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 congratulates its Small Publisher Members Representative Erik Jensen on the selection of his portrait by Angela Brennan as a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize.
The Australian Press Council extends its warm congratulations to John Dunnet, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, OAM, on the King’s Birthday Honours for “service to the print media industry”.
A former resident of Narrabri, NSW, John was Country Press Australia’s industry delegate to the Australian Press Council (APC) for 18 years from 1997–2015. He was co-proprietor and managing director of The Courier, Narrabri, from 1972 until 2007.
In an article published by The Courier this week, John said: “My grandfather, father and uncle, and a now my brother Ian and sister-in law Wanda are carrying on a tradition of service to the community in the north west of NSW and beyond. We remain a family which upholds the traditions and responsibilities of a free press in this country.”
The article also noted John’s support for the work of the Press Council, saying that “a feature of the APC was that it was prepared to regularly assess itself in its role and obligations in maintaining the principles and standards of Australian journalism.”
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 email@example.com.
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.
Complaint outcomes are called Adjudications. You can search published Adjudications here.