National Conference 2018

Women in Media will host its second national conference at Bond University, with a program centred on the theme – Bigger, Better, Bolder.

Last year’s inaugural conference on the Gold Coast – headlined by Four Corners’ Sarah Ferguson and featuring talented women in media such as Edwina Bartholomew, Sandra Sully and Virginia Trioli – was a sell-out and trended number one on Twitter.

The 2018 conference will be held on September 14-15 on the Gold Coast.

‘Benefits of being a difficult woman in a difficult world’

The bloke crossed the wide, open floor of The Age newspaper Christmas party — smart-arse smile, arms wide, that 2am sway. Chin up, chest out, he loomed over me.

‘We are living in a golden age of media’

Some see Harry Styles, Kim Kardashian and Home and Away as pop culture puff. Wendy Syfret sees modern-day equivalents of Shakespeare.

Other women have your back and that’s empowering

“Women are more powerful when they stand together and we can help lift one another up and share our stories,” says Kay McGrath.

Persistence pays off when chasing that dream job

A typical workday for Brooke Campbell Bayes begins at 5.45am, getting herself and her young daughter Edie ready so she can be at the Nine Honey office by 7.30am.

Finding a work-life balance after the political chaos

With two Walkley Awards, a charity, a thriving career and motherhood to deal with, Emma Macdonald recognises that perhaps one of her best skills is juggling.

Busting the ‘bamboo ceiling’

Antoinette Lattouf isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in, advocating for change in the Australian media landscape.

No easy route to join the ‘family business’

Claire Harvey calls journalism the “family business”. Her father, the late Peter Harvey, was a giant of the Australian media, famous for his “Peter Harvey, Canberra” sign-off during a decades-long stint with the Nine Network.

What I learned from an incredible mentor

Laura Chalmers’ skill as a writer took her to the prime minister’s office but it was her love of journalism that led her back to newspapers.

Call to see more women in senior roles

ABC journalist Cathie Schnitzerling always had a nose for a good yarn or should that be ears? Schnitzerling’s mother dubbed her ‘Little Miss Big Ears’ for the way she devoured stories swapped across the dinner table in regional Queensland.

Compelling storytelling is and will remain at the heart of journalism

As editor of the Brisbane Times, a lover of politics and a Women in Media committee member, Danielle Cronin is on the frontlines of the gender equality debate.

Knowledge is power in legal disputes

When journalists aren’t writing about John Laxon’s clients, they are his clients. The criminal lawyer is also an expert on media employment law, representing high-profile media types.

Don’t buy the stereotype that women tear each other down

“What we all can do is throw down a big fishing net to bring up many, many women together,” says Dr Kirstin Ferguson.

‘A huge honour and a privilege’ to anchor the news

“I’ve only ever had people who have been supportive and encouraging and wanting me to succeed,” says Narelda Jacobs.


Award-winning journalist

Virginia Trioli

Two-time Walkley Award winner Virginia Trioli is one of Australia’s best-known journalists, with a formidable reputation as a television anchor, radio presenter, writer and commentator.

For the past decade, she has fronted the ABC’s News Breakfast program. She has also hosted prime-time radio programs on 774 ABC in Melbourne and 702 ABC in Sydney and held senior positions at The Age newspaper and the Bulletin Magazine.

In 1995, Trioli won Australian journalism’s highest honour, the Walkley Award for business reporting.

Several years later, she won a second Walkley for her interview with the former Defence Minister Peter Reith over the Children Overboard Affair. She famously asked him how a picture of child asylum seekers in the water proved their parents had thrown them overboard.

Virginia Trioli will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

News presenter and trailblazer

Narelda Jacobs

Narelda Jacobs has been a journalist at Network Ten since 2000 and was appointed the presenter of TEN Eyewitness News Perth in 2008.

In an industry well known for its ever-changing nature, Jacobs has established herself as a prominent identity within the local community.

A patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association WA, Jacobs is also an Ambassador for Breast Cancer Care WA, and the Disability Services Commission. In 2011, she was one of 13 WA women who trekked Kokoda to raise money for Breast Cancer Care WA.

Jacobs has emceed high profile events and has shared the stage with prime ministers, international business leaders and humanitarian advocates.

Earlier in her journalism career, she was selected to represent Network Ten at a professional development program at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to that, she was also chosen for a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Arizona.

Narelda Jacobs will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Investigative journalist and author

Kate McClymont

Investigative journalist and author Kate McClymont is one of the best-known journalists in Australia.

As a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald, McClymont spends her time mixing with and writing about some of the shadiest characters in the story of Sydney.

Once derided by Paul Keating for spending her time “chasing subterranean odours”, McClymont’s sense of smell has led her to unearth some of the underworld’s most fascinating tales of betrayal, corruption and crime.

Her phone has been tapped, she’s had police security, and received death threats in the aftermath of her Gold Walkley-winning expose of the Bulldogs salary cap scandal.

It was McClymont in whom millionaire businessman Michael McGurk confided that he feared for his life, just one week before he was fatally gunned down outside his Sydney home.

McClymont is also the recipient of five Walkley Awards as well as six Kennedy awards and the George Munster Award. She is a member of the Senate of Sydney University.

Last year, McClymont was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame for her outstanding contribution to Australian journalism.

Kate McClymont will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Athlete and journalist

Karni Liddell

Karni Liddell’s journey to become one of Australia’s most successful Paralympians began a lot differently than most elite athletes. She was born with a neuro-muscular wasting disease and her parents were told that their first-born child wouldn’t walk, crawl or live past her teenage years.

Liddell broke her first World Record at the age of 14 and she went on to win Paralympic medals at every Paralympics she competed at and she regards being captain of the Number 1 team at the Sydney 2000 Games her greatest achievement.

She has raised more than $1 million throughout her career for the various disability charities she supports.

Liddell is the National Disability Insurance Scheme QLD Ambassador, she sits on the United Nations Women’s board, she is a member of Dame Quentin Bryce’s Domestic and Family Violence Council, she is a radio broadcaster, a social commentator on Channel Nine’s Chat Room and has just been appointed the Patron of the International Day of People with a Disability.

She was awarded the Pride of Australia medal, she won the Qld Teacher and Trainer of the year (2015) and she was just awarded the Alumni of the Year award for the faculty of health at the Queensland University of Technology.

Liddell is an internationally acclaimed and sought after keynote speaker and has just done a TED talk, which has been watched by thousands of people around the world and was the only TED speaker on the day to receive a standing ovation.

Karni Liddell will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

VICE head of editorial

Wendy Syfret

Wendy Syfret is a Melbourne based writer and editor, currently serving as the Head of Editorial for VICE Australia and New Zealand. Before taking on this role in 2017, she had served as the Australian Editor of pioneering fashion publication i-D and Associate Editor at

Her broad editorial background has seen her cover news, current events, culture, gender and sexuality, the arts, and human rights.

As the VICE editorial lead, she is focused on the experiences and concerns of young Australians, and how they navigate a changing world. As well as pushing the VICE audience to see their own lives from another angle.

Starting her career as an intern at VICE, she’s spent the past six years working to develop the current editorial identity.

She is passionate about championing the rights and voices of Australia’s youth, and creating space and amplification for marginalised and ignored voices in media.

During her time as head of the editorial team, she’s overseen projects that spanned print, digital, video, events and social activism. This content was delivered across websites, social media, and television to reach a combined audience of over 2 million consumers a month.

Alongside content, she also oversaw partnerships with cultural leaders including the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Old and New, the Wheelers Centre, The Emerging Writers Festival and NITV.

Outside of VICE, she’s engaged in several initiatives to build and engage young Australian writers. Including running writers workshops for VAMF, the Emerging Writers Fest, NGV, MPavillion, Wheelers Centre, Swinburn and Monash Universities. She also founded the fundraising series, Fanfiction Fan Club, that invites writers to share their favourite pieces of fan fiction to raise money for LGBTQI+ youth organisation Minus 18.

Wendy Syfret will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Living Treasure

Caroline Jones

Caroline Jones AO Hon DLitt (University Sunshine Coast; Hon DLitt (Sydney University) is national co-patron, with Victoria Laurie, of Women in Media.

She is a veteran journalist, author and broadcaster, who has had a 50-year association with the ABC; working most recently with ABCTV Australian Story (1996-2016).

She was the first woman reporter on This Day Tonight (the first Australian national current affairs program, from 1968-72), and the first woman to anchor Four Corners (1972-81), concurrently with broadcasting on ABC Sydney morning radio.

She is a sponsor of the Mary MacKillop Tertiary Indigenous Scholarship Program, and on her retirement, the ABC created the ABC News Caroline Jones Indigenous Scholarship.

Diversity champion

Antoinette Lattouf

Antoinette Lattouf is the co-founder and Director of Media Diversity Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that is working to make our news media more reflective of all Australians.

Lattouf is a multi-award-winning journalist whose career spans television, radio and online.

She is a Network Ten senior reporter who has worked on a range of programs in both commercial and public broadcasting media including AM, PM and The World Today, Ten Eyewitness News, Hack on triple j, Studio10, SBS’s Insight, ABC’s 7pm News and Media Watch.

She is a journalism lecturer at Macleay College and an Ambassador for the Gidget Foundation.

Antoinette Lattouf will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

The Australian

Paige Taylor

As a cadet at the Albany Advertiser on Western Australia’s south coast, Paige Taylor learned shorthand from a retired schoolteacher and spent a lot of time at the Premier Hotel.

She later worked at the Post, an independent newspaper that thrives as a vibrant record of life in Perth’s west.

She moved to the Perth bureau of The Australian in 2004, where she has reported on alleged war criminals, asylum issues, Aboriginal affairs and all things West Australian.

Journalist and author

Catherine Fox

Catherine Fox is one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce. An award-winning journalist, an author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia and often appears in the media.

During a long career with the Australian Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper and wrote the weekly Corporate Woman column. She has published four books, including her latest Stop Fixing Women (NewSouth).

In 2012 Fox helped establish the annual Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards and she is a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board.

She was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media.

Catherine Fox will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Women in Media Victoria

Jane Canaway

Jane Canaway is an old-fashioned journo, usually working behind the scenes as a freelancer, subeditor, news editor, production editor and now a researcher.

She has served time in local news (Melbourne and the UK) Southdown Press, independents, Fairfax, and now ABC.

Jane Canaway will moderate a panel at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Deputy editor and columnist

Claire Harvey

Claire Harvey is the deputy editor and a columnist with The Sunday Telegraph.

She has worked in newspapers for 23 years including a decade at The Australian and has reported for publications including The Jakarta Post, The New York Times, The International Herald-Tribune and The Times of London.

Claire Harvey will speak at the 2018 Women in Media National Conference.

Nine Editor

Brooke Campbell Bayes

A journalist by trade, Brooke Campbell Bayes has produced and crafted content and strategy with some of the biggest names and brands in the Australian entertainment industry.

Brooke is currently an Editor at Nine where she oversees all aspects of digital strategy and content for their Style vertical (fashion and beauty) across 9Honey and

Prior to Nine, she spent five years as Founder and Editorial Director of women’s lifestyle website, Show + Tell, one of Australia’s most trusted online communities for women. Show + Tell share the stories of prominent and everyday Australian women through honest and often revealing conversations that span video, the written word, podcasts and live events. Its loyal and engaged audience is evident in their social media audience of more than half a million women.

Most recently, she worked as Executive Producer of the 3pm Pick Up with Bec Judd, Monty Dimond and Yumi Stynes. Producing is her true love, having had the pleasure of seeing shows she’s produced such as Hamish and Andy and Chrissie and Jane take the much-coveted number one FM spot, and The Circle take home the Logie for the best light entertainment show.

She has enjoyed two stints in her career working as a New York correspondent – for ACP Magazines (now Bauer) and for a second time with Show + Tell. With more 15 years’ experience in media in Australia and the U.S, she is passionate about media, storytelling and digital publishing.

Brooke Campbell Bayes will speak at the 2018 Women in Media National Conference.

Mobile journalism expert

Rob Layton

Rob Layton has worked in the news publishing industry for 30 years as a reporter, sub-editor and photographer for newspapers and magazines in Australia and Britain. Layton specialised in production across print and online, and later in digital.

Layton’s production work led him to undertake a Master of Journalism degree in which he wrote, designed and produced a visual communication textbook, Editing and News Design, for Palgrave Macmillan. The text is prescribed at universities throughout Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Asia Pacific.

Layton is now a Senior Teaching Fellow at Bond University where he leads the digital component of the journalism program. His research looks at the ways in which technology is changing journalism, and its impact on how news is gathered, presented and consumed in an industry that is constantly evolving and reshaping itself to meet consumer needs.

Layton evangelises mobile journalism. His workshops for the Women in Media conference will introduce participants to best practice workflows and recommended apps for capturing, editing and distributing content with smartphones.

Rob Layton will run a workshop at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.


Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald was on the front line of daily newspaper journalism for 23 years before moving to the online and magazine platform HerCanberra in 2016 where she is Associate Editor.

She has written on a huge range of issues, from politics to education, social affairs, health, and women’s affairs. Macdonald spent 13 years covering federal politics from the Press Gallery, rising to become Bureau Chief at The Canberra Times.

Macdonald has won numerous awards for her work – these include two Walkley Awards (1993, 2003) and selection as a national Walkley finalist (2001).

She was awarded the John Douglas British Prize for Journalism in 1998, and in 2002 was awarded a Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Fellowship. She was highly commended for her political journalism through the Paul Lyneham Press Gallery Journalism Award in 2002 and was recognised as a University of Canberra Distinguished Alumni in 2011.

She has been published widely, from The Times (UK) to the Business Standard (India), to Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Emma is passionate about her craft and has been a regular commentator on both screen and radio. She is dedicated to promoting women in media – becoming Convener of Women in Media Canberra in 2015.

A mother of two, Macdonald co-founded the maternal health charity Send Hope Not Flowers in 2010, shortly after the birth of her now eight-year-old daughter. She won an ACT Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for Send Hope’s work in 2016.

Her best skill is, perhaps, juggling.

Emma Macdonald will speak at the 2018 Women in Media Conference.

Fashion Editor

Glynis Traill-Nash

Glynis Traill-Nash has established herself as one of Australia’s most highly regarded fashion writers and commentators. She is currently the Fashion Editor of The Australian, where she writes across all sections of the paper, including the monthly luxury glossy Wish and The Weekend Australian Magazine.

For well over a decade, she has become a front-row fixture at Australian fashion shows and events and her engaging, informative—and opinionated—writing has endeared her to readers of a number of publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sun-Herald, Vogue Australia, Vogue China, Qantas, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and In Style.

In addition, she has been performing as a jazz singer for more than 20 years, from her hometown of Perth to London – where she went from a guest artist at Ronnie Scott’s to headlining Pizza on the Park – and Sydney.
She launched her debut album After Blue (available on iTunes!) in 2013 and is overdue on a follow-up.

Glynis Traill-Nash will be a special guest at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.


Danielle Cronin

Danielle Cronin is the first female editor of Fairfax’s metropolitan masthead the Brisbane Times.

The award-winning journalist has worked in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Africa, and Canberra where she covered 10 federal budgets and three federal elections.

As a reporter for The Canberra Times, she spent seven years in the federal press gallery reporting on stories ranging from the coup that ended Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership to the Canberra firestorm.

She has also worked in South Africa as the inaugural winner of the Independent Newspapers Fellowship for Australia and travelled to Germany as the winner of the German Prize for Journalism.

After a long career in newspapers, Cronin joined the digital revolution and is keenly interested in pushing the boundaries of storytelling and innovative ways to build online communities including through the use of social media.

She has a Women in Media Queensland committee member since its inception and is national digital convenor for Women in Media.

Danielle Cronin will run a workshop at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Financial specialist

Jennifer McSpadden

Jennifer McSpadden is a financial wellbeing advocate, passionate change agent, and GM Engagement at Media Super,

When it comes to managing your money a feeling of confidence and control is the end game.

But how do you ensure you always have an income to fall back on, at every stage of your life, no matter what?

A firm believer in “it’s not what you earn, it’s what you do with it that counts”, McSpadden is a passionate change agent who is currently helping Media Super’s members achieve financial wellbeing, step by step and at their own pace.

McSpadden is a creative writer and educator at heart. She has worked in advertising, community services, law and sport and has spent the last 18 years helping people make the most of their super.

She has an MBA from Sydney’s University of Technology and is currently studying for her Masters in Organisational Change from Melbourne Business School.

One day, she will retire to the country, write dirty novels and make jam.

Jennifer McSpadden will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Storytelling specialist

Caroline Graham

Caroline Graham has worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine writer.

She is now an award-winning journalism lecturer at Bond University where she specialises in narrative non-fiction, creative writing, entrepreneurial storytelling and data-driven investigative reporting.

In 2018, she and co-author/co-producer Kylie Stevenson released a six-part true crime podcast series with The Australian. ‘Lost in Larrimah’ is the story of a dying town, a missing man and 11 people who mostly hate each other.

Graham is also the co-author of Writing Feature Stories: How to research and write articles, from listicles to longform and publishes both fiction and creative non-fiction.

Caroline Graham will run a workshop at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.


LJ Loch

LJ Loch is CEO of Alpha Consult, chair of NOW Australia, and convenor of Women in Media NSW.

She works with organisations, businesses and individuals to shape and protect their reputation and does so in an ethical and effective way.

Loch loves to make a difference.

LJ Loch will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Corporate and Industry Leader

Marina Go

Marina Go is a non-executive director of a number of ASX-listed, private, not-for-profit and sports boards.

She is Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club and Juggle Street, a director of Energy Australia, Autosports Group, 7-Eleven, Pro-Pac, Ovarian Cancer Australia and The Walkley Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Centre For Media Transition at the University of Technology Sydney, and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders.

Go was previously GM and Country CEO of Hearst Australia at Bauer Media. Boss Magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016.

She has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the media industry, having started her career as a journalist. She has an MBA from The Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW and a BA (Mass Communications) from Macquarie University.

Marina Go will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Presenter and company director

Jillian Whiting

Jillian Whiting is a familiar face on Queensland television, with more than 25 years’ experience as a journalist, newsreader and TV presenter with the Seven and Nine networks.

She has also been a regular presenter on local radio and contributor to News Corp papers.

Whiting is a partner and director of communication agency Media Potential, a Brisbane based company which specialises in media and presentation skills and television presenting courses.

She is currently a presenter on Channel Seven’s local lifestyle program The Great Day Out and a member of the Queensland Women in Media Committee.

Jillian Whiting will moderate a panel at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Communication and Media Expert

Jeff Brand

Professor Jeff Brand is a career academic in the discipline of communication and media with expertise in quantitative research, an intellectual interest in policy for the digital economy, and leadership experience in tertiary governance.

His research generates empirical evidence of the behaviours, attitudes and demographics of media audiences.

Brand has documented video game audiences through his decade-long series of studies entitled Interactive Australia and Interactive New Zealand.

In 2013, Brand was awarded a national Excellence in Teaching Citation from the Australian Office of Learning and Teaching for using Minecraft as a Virtual Learning Environment.

He has held many university administration and service positions and currently serves as Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Society and Design and Convenor of the Bond University Academic Capacity Building Program.

Professor Jeff Brand will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Employment lawyer

John Laxon

John Laxon is a Sydney lawyer who practices mainly in employment law, crime and commercial litigation.

Laxon became an employment lawyer almost by chance, in the course of representing an accused in a murder trial. The alleged crime arose from a fight in a Surry Hills hotel.

The star Crown witnesses were a number of physiotherapy students who had been at the tail end of their annual faculty pub crawl, one of whom observed the accused (the head of security for a famous Aussie working class man and rock star) administer what he described as a martial arts chop of death palm heel strike to the deceased.

The critical pub CCTV footage was as typically blurry and unhelpful as the drunken student’s recollection.

An acquaintance of the accused was an Executive Producer of a famous Australian current affairs program, who kindly offered his services to enhance and improve the CCTV quality.

What eventually followed the viewing of the enhanced footage by the jury, was an acquittal (as it rightly should have). What followed that was Laxon returning the favour by assisting the EP with his employment contract in his new position as Head of News at the TV station.

As an employment and discrimination lawyer, Laxon has successfully represented many high-profile media identities in well-known cases against all of the large Australian media organisations.

From the current affairs producer in a Beirut jail to the television news presenter sacked while on maternity leave. From the Network MD sacked by the eccentric absentee owner, to the cadet reporter shown the door for complaining about sexual harassment, to a good girl stripped bare of her rights, Laxon has helped them all.

As a criminal lawyer using skills refined as a former Commonwealth white-collar prosecutor, Laxon has successfully represented many high-profile accused in large and complex prosecutions, from insider trading and stock market manipulation to large Customs prosecutions, sex crimes, murder, manslaughter and contempt of court.

In short, Laxon helps real people with real problems, and he does it quite well.

John Laxon will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Journalist and satirist

Libbi Gorr

Libbi Gorr is a journalist with a wicked eye for satire. She is a member of the ABC Radio Melbourne Broadcast team, files the occasional story for ABCTV’s 7.30 and works in the private sector in content strategy and events.

Having burst on to the scene in the Hawke-Keating 1990s, Gorr irrevocably carved her name out on the desk of Australia in her 20s with the satiric nom de plume Elle McFeast.

Elle made Gorr an “It girl” of the 1990s here in Australia and winning wide acclaim overseas. Along with her award-winning specials, Gorr was the first (and last) Australian woman to host her own live tonight shows in Australia with Live and Sweaty ( 1993, 1994) McFeast (1995, 1996) and McFeast Live (1998).

Now, 30 years on, she maintains her edge but has grown up alongside her audience to reflect their lives, challenges and aspirations.

As an interviewer, Gorr is bold and sensitive, thought-provoking and irreverent. As a program maker, she is innovative and surprising. Gorr’s interests are broad, spanning politics, sport, gender issues, film and television, body image and self-esteem.

Gorr is acknowledged in The Who’s Who of Australian Women and has been the subject of Archibald Prize Finalist Portraits, in both painting and photography. Her television documentaries have sold around the world and been awarded by the New York Festival of Television. She currently sits on the inaugural Advisory Group for the AFLW for the AFL.

Gorr holds a law-arts degree from the University of Melbourne, and is a passionate believer in authentic relationships, further education and the importance of guilty pleasures.

Libbi Gorr will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Woman of Influence

Kirstin Ferguson

Dr Kirstin Ferguson is a professional company director and sits on a range of ASX listed, private and government boards, including the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation where she is the Chairman of the ABC Remuneration and People Committee.

Ferguson began her career as an Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force before working in the legal profession then going on to become CEO of a successful global consulting business.

With Honours degrees in history and law, Ferguson also has a PhD in leadership and governance for which she has received a number of academic and industry awards.

Ferguson has been named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence, is a Sir Winston Churchill Fellow and was recognised by Women & Leadership Australia with an award for her Excellence in Women’s Leadership.

Ferguson was the creator of the #CelebratingWomen campaign and is the author of Women Kind with Catherine Fox. Ferguson is a sought-after keynote speaker and MC, and an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology School of Business.

Kirstin Ferguson will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

News Anchor

Sandra Sully

Sandra Sully is a senior journalist and anchor of TEN Eyewitness News First At Five Sydney and is Managing News Editor of ten daily. She has been part of the TEN News team since 1990 and celebrated her 25th anniversary at the Network in 2015.

As one of the most recognisable and respected faces on Australian television, Sully has also hosted major network news events including the Federal Budget, the Royal Wedding coverage from London and Oprah Winfrey’s Big ‘O’ event at the Botanical Gardens. She also co-hosted TEN’s interactive, real-life crime series Wanted.

Sully’s career includes 18 years as the highly popular Presenter and Senior Editor of TEN Late News with Sports Tonight. In that role, Sully was the first Australian journalist to break the news of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. She has subsequently covered anniversary commemorations of both the Bali bombings and the September 11 attacks.

Her documentary credits include travelling to Timor in 2010 to produce Independent Future, a report on how the then-new nation was coping post-liberation.

In 2009, her documentary Sandakan – Sheer Bloody Murder revealed the tragic story of hardship and horror faced by Australian prisoners of war in Borneo on the infamous death marches of World War II. It premiered on Network Ten over the Anzac Day weekend that year.

Sully was one of the first journalists in the country to fully understand the impact and embrace the digital media revolution. Seeing early on the power of the platform and its ability to immediately deliver up-to-date and breaking news, Sully has established herself as one of the nation’s news leaders online, building a mass following on social media platforms.

Sully’s engaging warmth, style and versatility have enabled her to cover numerous events such as Commonwealth and Olympic Games, as well as becoming the first woman to co-host the iconic Melbourne Cup/Spring Carnival, a role she filled for seven years.

She is a passionate sports fan and sits on the Board of Hockey Australia, as well as being one of the first women members of the prestigious Carbine Club of New South Wales, which supports children in sport.

Sully is an Ambassador for National Adoption Awareness and, as well as being committed to several charity organisations, including her position as Co-Patron of Spinal Cure and Ambassador for the NSW Crime Stoppers. She is also a National Ambassador for Do Something, which encourages social change.

Sully’s passion for news has fortified her position as one of the finest newsreaders in the country, delivering TEN Eyewitness News First At Five bulletins with integrity and credibility.

News Editor

Laura Chalmers

Laura Chalmers is News Editor at The Sunday Mail. She has worked as a journalist for more than a decade, reporting for News Corp in Adelaide, the Canberra press gallery and now Brisbane.

Prior to this, Chalmers worked as press secretary to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Senator Penny Wong.

She has been a committee member of Women in Media Queensland since its inception.

Laura Chalmers will moderate a panel at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Regional Editor

Cathie Schnitzerling

Cathie Schnitzerling is the ABC’s Regional Editor for Queensland, managing 10 bureaux outside Brisbane and a staff of about 120, almost 60 per cent are women.

She was the first woman Director of News for the Ten Network in Brisbane and Sydney and has worked as a television and radio reporter, presenter and producer on both state and national news and public affairs programs for Ten, Nine and the ABC in three capital cities.

Schnitzerling was also the Senior Director of Integrated Communications for Queensland Health.

She has also produced independent documentaries and a short drama. She’s the proud single mother of a daughter and a son.

Cathie Schnitzerling will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.


Jennifer Spilsbury

Jennifer Spilsbury joined the Cairns Post in 2015 after 20 years at the Daily Mercury in Mackay.

Starting her career there as a cadet reporter, she rose to the top job after holding a number of roles including chief sub-editor, news director and deputy editor before becoming the paper’s first female editor in 2010.

Continuing her tradition of firsts, Spilsbury also became the first female editor of the paper in the city of her birth, Cairns.

Since taking on the Cairns Post role, Spilsbury has overseen a major transformation of the print product, which was unveiled in March 2016, and an overhaul of the brand’s website and social media platforms all of which have delivered massive audience growth.

The Cairns Post now engages with 267,000 people each month, a growth of 27 per cent year on year. Last year, the brand won News Corp’s prestigious Achievement in Regional Newspapers award.

Spilsbury’s proud achievements include personally spearheading campaigns for a new Mackay Base hospital and Mackay Headspace, both of which received industry and health awards.

She was also an inaugural member and later deputy chairwoman of the Mackay Hospital Foundation.

Spilsbury gives her time to community groups speaking on behalf of the Cairns Post about issues that matter most to people of the Far North and continues to champion the region and those who need a voice.

She was also invited to participate in the Cairns Regional Council’s Shared Vision forum, which will help to shape the region’s future.

With an emphasis on people and enhancing their skills, Spilsbury mentors young journalists as well as new editors within the company.

She is married to Matthew and is the mother of a four-year-old daughter. She is also a golfing tragic who has been a member of golf clubs since she was 12 years old, and has been heavily involved as a player and administrator.

Jennifer Spilsbury will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Author and journalist

Tracey Spicer

Author, journalist and broadcaster Tracey Spicer has anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9, Sky News and Radio 2UE, and produced/presented documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, India, PNG and Uganda.

Spicer is the inaugural national convenor of Women in Media and co-founder of Outspoken Women and NOW Australia.

Spicer’s first book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, is a bestseller and her TEDx Talk, The Lady Stripped Bare, has garnered more than five million views.

Tracey Spicer will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Acclaimed artist

Melinda Schneider

For over two decades now Melinda Schneider has been a leading light of the “new breed” of Australian Country music artists both in Australia and the US.

In a career which began with a stage debut at the age of three, she has kept her family tradition alive by becoming one of Australia’s most sublime singers and popular live performers. But it is through her assured and accomplished song writing that she has really discovered her true voice.

With 10 albums under her belt, she has earned two Gold records and won numerous awards, including six CMAA Golden Guitars – featuring 2008 Top Selling Album for Stronger, 2005 Album Of The Year with Family Tree, APRA Song Of The Year for the song Real People and Female Vocalist Of The Year in 2003 for The Story Of My Life.

2008 brought with it an exciting new phase in Schneider’s career, with the launch of her own independent record label, Be Music. The label’s first release was Schneider’s fifth studio album Be Yourself in July 2008, which earned her second ARIA nomination for Best Country Album.

Schneider was awarded her 6th CMAA Golden Guitar for Vocal Collaboration of The Year in January 2009 for her heart-warming duet Still Here with Paul Kelly. Schneider’s songs have also been recorded by artists as diverse as John Farnham, Billy Thorpe, Jimmy Little, Olivia Newton-John, Ricky Skaggs and Paul Kelly.

As 2010 unfolded, Schneider’s career broadened dramatically. She dazzled with her dexterity on television’s Dancing With The Stars and put her country music recording career on pause for a moment to indulge a passion for Doris Day that goes back decades. This passion resulted in the release of her shimmering tribute album Melinda Does Doris – A Tribute To Doris Day, which debuted at number one on the ARIA Jazz and Blues chart, remaining there for a total of nine weeks.

Schneider recently starred in her brand new stage show DORIS, Doris Day – So Much More Than The Girl Next Door. Co-written by Schneider and David Mitchell (of Dusty/Shout fame), this musical tribute to Schneider’s idol, could very well be the universal story of women, set to the music of the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Hot on the heels of sell-out seasons at Brisbane’s Twelfth Night Theatre and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and two huge weeks at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, DORIS opened at The Lyric Theatre, Sydney on November 3, 2011 to rave reviews, followed by a sell-out reprise performance at the prestigious Sydney Opera House Concert Hall in April 2012.

Meanwhile, in October 2011, Schneider also released her ninth album Life Begins At 40 – The Ultimate Melinda Schneider Collection. The double CD release marked her recent milestone birthday and celebrates over three decades of Schneider’s successful recording career.

More recently, Schneider has entered another wonderful phase of her life with the birth in August 2012 of her beautiful baby boy Sullivan.

In November 2014, Schneider and Beccy Cole collaborated on their number one charting album Great Women Of Country – and The Songs That Made Them. A national theatre tour followed in 2015, including the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

On Oct 21, 2016, Schneider released her latest album: Melinda Does Doris … Again – The Movie Songs and is currently on tour nationally with a concert version of her DORIS show ‘Melinda Does Doris’ A Tribute to Doris Day and will also embark on a capital city concert hall tour, including the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall with her brand new show Young at Heart with Tom Burlinson.

In April 2017, Schneider released her new single, My Voice. Inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, My Voice is truly an anthem of our time and a cathartic, healing experience for people who have long felt isolated or silenced.

Embraced by passionate women’s advocate Tracey Spicer, Schneider released the powerful song in time for the launch of NOW AUSTRALIA, Spicer’s not-for-profit initiative to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Profits from MY VOICE downloads will help fund safe workplace programs.

Currently, Schneider is writing songs for her new original album due out early 2019.

Melinda Schneider will speak at the 2018 Women in Media national conference.

Senior Journalist

Victoria Laurie

Victoria Laurie is a senior journalist and feature writer with The Australian, in the Perth bureau. She has worked in TV, on radio and for magazines including The Bulletin, HQ, Australian Geographic, and The Weekend Australian magazine.

She is a founding member of Women in Media and its national co-patron with Caroline Jones.

Special Counsel

Steven Morris

Steven Morris practises in the areas of commercial and property law, with 34 years’ experience at a large national firm and now smaller boutique legal firm.

He is the national head of the Property and Commercial team of Smith Leonard Fahey Lawyers and works closely with the team members around the group’s offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

He is an expert in commercial law, contracts and also in setting up structures for consultancies, freelancers and small or medium business enterprises.

Morris acts for Women in Media (and is even married to one) and has set up their current structure and registration of their Intellectual Property.
He is an avid boatie and has served as the Commodore of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and is a Life Member of Queensland Yachting.

Steven Morris will speak at the Women in Media national conference.