The Walkley Foundation promotes GM Louisa Graham to CEO role

The Walkley Foundation has announced Louisa Graham will become the organisation’s chief executive officer following the departure of Jacqueline Park last year.

Graham begins her role immediately

The foundation has been without a CEO since Park departed in November, just before the 62nd Annual Walkley Awards.

Upon departing last year, Park said the time was right to move on: “Having built the Walkleys as the heart of excellence in Australian journalism and having overseen its incorporation as an independent and financially stable not-for-profit, now feels like the right time for me to pursue a new adventure.”

Graham has been general manager of The Walkley Foundation since 2011 as well as company secretary since 2015. In 2016, she acted as CEO while Park was on study leave.

Graham has also spent time working for United Nations Women, the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the Sydney Writers’ Festival and Network Ten. In addition, she has managed national community awareness campaigns for White Ribbon Day and the Australian Republican Movement.

Since joining the foundation, she has helped it achieve tax-deductible gift recipient status. In her capacity as CEO, Graham will oversee the foundation as it starts awarding grants for in-depth essays into the state of media in Australia, with support from the Copyright Agency Limited’s Cultural Fund. She will also assist the foundation in scaling up its philanthropic arm “with developments to be announced in coming months”, the foundation said.

Graham (third from left) on a study tour of Korea in 2013

Quentin Dempster AM, chair of the Walkley Directors, said: “Louisa has a demonstrated record of strong, creative leadership and a commitment to the mission of the Foundation. I have every confidence that she will take the Walkleys to greater heights.”

Louisa thanked the directors for appointing her to the role, but acknowledged now was a challenging period for the Australian media.

“Australia has a proud history of groundbreaking, world-class journalism and despite unprecedented challenges to the media industry, I remain optimistic that there are new, exciting opportunities to be found,” she said.

“Australian media is rich with potential for a proud future. Good journalism records, explains and spreads our stories, holds the powerful to account, protects the vulnerable and points to solutions to our biggest problems. I am thrilled to be working with a dynamic team, whose hard work and dedication contribute to the organisation’s great success. The Walkley Foundation has always been integral to recognising and contributing to quality journalism and we remain committed to that cause.”

The Walkley Foundation is behind the Walkley Awards, which last year held their 62nd annual awards night.

According to the foundation, the Walkley Awards celebrate “all that journalism can achieve: work that prompts legal and social change, political transparency and real human impact”.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.