Philanthropy supports journalism initiative with Indigenous affairs at its heart

Guardian Australia, 5 March 2018

Guardian Australia announces the agreement of a $300,000 philanthropic grant from The Balnaves Foundation to the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust to help deliver in-depth coverage of Indigenous affairs.

The Balnaves Foundation grant supports the Guardian Civic Journalism Initiative, an Indigenous affairs reporting and educational project, over three years from 2018-2020.

A key outcome of the project includes the appointment today of Guardian Australia Indigenous affairs editor, Lorena Allam. In this role, Lorena will increase Indigenous affairs reporting and investigations at the Guardian, build a diversity of voices and increase public discourse on critical issues.

Lorena Allam says:

“I’m delighted and honoured to join the team at the Guardian, who are making this significant public commitment to the coverage of Indigenous affairs, with the support of The Balnaves Foundation. Our stories matter. Now more than ever there’s a need to understand that Indigenous Australia is made up of many different experiences, viewpoints and voices on the issues that affect us all, whether they are political, cultural, social or historical. Being able to tell those stories and contribute to that understanding is a fantastic opportunity and responsibility.”

The grant comes as the future of investigative journalism is under threat and areas of specialist reporting such as Indigenous affairs are underrepresented in Australia’s media landscape.

Hamish Balnaves, general manager, The Balnaves Foundation, said:

“The grant will increase the diversity of voices in the media and provide an avenue for in-depth coverage of Indigenous affairs. We are proud to be supporting public interest journalism that will shed a light on untold stories and increase public discourse on Indigenous issues.”

All reporting published for Guardian Australia will be editorially independent and will clearly identify the support provided by The Balnaves Foundation through the Trust.

Lorena is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience. She joins from ABC Radio, where she managed all Indigenous programming: on-air, online and via podcast. Lorena will also be involved in educational activities at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism, including student internships, a cadet mentoring scheme and guest lectures.

Lenore Taylor, editor, Guardian Australia, said:

“I’m delighted that Lorena is joining us to head our Indigenous reporting project, which aims to conduct in-depth investigations and surface a rich variety of Indigenous viewpoints and stories. We’re so pleased to be able to do this work with complete editorial independence through the generous support of The Balnaves Foundation.”