As we come to the end of 2020, a year punctuated by change and adaptation at the Melbourne Press Club, we pause to reflect.
Like so many others, the Covid 19 pandemic caused us to look at what we needed to do to stay relevant and continue to deliver benefits for our members, sponsors and supporters.
We started the year with a fantastic gala Quill Awards dinner. Fortunately for us, our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bruce McAvaney was only available in early March. We were lucky to host the event for 550 people right before Melbourne went into lockdown. For the first time in the Quill awards’ 25 year history a photographer took home the Gold Quill: AFL chief photographer Michael Willson for his stunning and impactful photo of Taylor Harris.
I joined the club as our new CEO in April.
Unable to continue to present live events and host our Edit forum gatherings, we established a series of Zoom webinars, drawing speakers and panelists from around Victoria, interstate and overseas to continue our conversations about journalism, politics and society. We have worked with MyBookshop’s Corrie Perkin to bring a series of ‘book club’ webinar events for members and interested parties.
We welcomed Nick McKenzie as our President in June. Under Nick’s leadership, the board is working collaboratively, and we are well placed for a vibrant 2021. We thank all the board for their engagement and participation in sub-committees this year
We provided internships for Monash journalism students.
In the economic climate of 2020, we have sadly farewelled a couple of Principal sponsors, Virgin and Monash University. We have welcomed new sponsors too; Thomson Geer, McGrath Nicol, Lion Dairy & Drinks, and most recently we have welcomed the University of Melbourne as our Principal Sponsor. We are grateful for the tenacity of those that have remained with us during the pandemic and look forward to welcoming more to the Melbourne Press Club community in 2021.
Despite the challenges in the media sector this year, we received the highest number of applicants for our mentoring program ever. We are grateful to all our mentors for their willingness to share their insights.
Our Gordon Fellowships also attracted a large number of applicants and we have been able to award seven Fellowships this year from 24 applications. A special thanks to our judging committee.
We have moved our office space into Thomson Geer. We are grateful to MinterEllison and Thomson Geer for assisting and effecting this move for us during the lockdown period.
A huge thanks to our small, enthusiastic and talented team who have maintained the focus of sustainability and quality in all that we do during a challenging year.
We are looking forward to presenting live events again in 2021, we want to provide the backdrop for networking for you.
We are looking forward to our Quills Awards night in March/April.
We will be presenting speakers of newsworthy note.
We will continue with our ‘book club’ events online and we will continue to be a voice for the media sector.
Most of all, at this time of year, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your confidence. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your involvement. The Melbourne Press Club is here for our members, sponsors and supporters. We look forward to seeing you all in the new year, which will be our 50th anniversary year. We look forward to celebrating with you.
We wish you a healthy, happy summer and hope that you get to spend time with those that are dear to you and most importantly, a happy 2021!
Chief Executive Officer
Melbourne Press Club
Holiday Office Closure
The Melbourne Press Club is taking a break from 18 December 2020 until 4 January 2021.
Emails received during this time will be answered upon our return: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have an urgent enquiry during this time please call 0409 367 694
We wish you a safe and happy festive season.