ACT

Meet your ACT committee.

Convenor

Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald is a multi-award winning journalist and is Associate Editor of HerCanberra.

She is the convenor of Women in Media Canberra.

She is the co-founder of maternal health charity Send Hope Not Flowers and is the Telstra ACT Business Women of the Year for 2016 in the Social Enterprise category.

Macdonald has been a journalist for 25 years – 13 of which were spent in the Press Gallery where she was The Canberra Times Bureau Chief.

She has won numerous awards for her journalism, two Walkley awards (1993, 2003) and was a national finalist in 2001.

She won the John Douglas Pringle British Award for Journalism in 1998, was awarded a Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Fellowship in 2002, the same year she was Highly Commended in the Paul Lyneham Award for Press Gallery Journalism.

In 2011, she was made a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Canberra.

Committee Member

Gillian Bradford

Gillian Bradford is the Head of Editorial Strategy for ABC News.

She has been the Managing Editor of the ABC at Parliament House, a foreign correspondent, a political reporter and a producer on the acclaimed documentary series The Howard Years.

Committee Member

Anne-Louise Brown

Anne-Louise Brown is a former newspaper and web journalist turned media adviser.

After more than a decade working in busy regional and metro newsrooms all over Australia, she switched to higher education communications for two of Queensland’s leading universities and, in Canberra, made the move into strategic communications.

As communications adviser for the Law Council of Australia, Brown is at the coalface of the legislative process, using the power of the media to encourage government to formulate fair and good laws.

She juggles work and raising her two adorable daughters with completing a criminology degree.

Committee Member

Ginger Gorman

Ginger Gorman is a fearless and multi award-winning social justice journalist and author. In the course of her 20-year media career she’s watched bodies burn at the crematorium, been strapped to a bondage wheel and recorded her own cancer treatment.

She’s interviewed everyone from eminent scientists and artists to hardened criminals and vicious internet trolls. In fact, she gave a gripping TEDx talk on this very issue and authored the non-fiction best seller, ‘Troll Hunting.’

She has the ability to connect and communicate with some of the most interesting and marginalised people in our community. Gorman works hard to translate those untold stories into powerful and insightful journalism.

She regularly writes stories, makes radio and TV for media outlets such as news.com.au, Fairfax, The Guardian, The Big Smoke and the ABC

Committee Member

Shalailah Medhora

Shalailah Medhora is triple j’s Canberra reporter, so her whole job is getting young people to know and care about politics.

She’s a cross-platform reporter and works mainly in radio and online, with the occasional TV appearance.

Before joining triple j, she worked for Guardian Australia and SBS.

When she’s not decrypting politics for young Australians, Medhora is most likely to be found watching terrible reality TV or doing karaoke.

Committee Member

Karen Middleton

Karen Middleton is the Chief Political Correspondent for Schwartz Media’s national weekly newspaper The Saturday Paper and has covered national and international affairs in print and broadcast media for three decades.

Middleton is the author of two books, Albanese: Telling It Straight, published in 2016, and An Unwinnable War: Australia in Afghanistan, published in 2011.

Previously Chief Political Correspondent for SBS Television, she made three trips to Afghanistan as a war correspondent embedded with the Australian Defence Force.

She has worked in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1989 with a year in its previous home, Old Parliament House, in 1987, and served as Press Gallery president for four years.

She appears regularly on ABC TV’s political talk shows Insiders and The Drum and is a freelance commentator for the Ten Network’s The Project.

She also contributes to ABC radio, Monocle24 Radio UK, Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon program, BBC TV and Turkey’s TRT World international TV network and has contributed previously to The New York Times.

Middleton is based in Canberra.

Committee Member

Karleen Minney

Karleen Minney has been a news photographer for more than 20 years, working in Tasmania before moving to The Canberra Times where she was appointed Photographic Editor.

She has won a number of industry awards – the Joseph Coulter Media Awards, photographic (2002), the Tasmanian MEAA Photographer of the year award (2006), a Walkley awards photographic finalist (2006), and an OPSO award, Best Photo Spread (2015).

With a passion for sport, Minney is a gym-junkie, mud-runner and recently climbed to Everest Base camp – she has been an Australian Sports commission photographic finalist in both 2016 and 2017.

She was a World Shorthand Storytelling Awards finalist in 2017 for the most compelling photo spread.

She has a son, and daughter and a passion for cake decorating.

Committee Member

Catherine McGrath

A 30-year media veteran, Catherine McGrath was Chief Political Correspondent and Bureau Chief for SBS Television in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.

She earlier spent 25 years with the ABC as Political Editor, Australia Network, ABC Asia Editor, ABC TV diplomatic editor and Chief Political Correspondent for ABC Radio.

Before coming to Canberra, McGrath was the ABC’s South East Asia correspondent based in Singapore. She started her career as a commercial radio reporter in Wollongong, then joined the ABC’s radio current affairs units AM/PM and The World Today in Sydney and Brisbane.

She covered her last federal election campaign in 2016.

She is the founder of Catherine McGrath Media – a communications business with a focus on spoken word communication, speaking and speaking training.

Committee Member

Stephanie Peatling

Stephanie Peatling is the deputy political editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

She has worked in a variety of roles in the press gallery including as political correspondent and social affairs correspondent.

Prior to that, she was the environment editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Committee Member

Claudine Ryan

Claudine Ryan is a digital editor, podcast producer and health journalist with more than two decades of experience.

She is currently the Editor of ABC Life, leading a team of smart savvy digital storytellers focused on telling stories about those issues outside the news cycle that matter to people.

In 2017, she pitched, developed and produced award-winning podcast Ladies, We Need to Talk for ABC Audio Studios.

Ryan has also made a significant contribution to the ABC’s Science Unit as a digital editor, journalist and producer. Her work has also featured on RN programs including Science Friction, Life Matters and the Health Report.

At this stage of her career, she enjoys being in the position to amplify the work of colleagues and working with early career media professionals, especially women.

Committee Member

Lanai Scarr

Lanai Scarr is Federal Political Editor at The West Australian newspaper.

She has worked as a journalist for more than 11-years covering federal politics, business, women, families, mental health, immigration, tourism along with a range of other topics at the forefront of the Australian media landscape.

Scarr has travelled Australia and the world with her writing, been on the frontline of election campaigns, leadership spills and natural disasters.

She was a finalist for Scoop of The Year in 2015 for breaking the story on Barnaby Joyce’s threat to euthanise Johnny Depp’s dogs, and was a finalist for Young Journalist of The Year in 2010.

Scarr grew up in foster homes and experienced significant tragedy in her childhood.

She is now a mum of four, including three-year-old triplets and an almost five-year-old. She lives in Canberra.

Committee Member

Tara Taubenschlag

Tara Taubenschlag has worked in government relations, communications and journalism for more than 15 years.

Prior to her career with CMAX Advisory, Taubenschlag worked as a print and television journalist both nationally and internationally, producing and presenting news and current affairs programs for Sky News and Channel Ten.

During her time at CMAX Advisory, she has counselled clients from a range of sectors including cyber, fintech, defence, agriculture and education in government relations, reputation management, corporate communications, issue management and corporate social responsibility.

Taubenschlag assists a number of non-profit and community organisations with their PR and communication needs on a pro-bono basis.

She is a passionate maternal health advocate and has worked with charities including Every Mother Counts, Send Hope Not Flowers and The Hands of Rescue to raise funds and awareness for maternal health programs in developing countries.

She is a founding board member of Fortem, a community support organisation which provides Australia’s national security officials and first responders psychological services and mental health support.

Taubenschlag helped establish the East Timor Free Press Foundation following the independence referendum in 2000, receiving an Australian Government Award in recognition for her volunteer work there.

She holds a Bachelor of Journalism.

Committee Member

Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the creator of HerCanberra – a publishing empire which includes an online platform receiving more than 300,000 hits a month, a social media platform with more than 90,000 followers and a suite of bespoke magazines printed three times a year.

Passionate about connecting Canberra women with their city and each other, Whitley was named ACT Woman of the Year 2016.

She started HerCanberra after a successful career in the Australian Public Service. Since leaving the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication (Public Relations) 25 years ago, she has amassed a diverse range of experience.

From communication strategy to media; video production to graphic design; writing and editing to websites; major event management to corporate and internal communication and culture – there’s not a lot she hasn’t done.

Whitley was made a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Canberra in 2013.

She is a dance mum to two daughters and dotes on her Burmese cat George.

Committee Member

Cathy Bryson

Cathy Bryson is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager at the National Press Club. She has been in this role for five years and is responsible for corporate memberships, sponsorships and partnerships. She manages the communications to members and all marketing and digital marketing for the Club.

In addition to her role at the Press Club, she is a Director and Committee Member for The Road to Mandalay Education Foundation as well as her role with Women in Media.

Bryson gained her yoga teacher qualification in India in 2017 and is currently popping up with ‘Wine Yoga’ at the Hotel Kurrajong.

Her work history started with a part-time role in a newsagent in her home town of Wagga Wagga before taking on a role as one of only three female Compositors at her place of work in the printing industry.

She went on to work in graphic design, sales, quality assurance and management in the printing industry before finding fulfilment working in the not-for-profit sector.

In what spare time she has, you will find her in a national park bushwalking, planning the next overseas adventure, attending boot camp or learning more about social media marketing.