story revealing the Australian Signals Directorate was seeking to broaden its powers to spy on Australian citizens, prompting a global debate about press freedom.
She regularly appears on Sky News, as well as The Drum and Insiders on the ABC.