Walkley Foundation CEO steps down, Michael Brissenden new awards chair

Louisa Graham will step down as chief executive of the Walkley Foundation later this year, with plans to find a new chief executive now under way. While Lenore Taylor will step down as chair of the Walkley Awards Judging Board, to be replaced by Michael Brissenden.

Chair of the Walkley Foundation, Marina Go, said: “Louisa has displayed tremendous leadership throughout her tenure and the board thanks her for her service to the media industry.”

Michael Brissenden, new chair of the Walkley Judging Board

Graham’s decision to leave the Walkley Foundation at the end of her contract marks ten years of working for the Foundation, first as general manager and then as chief executive for four years.

“The Walkley Foundation is now in the strongest position it has ever been. Louisa has worked closely with our partners to ensure we remain at the heart of the Australian media industry. Thanks to her and her team, we are an independent and financially stable not-for-profit. We wish her well on her next journey.”

Graham thanked the Walkley directors for the opportunity to lead the foundation and build a strong and dedicated team that has delivered on the Walkley’s’ mission to celebrate and recognise great Australian journalism.

“I am immensely proud of what I have achieved at the Foundation and I depart having significantly
grown the Walkleys’ equity and stakeholder base,” Graham said.

“It is encouraging to see so many of Australia’s leading companies, universities, state governments, industry bodies and now philanthropic organisations demonstrate their support for quality journalism through the Walkley Foundation.”

Taylor, editor of Guardian Australia, joined the Judging Board in 2017 and became its chair in
November 2018. Claire Harvey, editorial director at The Australian, remains as deputy chair of the judging board.

“I’ve enjoyed my time as chair of the Walkley Judging Board very much. The Walkleys bring us together as an industry and I’d like to thank everyone at the Foundation and all my fellow judges for the time and effort they put into the process. I’d also like to wish Michael Brissenden all the best for his time in the chair,” Taylor said.

Brissenden is a two-time Walkley Award-winning journalist who has served as a political and foreign correspondent in a career with the ABC from 1987 to 2021.

“It is an honour and a privilege to lead the Judging Board, which sets the industry standard for
excellence and best practice in journalism,” Brissenden said.

“I’m particularly pleased to be following the inimitable Lenore Taylor in this role. The Walkleys hold a vital place in the Australian media landscape and I look forward to working with my fellow judges to ensure that the awards continue to define, celebrate and encourage the best of what we do.”


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