What we do
The Press Council promotes freedom of speech and responsible journalism. It also sets standards and responds to complaints about material in Australian newspapers and magazines, as well as a growing number of online-only publications.
The Australian Press Council (APC) is very pleased to announce the appointments of Sally Basser and Aram Hosie as Public Members, and Ian Macintosh and Meggie Palmer as Independent Journalist Council Members. Four new Public Adjudication Panel Members have also been appointed — Dr Suzanne Martin, Sarah Talbert, Vicki Williams and Jacquilene Lefevre.
Public and Independent Journalist Council Members have an important leadership and governance role in the operations of the APC. Adjudication Panel Members, who are independent of publishers, have an important role in determining whether published material, the subject of a complaint, has breached the APC’s Standards of Practice, with which APC member publishers agree to comply.
“The impressive qualifications, skills, and depth of experience of those whose appointments have been announced today will be of invaluable benefit to the Australian Press Council and to the broader community. In addition, the new appointees will make the Council even more broadly reflective of the Australian community and its diverse range of values and experiences,” said APC Chair, Neville Stevens, AO. “Along with the impressive group of new Members appointed in August, today’s announcement demonstrates the APC’s commitment to strengthen its ability to respond effectively to the challenges and opportunities presented by today’s media environment.”
New Public Council Members:
Sally Basser is a consultant and board director with a deep interest in the creative industries, arts, social welfare, health, disability and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to 2018 Sally enjoyed a successful career as a senior Commonwealth public servant, holding senior executive positions in the Social Policy Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She was head of the Office for the Arts from 2007 to 2017. This is underpinned by over 25 years’ experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors across a range of specialties including human services, human resource management and as a social worker in settings including child and family services and community health. Currently, Sally works as a consultant with a particular focus on working with NFP boards and CEOs on leadership, board effectiveness, governance, organisational change and strategic planning. She currently serves on the boards of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Bell Shakespeare Company, the Australian National Academy of Music and the Australian Youth Orchestra.
Aram Hosie is the Executive Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, at Save the Children Australia. A highly experienced public policy and advocacy leader, Aram has over 15 years’ experience working on health and human rights law and policy issues in both the government and non-government sectors. He has previously held executive positions with a range of organisations including the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission; community health provider cohealth; and youth mental health service ReachOut.com. Aram has also had experience providing high level advice to Ministers and senior government, including through his prior roles as a member of the Victorian Government’s LGBTIQ+ Taskforce, and senior advisor in the West Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet and Department of Indigenous Affairs. Aram currently serves on the board of Your Community Health.
New Independent Journalist Council Members:
Ian Macintosh is a veteran international journalist and editorial manager. He held positions including Senior Vice President of CNN International (Asia Pacific), based in Hong Kong, and as senior consultant to CNN International in various regions. He also spent three years as a Vice President of CNN’s commercial arm, Turner International. Previously Ian was a radio and television journalist, news editor, and foreign correspondent with the ABC over 27 years, his overseas postings including Port Moresby, Singapore, Jakarta, Tokyo, New York and London. After 35 years in broadcast journalism, Ian founded and managed an international media consultancy. He is a passionate supporter of high standards and ethical practices in journalism, regardless of platform, technology and commercial influences.
Meggie Palmer is an award-winning journalist and producer with more than 15 years’ global reporting experience. She is the founder and CEO of PepTalkHer, a technology company focused on closing the gender gap. Meggie worked globally covering stories in Italy, Syria and ZImbabwe for networks including the BBC, CNBC, SBS Dateline and the Discovery Channel. Her films have won New York Festival TV & Film awards, UN Media awards, a Walkley award and a Logie nomination. Most recently she ran branded content for the Financial Times in New York City. Meggie has been a contributing author with Vogue and an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University. She regularly speaks at events globally on gender equality. Based in the USA for the past five years, Meggie maintains strong ties to Australia in a professional and personal capacity. She’s a passionate angel investor and board member.
New Public Adjudication Panel Members:
Dr Suzanne Martin is a former APC Public Council Member who served a full term of nine years with the APC. Suzanne is a veterinary surgeon and an active member of her rural community in northern Tasmania. She has worked as a private practitioner in New Zealand and Scotland, as well as in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Sarah Talbert is a Public Defender appointed by the NSW Attorney General to the Public Defenders Chambers. Sarah was previously a Crown Prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, a barrister in private practice and a sessional academic at the Australian Catholic University.
Vicki Williams is the Chief Operating Officer of the University of Canberra. She is a chartered accountant and former Director - Advisory at PwC. Vicki has held a number of senior leadership positions including Chief Financial Advisor at Airservices Australia and CFO at Calvary Health Care ACT and the Housing Industry Association.
Jacqui Lefevre was a governing member of .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA), has served on the Defence Reserves Support Council (VIC), and is an appointed industry representative on auDA’s nomination committee. She is the founder and former CEO of Domain Registration Services, an auDA accredited domain name registrar and provider of web hosting solutions.
The APC is responsible for promoting freedom of speech through responsible and independent journalism and adherence to high journalistic and editorial standards. Members include the majority of Australia’s major newspapers, magazines and online publishers.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Kennedy, APC Media Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Australian Press Council (APC) is pleased to announce that Bruce Burke, an accomplished and highly regarded media lawyer with more than 40 years’ experience, has been chosen as the winner of the 2022 Press Freedom Award.
The Press Freedom Award recognises individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment or service to the cause of press freedom. “Bruce Burke is an outstanding media lawyer and individual who has dedicated his career to protecting the rights of media organisations to publish and broadcast important works of journalism, without fear or favour,” said APC Chairman Neville Stevens, AO. “As the many supporters of Bruce’s nomination for this award told us, his manner, dedication, energy, and insight into the dilemmas faced by publishers have been critical to their ability to publish their stories, even in the face of powerful opponents. He is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2022 Press Freedom Award.”
“I have had the privilege of a long and rewarding legal career, often representing media clients who are fighting to expose uncomfortable truths, while abiding by Australia’s restrictive defamation laws,” said Mr Burke. “I have worked with many absolutely remarkable people and continue to do so. It is gratifying that the value of this work to the cause of press freedom has been acknowledged by the Australian Press Council. I feel deeply honoured by this recognition.”
The Press Council has recognised individuals with this award intermittently since 1999, but the honour was previously reserved for people affiliated with the organisation. The Council decided in 2016 to revitalise the award and open it up to people who, through their work as journalists, legal practitioners, community activists or advocates, help ensure the preservation of free speech, press freedom and open and transparent government.
The principal body with responsibility for responding to complaints about the Australian press has today announced the appointments of new Public, Independent Journalist and Adjudication Panel Members and the retirement of two Public Members.
The Australian Press Council (APC) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Simone Carton, ACT Law Society CEO, as a Public Member, and Alan Sunderland, a Walkley-award winning journalist, as an Independent Journalist Member. Veteran cinematographer David Brill, AM, ACS, and Claire Alder, independent workplace investigator, lawyer and former Deputy District Judge (England and Wales), have been appointed as Adjudication Panel Members. At the same time, the terms of two long-serving Public Members, The Hon. John Doyle, AC, and Dr Suzanne Martin, came to an end on 28 August.
Public and Independent Journalist Council Members have an important leadership and governance role in the operations of the APC, and Adjudication Panel Members are critical in upholding the APC’s standards. “The new appointments announced today bring deep and varied experiences to their roles, which will strengthen the APC’s ability to promote press freedom and uphold high editorial standards in a dynamic media environment,” said APC Chair, Neville Stevens, AO.
The Hon. Mr Doyle and Dr Martin retire after serving on the Press Council for nine years each, across three consecutive terms. “John and Suzanne have made generous and meaningful contributions to all areas of Press Council activity,” said Mr Stevens. “I thank them for their exemplary contributions and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”
Simone Carton has been the CEO of the ACT Law Society (ACTLS) since 2020, leading a team advocating for the legal profession in the ACT and upholding legal professional standards through regulation, education, engagement, and representation. She was previously the CEO of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine. With more than 25 years in a range of legal, governance and operational roles, Ms Carton also spent nearly ten years as Legal Manager and Company Secretary for the Advertising Standards Bureau and the Australian Advertising Standards Council. She is a Director of Asthma Australia and a Board Member at public charitable foundation Greater Good, ACT.
Alan Sunderland is an award-winning journalist with 40 years’ experience working for the ABC and SBS. Since retiring from full-time work in 2019, he has been writing and advising on editorial issues on a project basis. These projects have included editorial quality reviews for the ABC and The Conversation website and a report on potential media self-regulation models for Ukraine, prepared for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Mr Sunderland is Executive Director of the Organization of News Ombudsmen, a Board Member of the Local and Independent News Association and a member of the Walkley Public Fund Committee. He is also the winner of two Walkley Awards for news reporting.
David Brill, AM, ACS, is a highly accomplished, internationally recognised Australian news and documentary cinematographer. Mr Brill has worked as a cinematographer, video journalist and producer for numerous current affairs programs, including ABC’s Four Corners and SBS’s Dateline. He has worked for international aid agencies to help draw attention to international crises including wars, conflicts, natural and man-made disasters and humanitarian issues. In 2017 he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the broadcast media as a cinematographer and journalist. He has won six United Nations media peace awards for humanitarian filmmaking, was inducted into the Australian Cinematographers Society Hall of Fame in 2008 and The Australian Media Hall of Fame in 2018.
Claire Alder is an independent workplace investigator, former barrister specialising in criminal law (UK) and former Deputy District Judge in the Magistrates Courts of England and Wales. She is an Admitted Lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and a Nationally Accredited Mediator (NMAS). She has been undertaking workplace investigations in Australia since relocating from the UK in 2005. Ms Alder’s expertise covers misconduct investigations, reportable conduct, ICAC referrals, public interest disclosure matters, and unsatisfactory professional performance of clinicians.
The APC is responsible for promoting high standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest and freedom of expression through the media. Members include the majority of Australia’s major newspaper, magazine and online publishers. These publishers agree to comply with the APC’s binding Standards of Practice. When complaints about these members are made to the APC, the material is evaluated against these standards by the APC’s Adjudication Panels, which are independent of publishers.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Kennedy, APC Media Advisor, at email@example.com.
The Australian Press Council (APC) welcomes Man of Many Pty Ltd and Mandean Media Network as publisher members.
These new members are in addition to the three publishers the APC announced earlier this year.
“It is gratifying that Australia’s small publishers are seeking membership of the Australian Press Council,” said Neville Stevens, AO, APC Chair. “It signifies the value they place on maintaining high editorial standards and protecting press freedom.”
The Australian Press Council aims to promote freedom of speech through responsible and independent print and digital media, and adherence to high journalistic and editorial standards. Press Council members include the majority of Australia’s major newspaper, magazine, and online publishers.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Kennedy, the APC’s media advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaint outcomes are called Adjudications. You can search published Adjudications here.