More than 60 years after Australia’s Walkley Awards for journalism were established, a second member of the Walkley family has made a bequest supporting Australian journalism.
New Zealand-born oil industry leader, Sir William Gaston Walkley, moved to Sydney in 1936 and set up the prize celebrating Australia’s best journalism 20 years later. He was known for enjoying journalists’ company and often said they never misquoted him, nor betrayed a confidence. Sir William died in 1976, leaving a bequest to maintain the awards.
Now, the Walkley Foundation has received a $1 million bequest from Sir William’s sister-in-law, June Andrews, who died in 2017.
“June Andrews’ bequest is a powerful and enduring gift to the Foundation. Backing journalism with this kind of philanthropic support really can make a difference,” the Walkley Foundation’s chief executive, Louisa Graham, said.
“It allows us to sustain the Foundation and continue our work investing in the industry through awards, grants, a digital archive of Walkley-winning stories, scholarships and mentorships. Bequests can also be directed to support an individual award or program,” Ms Graham said.
Former Walkley Foundation chair Quentin Dempster has gone public about writing the Walkley Foundation into his own will, saying: “We need the help and active support of all Australians to ensure a sustainable future for quality journalism.”
“In these times when journalism is challenged and trust in the media is so important, the Walkley Foundation’s work is critical. We appreciate this growing philanthropic support,” Ms Graham said.
The Walkley Foundation is independently funded and listed on the Register of Cultural Organisations with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).