There was much to celebrate in 2022

As we come to the end of the Melbourne Press Club’s 50th year, we celebrate  our heritage while continuing our work advancing and advocating for Victorian media.

Image: MPC CEO Cathy Bryson at the club's 50th Anniversary event. Photo: Drew Eechberg

This year has seen us lay the groundwork for our next 50 years, with the board and management team reviewing the club’s strategy and setting key goals under the leadership of president Ashlynne McGhee.

We started 2022 with the gala Quill Awards Dinner in March, a night heralded as the best to date for the awards. Jacqui Felgate was an excellent MC, keeping the program snappy and close to 600 people hooked.

Quills images by Mat Lynn

Michael Warner was awarded the Gold Quill and named Harry Gordon Australian Sports Journalist of the Year; Samantha Maiden was a worthy recipient of the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award; Liam Mannix won the inaugural Excellence in Science, Medical and Health Reporting Quill; and the Lifetime Achievement Award went, deservedly, to Caroline Wilson.

Entries are now open for the 28th Quill, 47th Perkin, 8th Gordon, and 2022 Student awards with a record $53,000 in prizes on the table. Submissions for all awards close on 30 January 2023, with winners to be announced at the gala dinner on Friday 24 March 2023.

The club is truly thankful for the support of our partners, sponsors, donors and supporters. We are grateful the University of Melbourne continues as our principal sponsor for a further three years.

In May, we welcomed Swinburne University of Technology as sponsor of our popular mentoring program, and more recently we welcomed SBS as a major media sponsor.

Image: The launch of the 2022/23 MPC Mentoring Program. This and subsequent photos by Emily Kulich

AAP returned this year as a corporate sponsor, and several organisations are now Quill award supporters: the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation will sponsor Women in Sport, McGrathNicol will sponsor the Business News/Feature category, we are partnering with Gandel Foundation to present the Multicultural Affairs and Media Quill, and we welcome Ryman Healthcare as sponsor of the Innovation Quill.

We thank each of our longstanding sponsors, partners, donors and supporters for their continuing support of the the MPC's vision, mission, and objectives: University of Melbourne, Crown Resorts, Thomson Geer, 3AW, ABC, The Age, Herald Sun, Nine, SBS News, 7NEWS Melbourne, Sky News, Network Ten, Australia Post, Lion, McGrathNicol, MinterEllison, Telstra, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, Federation of Traditional Owner Corporations, Gandel Foundation, Judith Neilson Institute, McGrathNicol, National Press Club, The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Robyn Carter & Family, Ryman Healthcare, Swinburne University of Technology, Transport Accident Commission, US Consulate, State Government of Victoria, Wilnic Family Trust, AAP, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Hope & Glory, Kilvington Grammar School, Mediality, RACV, Telum Media, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Intercultural Society, Corrie Perkin, Master Publisher, Media Express and SYN.

Club membership remains solid at a near-record high, and we welcomed 1,757 registrants to 28 events in 2022. Three of those events were webinars, with the other 25 hosted in-person.

The Edit, our program for young and early career journalists, presented a vibrant 2022 billing. Topics covered with the support of the US Consulate included how to interview media trained talent, working as a freelancer, and reporting on TikTok.

Image: The Edit – Lessons from a professional freelancer

Our Masterclass series for mid-career journalists continues to hit the mark, with events covering fraud investigation (presented in partnership with McGrathNicol), public information mining, and reporting on suicide and mental illness.

We co-hosted several special events this year, partnering with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to present the Victorian State Budget Lunch with Tim Pallas MP, and with the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism for the sold out Defamation Nation panel.

Image: Tim Pallas responds to questions from Heidi Murphy at the 2022 State Budget Lunch

Image: VCCI CEO Paul Guerra prepares for the state budget lunch.

The Media Iftar Dinner, run in partnership with the Australian Intercultural Society, was thought provoking and we look forward to hosting again on 5 April 2023.

In developing partnerships, we worked with SYN Media to deliver an event about reporting on state elections.

We heard from Jon Faine and Anita Jacoby as part of our Book Club event series.

Image: Anita Jacoby in conversation with Ashlynne McGhee

The club was pleased to facilitate a special round table for culturally and linguistically diverse media. Hosted by Tito Ambyo and Osman Faruqi, the event was an open forum for discussion about diversity in the industry.

Our mentoring program matched 22 mentees with mentors at its launch event in July. We look forward to reconvening at a celebration event with all involved come June next year.

Earlier this month we awarded $30,000 in grants to four projects as part of the Michael Gordon Journalism Fellowships. We congratulate Jarni Blakkarly of Choice Magazine, Nino Bucci of The Guardian, Marni Cordell and Zelda Grimshaw of The Guardian, and Holly Nott of AAP on their successful pitches.

We have recently conducted a membership survey to get to know you better and understand how we can continue to deliver relevant and compelling events and programs. We thank you for participating in that survey.

Image: Bachar Houli ahead of his MPC address in August.

This year's formal event calendar closed out at the University of Melbourne with a celebration of the club's 50 years, where we acknowledged our strengths and heritage while setting the scene for a bright and vibrant future.

My thanks as always to our small team – Kate Handley, Emily Kulich, Maddy Duggan and Debbie Slater – and to our volunteer board and award judges.

Our office will be closed for a short break from 23 December 2022 to 3 January 2023.

Finally, we wish you a healthy, happy summer and look forward to welcoming you to events at the Melbourne Press Club in 2023.

Cathy Bryson
Melbourne Press Club


Support the MPC's work to advance journalism

Gifts to the MPC Public Fund will be used to offer fellowships – such as our Michael Gordon Fellowships for social justice journalism – scholarships and grants. They will also contribute to programs for young journalists and journalism students with mentoring, skills development and awards.

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