Putting the full stop on 2021.

MPC Logo on Green

This year has not been without its challenges for the Melbourne Press Club.

Staying relevant, continuing to deliver benefits for our members, sponsors and supporters, and remaining sustainable were top of mind through another pandemic year.

Under the leadership of president Nick McKenzie, the MPC has maintained a strong foundation for a fantastic 2022. We welcomed Paul Paton from the Federation of Traditional Landowners to our board, who will provide us a lens to continue to ensure diversity and inclusiveness is embraced, as well as Nicole Strahan and Fotis Kapetopoulos. The board also said farewell to long-time member Heather Loomes.

In March we were again fortunate to be able to host the Quill Awards Dinner as a live event, bringing together more than 500 people from our industry for a much needed celebration. The 2020 Gold Quill went to Russell Jackson for his story about Robert Muir. Entries for the 2021 awards are now open .

Russell Jackson and Robert Muir holding trophies at The Quills in March

Russell Jackson and Robert Muir at The Quills in March

Our Masterclass series commenced with Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker talking Investigative Journalism at the University of Melbourne, followed by Judge Liz Gaynor and Justin Quill discussing court reporting. The series has proved hugely popular.

Edit events for young journalists were also popular, with two hosted in real life and another four delivered as webinars.

Alexis Daish seated, speaking at the front of a room with with Edit host Matilda Marozzi

Alexis Daish discusses TV and correspondence with Edit host Matilda Marozzi

The book club series continued in 2021 with a focus on journalists who have become authors. Michael Rowland spoke on ‘Black Summer’, Katherine Firkin on ‘The Girl Remains’, and Lisa Millar on ‘Daring to Fly’.

Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar with Cathy Bryson, smiling in a Crown dining room

Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar with Cathy Bryson in November

The 2021 Media Iftar dinner was a special event we delivered in partnership with the Australian Intercultural Society.

A new sponsorship arrangement with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry enabled us to deliver the State Budget Address by Tim Pallas, and meant we had the chance to hear from Paul Guerra at a media lunch shortly after.

Andrew Lund asks a question of Tim Pallas. We see the back of Tim's head and Andrew's face as he speaks.

Andrew Lund interviews Tim Pallas at the 2021 Post-Budget Lunch

Events on press freedom, how to read a budget, the media and health literacy, mental health, and Victoria's Truth and Justice Process were among our online offerings in 2021, while we capped off the year with an in-person farewell to ABC News chief Gaven Morris.

Nick McKenzie and Gaven Morris smiling at the camera with the MPC logo board in the background

Nick McKenzie and Gaven Morris earlier this month

The gratitude we feel to our sponsors, supporters and donors – who enable us to continue to deliver our mission and objectives for our members – is heartfelt in another tough economic year. Continuing supporters were University of Melbourne, Thomson Geer, Crown, Minter Ellison, Australia Post, Telstra, VicHealth, TAC, McGrath Nicol, Lion, 3AW, ABC, Sky News, Herald Sun, Nine, The Age, 7 Melbourne, Network 10, Kilvington Grammar, RACV, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Mediality, Judith Neilson Institute, the Wilnic Family Trust, Master Publisher, MediaXpress, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, National Press Club, and Robyn Carter and Family. Joining us this year were the U.S. Consulate General Melbourne, Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, Hope & Glory, and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

We paused our mentorship and internship programs this year, but are excited for their return in 2022.

Our 2021 Gordon Fellowships have been awarded and we look forward to seeing four tremendous projects.

We will see some changes in our small team in the new year. We farewell Anna Marulli in December and thank her for her service to the club, and in recent times her focus upon membership and grant applications. We farewelled David Fisher earlier this year and I also want to convey my thanks for his dedication. Thanks also go to Jenny Denton for her assistance during The Quills. We welcome Maddy Duggan to the team in January and we are all looking forward to working with her. Both Kate Handley and Emily Kulich continue to be valued members of our team.

Having moved into new office space hosted by Thomson Geer last year and not really getting a chance to utilise it due to the lockdowns we are looking forward to collaborating in the office again when we return from a Christmas break on 10 January 2022.

We wish you a healthy, happy summer with friends and family, and look forward to welcoming you to our relevant, robust and vibrant program in 2022.

Cathy Bryson
Melbourne Press Club

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