Journalists join a high order

Former Age editor-in-chief Michael Gawenda is pleased journalists are being recognised in appointments to the Order of Australia.


The career journalist, who also worked as a foreign correspondent and was a founder of the Centre for Advancing Journalism, said he always saw his craft as one for outsiders.

“(Journalists) are people that are there to scrutinise and hold people to account,” Mr Gawenda said.

He has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the print media industry and his work to advance professional education and development.

Recognition of journalists in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List is good for journalism, he said, particularly in the current environment.

“I think journalism is facing many challenges at the moment and I’m concerned about what the future holds,” Mr Gawenda said.

“I often think – are young journalists going to be able to have the opportunities and play the role that older people like me have been able to play in journalism.”

He hopes so, he said, and is encouraged by the enduring high level of demand for journalism courses.

Mr Gawenda edited Melbourne’s Age newspaper from 1997 to 2003, and was editor-in-chief from 2003 to 2004.

Prior to joining The Age he edited Time Magazine’s Australia and South Pacific edition and he worked in Washington as a foreign correspondent after ending his term as editor-in-chief at The Age.

He was the inaugural director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism when it was established at the University of Melbourne in 2009.

Another distinguished journalist appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia is ABC Canberra newsreader Virginia Haussegger.

She has presented the ABC News and 7.30 Report, worked as a senior reporter with the Nine and Seven networks and has written columns for the Canberra Times, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

She has been recognised for her service to the media and to the community as an advocate for women’s rights and gender equity.

As the 100th anniversary of the First World War approaches, journalist Les Carlyon has been appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia for his eminent service to literature and understanding of Australia’s war history, as well to the horseracing industry.

Mr Carlyon, who was editor of The Age from 1975 to 1976, has written numerous highly acclaimed books on the First World War, the Gallipoli campaign and about the horseracing industry and its famous identities.