Meet your Queensland committee.
Cathie Schnitzerling is the Executive Producer of the ABC’s rural flagship television program Landline. She was previously the Regional Editor for Queensland, managing 10 ABC bureaux with 120 staff and responsible for the editorial content in radio, television, online and social media for the regions.
She was the first woman to become Director of News for the Ten Network in Brisbane and Sydney. She’s worked in three capital cities for three different networks and has been a television and radio reporter, presenter and producer.
Schnitzerling has also produced an independent documentary for SBS and has won awards for her documentary writing and television production.
She also headed media, communications and marketing teams in state government.
In 2014, Schnitzerling was recognised for her mentoring and leadership skills with a Queensland Clarion award for her Contribution to Journalism.
A mother of two adult children, she has recently graduated from the Queensland University of Technology Business School with a certificate in leadership, coaching and mentoring.
Laura Chalmers is Editor of U on Sunday magazine 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.
Chalmers extensively covered state and federal politics before moving to the news desk at The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail.
She has also worked for the Federal Government in Canberra, working as press secretary to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Senator Penny Wong.
She holds a BEc/LLB (honours) degree from the University of Adelaide and is deputy convenor of Women In Media Queensland.
Committee Member and National Board Member
Danielle Cronin is the first female editor of 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, which was recognised with a Walkley Award.
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 been a Women in Media Queensland committee member since its inception plus is the national digital convenor and serves on the board of Women in Media Australia.
Jane Hodgkinson is a highly-experienced strategic media and communications director in the Queensland Government, having transitioned into the role after an extensive career in television journalism.
Her career in television journalism includes 20 years at the Nine Network in Melbourne and in Brisbane.
More recently, Hodgkinson was the News Editor at Network Ten in Brisbane and a senior producer.
She is a Walkley Award nominee in a group entry and winner of the Victorian Column Brennan award for court reporting.
She is a long-time volunteer judge for the Queensland journalism awards, The Clarions.
Hodgkinson is on the WIM Qld mentoring sub-committee and the national WIM sponsorship sub-committee.
Kay McGrath is an award-winning journalist and presenter. She has presented prime time news bulletins in Queensland for 40 years.
With the Seven Network for the last 31 years, she currently presents weekend 6 o’clock news bulletins and files special interest stories.
McGrath is also passionate about social justice. She Chairs the State Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council
She is Patron of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Patron and co-founder of Protect all Children Today, an Ambassador for Act for Kids and Vice Patron of the Queensland Breast and Prostate Cancer Association.
In 2016, McGrath received a Queensland Clarion Award for “Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism”.
In 2017, she was awarded an OAM in recognition of her work in media and child protection.
She has a partner Richard, two adult sons, Nick and Joey, and two step daughters Leisa and Perri. (And a high maintenance but very endearing dog – Loui)
Committee Member and National Co-Chair
Kathy McLeish is the Co-Chair of Women in Media Australia and was the founding Convenor of Women in Media Queensland.
An award-winning ABC journalist and producer who has reported for programs across the network including 7.30 Qld, Stateline, 7.30, Landline, Australian Story and TV and radio news and current affairs.
She has executive produced Stateline and 7.30 Qld.
She’s currently searching out with wonderful towns and communities across the country for ABC TV’s Back Roads.
Coverage more than 20 years in media has included extensive reporting of Queensland natural disasters, the Nauru Detention Centre riots, the last Mentoring Taskforce handover in Afghanistan and race correspondent for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
McLeish was named Queensland Journalist of the Year for an investigative series, which triggered a Commission of Inquiry and a $60 million restructuring of youth mental health services in Queensland.
She has degrees in journalism and psychology.
Committee Member and National Co-Chair
Cath Webber is the Co-Chair of Women In Media Australia.
She has worked in the media for more than 20 years, appears weekly on Channel 7’s Sunrise as a commentator and is a founding member of the Queensland WIM committee.
Webber is a Strategic Communications Adviser and prior to that was Editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin – its first female editor in 130 years and the same paper where she started as a cadet in 1995.
Before returning to the paper where she started her journalism career, she was assistant editor across The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, deputy editor at the Townsville Bulletin and deputy features editor at the Irish Examiner, a national broadsheet in Ireland.
She is also passionate about digital, having worked as website editor for http://www.thetelegraph.com.au. Webber has a degree in journalism and film and television.
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’s also been a regular presenter on local radio and travel contributor and opinion columnist for 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 TV presenting courses.
She is currently a presenter on Channel Seven’s lifestyle program, The Great Day Out, and regular MC facilitator for Queensland corporate events.
Lou Davis is a marketing leader who recently stepped out of the corporate world. Tired and lost on what was really important to her, she made a bold move from the busy city life of Sydney to clear her mind, rediscover her purpose and be close to the grounding energy of the beach on the Gold Coast.
Walking on the beach every day to ground herself, is a ritual for Davis.
Freedom, adventure, flexibility and gratitude are some of her core values and Davis applies these to each choice she makes in her life, including setting up a business of her own which is focussed on purposefully working alongside small and medium businesses to set up their marketing programs and teams to deliver their business objectives.
Meg Purtell receives scholarship
Journalist Meg Purtell, who embraces innovation and runs towards change, is the inaugural recipient of the Women in Media Queensland $5000 Career Boost Scholarship.
At a packed Women in Media event to celebrate International Women’s Day, she was announced as the first recipient of the funding, which she will use to study three units in an Enterprise Leadership Program at QUT.
Apply for our career boost scholarship
Women in Media Queensland is offering an inaugural scholarship of up to $5,000 to boost the career of a mid-career woman in media by undertaking academic or professional development.