AU Australia

Our team and boards


Editorial — Australia   Back to Top

Andrew Jaspan

Executive Director and Editor

Andrew co-founded The Conversation. He previously edited The Age, The Observer (London), The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Big Issue (London), and he founded and edited the Sunday Herald in Scotland. He is the Asia-Pacific Director for Innovation Media.

Misha Ketchell

Managing Editor

Misha most recently worked as a researcher and producer on ABC TV’s Media Watch. Previously he was editor of Crikey and The Big Issue (Australia) and a reporter for The Age.

Helen Westerman

Deputy Managing Editor and Section Editor: Business + Economy

Helen has covered news, business and finance for The Age newspaper and was the small business online editor for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

Paul Dalgarno

Deputy Editor and Section Editor: Arts + Culture

Paul was a senior features writer and columnist for The Herald and Sunday Herald in Scotland, where he was also deputy weekend features editor. He moved to Australia in 2010.

Sunanda Creagh

Fact Check Editor

Before joining The Conversation, Sunanda Creagh worked as a political and general news correspondent in the Reuters Jakarta bureau. Prior to that, she was a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald, where she covered politics, urban affairs, arts, features and sport.

Catriona Menzies-Pike

Arts Editor

Before joining The Conversation as Arts Editor, Catriona Menzies-Pike was Managing Editor of the daily news website New Matilda. She holds a doctorate in English literature and has taught undergraduates at several Sydney universities. She is an elected alumni fellow of the University of Sydney Senate.

Charis Palmer

Deputy Business Editor

Charis joined The Conversation as News Editor in 2012 after working as editor of Business Spectator, where she was also founding editor of Technology Spectator. She later served as editor of iTnews and has also run her own publishing business focused on the banking sector. Charis returned to The Conversation in 2013 as Deputy Business Editor.

Michael Hopkin

Section Editor: Energy + Environment

Based in Perth, Michael joined The Conversation after several years as a journalist with Fairfax, Sky News and The West Australian. Before moving to Australia from his native UK, he was a senior news and features writer for Nature.

James Whitmore

Deputy Section Editor: Energy + Environment

James joined The Conversation after graduating from University of Melbourne. He has been sub-editor, feature writer and wildlife columnist for Farrago, and has presented on SYN community radio.

Fronscesca Jackson-Webb

Section Editor: Health + Medicine

Fron joined The Conversation from the Australian Medical Association, where she managed the Victorian media office. She previously worked for BBC Magazines in London and Melbourne consultancy Twenty20 Communications.

Reema Rattan

Section Editor: Health + Medicine

Reema has worked in the research sector in Sydney and Melbourne, most recently at The Florey Neurosciences Institute. She previously worked as a sub-editor at The Korea Times and the International Herald Tribune's local supplement in Seoul.

John Watson

Section Editor: Politics + Society

John has worked in the news media since he decided that a life tracking elephants (in the process of gaining an honours degree in ecology) was less interesting than being a journalist in apartheid-era South Africa. His residence was revoked and he returned to Australia. He joined The Conversation after nearly two decades with The Age as an editor, writer and columnist.

Michael Courts

Deputy Section Editor: Politics + Society

A graduate of Melbourne University's media and communications program, Michael returns to The Conversation after a successful internship on the Politics + Society desk in 2012 where he worked on the site's US elections coverage.

Alexandra Hansen

Education Editor

Alexandra has worked in various media and journalism roles in Melbourne, London, and Jakarta. Prior to joining The Conversation she worked at Foreign Policy Think Tank, the Australia India Institute at The University of Melbourne.

Michael Lund

Section Editor: Science + Technology

Michael has been a journalist for many years and worked for the BBC, ABC and more recently as a feature writer for The Courier-Mail, based in Brisbane. He has won several awards and commendations for his work including a highly commended in the Walkey Awards. Michael has also worked as a tutor and lecturer in journalism with Queensland University of Technology. He has a long interest in science and technology and holds a BSc (hons) in Mathematics and Physics and a MSc in Pure Mathematics.

Tim Dean

Section Editor: Science + Technology

Tim has been a science and technology writer and editor for over 15 years. His work has appeared in print and online in numerous outlets around the world, and he has been the editor of Cosmos, Australian Life Scientist and PC & Tech Authority magazines. He is also holds a doctorate in philosophy.

Liz Minchin

Queensland Editor

Based in Brisbane, Liz is a Walkley award-winning journalist and author. She worked at The Age newspaper for a decade, most recently as news editor of The Saturday Age. She has also worked as a media trainer, and co-written a book on bigger-picture solutions to climate change, Screw Light Bulbs.

Prodita Sabarini

Jakarta Editor

Before joining The Conversation, Prodita worked for 7 years as a reporter for the Jakarta-based English daily The Jakarta Post. In 2013-2014, she was the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies. As Neuffer fellow, Prodita also wrote for The Boston Globe and The New York Times.

Debbie Dickinson

External Relations Manager

Debbie Dickinson joins The Conversation having run national and international digital media campaigns, including for the Australian Government on the carbon price, and for the UK Government's UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen. She previously worked as a strategic policy advisor at London's Sustainable Development Commission, and at the Amsterdam-based non-profit, the Global Reporting Initiative.

Emil Jeyaratnam

Multimedia Editor

Emil has a background in documentary post-production and has credits on documentaries for the ABC, SBS, and BBC, amongst others. He has completed a Graduate Diploma of Journalism at La Trobe University, where he co-edited its online magazine, and after a brief stint at Business Spectator, he joins The Conversation as the Multimedia Editor.

Cory Zanoni

Community Manager

Cory graduated from RMIT with degrees in psychology and communications. He’s written an honours thesis about online behaviour and has managed the social media communities of multiple organisations. Cory manages The Conversation’s online community, including moderating comments and creating a space for intelligent discussion.

Todd Shilton

Editorial Assistant

Todd returned to The Conversation after a successful Editorial Internship in 2014. Before joining The Conversation he completed a Bachelor of Journalism at Monash University where he was the News Editor of Mojo – Monash University’s student run online news site.


Editorial — United Kingdom   Back to Top

Stephen Khan


Stephen Khan is The Conversation’s Editor in the UK. He was a news editor at The Guardian and previously Deputy Foreign Editor of The Independent, Scotland Editor of The Observer and also worked for The Sunday Herald in Scotland.

Megan Clement

Deputy Editor

Megan Clement was a foundation editor in Australia. She has covered Energy + Environment, Science + Technology and Politics + Society for the site. Her work on asylum seekers with Professor Sharon Pickering was recognised with an Australian Human Rights Award in 2012.

Jonathan Este

Deputy Editor

Jonathan Este spent 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor on The Independent as well as The Australian. He joins The Conversation from the Media Alliance in Australia where he specialised in media law and policy and the digital revolution in journalism.

Jo Adetunji

Assistant Editor and Section Editor: Health + Medicine

Before joining The Conversation UK, Jo Adetunji worked as a reporter and editor at the Guardian, covering stories from UK knife crime to the Arab Spring. She previously edited the Guardian's health and social care networks and has also written for The Times, The Independent and Telegraph newspapers.

Annabel Bligh

Business + Economy Editor

Annabel joins The Conversation from a background in broadcast journalism. She was previously a radio news show producer at digital station Monocle 24 covering a wide array of international issues.

Joel Dimmock

Senior Commissioning Editor

Joel Dimmock spent 15 years as a journalist and editor at Reuters and AFP covering the banking and fund management industries. Most recently he was writing and publishing Reuters' investment strategy news and analysis. He has also worked on the Daily Mirror news desk.

Will de Freitas

Environment + Energy Editor

Will de Freitas helped to establish The Conversation in the UK. Previously, he worked on data projects for the Guardian's Global Development website, and for three years worked in ministerial offices at Whitehall.

Laura Hood

Politics + Society Editor

Laura worked for more than five years as a reporter and news editor for Research Fortnight, a specialist publication focusing on science, technology and higher education policy. She also worked as a reporter for Research Europe, covering French higher education policy and European policy in areas including space and innovation.

Josephine Lethbridge

Arts + Culture Editor

Josephine joined The Conversation as Arts + Culture Editor after an internship through the summer of 2013. She has an MA in English Literature from the University of Glasgow, and is a trustee of the Queille Trust, which organises a biennial arts festival and aims to support the careers of emerging performers.

Andrew Naughtie

Politics + Society Editor

Andrew comes from a social science background, and studied and worked in the US. Before joining The Conversation, he worked on projects spanning behavioural economics, ethnography for public policy, and commercial qualitative research.

Michael Parker

Technology Editor

A journalist and photographer, Michael has covered everything from crime to culture for British newspapers and magazines, and was formerly associate editor at The Big Issue in London before leaving to write North American travel guides. He founded an IT company specialising in Linux and open source software before entering journalism.

Gemma Ware

Education Editor

Before joining The Conversation, Gemma worked for over five years as assistant editor at the Paris-based The Africa Report magazine where she focused on business, technology and education. She previously wrote about fundraising and UK charity policy at Civil Society Media.

Steven Vass

Scotland Editor

Steven Vass joined The Conversation in February 2014 after nearly 10 years at the Sunday Herald, first as media correspondent and then as deputy business editor, where he wrote about most aspects of business but particularly energy, the economy and the financial crisis. He previously spent several years as a VSO volunteer in Zambia and several more as a media analyst in London.

Emily Brown

Manifesto Check Editor

Emily graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 with an MA (hons) in Philosophy and English Literature. She has previously worked as a media monitor for Press Data Ltd, volunteered for the St James Ethics Centre and The Conversation, and was news editor at student newspaper The Journal.


Editorial — United States   Back to Top

Maria Balinska

Managing Editor

Previously Maria was at the BBC in London where, for 10 years, she was Editor, World Current Affairs Radio. A 2010 Nieman Fellow at Harvard she is also the founder of Latitude News, a digital platform that introduced new ways of covering world affairs for American audiences.

Martin LaMonica

Deputy Managing Editor and Environment + Energy Editor

Martin has worked as a reporter and editor covering technology, science and business for more than 20 years. Before joining the Conversation, he wrote regularly for MIT Technology Review, Xconomy, IEEE Spectrum, the Boston Globe and the Guardian. He previously worked at CNET/CBS Interactive and technology publisher IDG.

Maggie Villiger

Science + Technology Editor

Maggie has a background in broadcast journalism, having worked in both public radio and television. She has a BA in neuroscience and an MA in science communication.

Ari Fertig

Editorial Liaison

Ari joins The Conversation having previously helped coordinate marketing and communications at Health Care For All, a Massachusetts-based health care nonprofit. He also has experience running online and on-the-ground campaigns. Ari graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in history and philosophy.

Bryan Keogh

Economics + Business Editor

Bryan spent the past decade writing and editing on business, finance and economics topics, most recently as the editor of a magazine in Beirut. Prior to that, he wrote about corporate finance and health from Paris and covered the debt markets for Bloomberg News in both London and New York.

Jessie Schanzle

Associate Editor, Health + Medicine

Before joining The Conversation, Jessie worked at WBUR and at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She has a BA in anthropology and an MA in journalism.

Nick Lehr

Associate Editor, Arts + Culture

Nick is a recent graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Columbia's School of the Arts. He's worked as a freelance writer and researcher as well as in politics.

Kalpana Jain

Education Editor

Kalpana spent the past four years at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Business School doing research, writing case studies, and teaching. Prior to that she was a reporter and editor at The Times of India. A 2009 Nieman Fellow, she has reported extensively on global health issues. She has a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.


Board of directors — Australia   Back to Top

Robert Johanson

Chairman of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and director of Grant Samuel Group. Deputy Chancellor at the University of Melbourne. Chairman of the Australia India Institute and the Melbourne University Fund and director of the Robert Salzer Foundation, an arts foundation. Also a sheep farmer.

John Kirby

Chairman, Village Roadshow Corporation Proprietary Limited. Deputy Chairman, Village Roadshow Limited. Deputy Chairman, Salvation Army Territorial Advisory Board and Red Shield Appeal Chairman, Director of the Sony Foundation and the Jigsaw Foundation at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

Andrew Jaspan

Co-founder and Editor, The Conversation.

Lisa Watts

Chief Operating Officer, The Conversation.

Belinda Robinson

Belinda commenced as Chief Executive with Universities Australia - the peak body representing Australia's 39 universities - in January 2012. Belinda is a highly experienced Chief Executive of peak national organisations with an extensive background in public policy and in the private sector.

Ben Heyes

Ben is Chief Information Security and Trust Officer at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Ben is passionate about the possibilities of technology, and is a strong advocate for enhancing levels of trust in the digital economy. He is continually exploring opportunities for innovation, and is a strong supporter of increased cyber literacy in the community.

Linda Price

Group Vice President, Executive Programs, Gartner Asia Pacific. Director of Australian Institute of Management Victoria & Tasmania. Previously HR and IT Director, Fairfax Media.

Matt Goldberg

Former CEO, Lonely Planet and Advisor to a number of content, technology and e-commerce companies at various stages of growth.

Peter Doherty

Nobel Laureate and Australian of the Year in 1997. Professor of Immunology, University of Melbourne and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Richard Leder

Partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth specialising in Media Law and Litigation. Corrs Melbourne office Pro Bono Partner. Deputy Chairman of the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Director of Australian Friends of Asha for Slums Limited. Committee member of the Melbourne Press Club and Law Council Media and Communications Committee. Member Melbourne University Centre for Media and Communications Law Advisory Board.

Terry Cutler

Principal of Cutler & Company. Deputy Chairman at CSIRO. Director at National Health Call Centre Network Ltd. Chairman at The Open Technology Foundation. Director at Multimedia University, Malaysia.

Vince FitzGerald

Member of Council, ANU. Director, Allen Consulting Group Pty Ltd. Director, ETF Securities Ltd and ETFS Metal Securities (Australia) Ltd. Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors, member of National Board and President, Victorian State Council. Trustee, Finkel and Tuckwell Foundations, and Director of the Goulburn-Murray indigenous community’s Kaiela Institute.


Editorial board — Australia   Back to Top

Natalie Mast

Natalie Mast is the Associate Director for Research Data and Strategy at the University of Western Australia. She works predominantly in the areas of research performance, bibliometrics and university ranking systems. Natalie trained in field of political science, focusing on the influence of institutional design upon the organisation of parties and the behaviour of members in the European Parliament.

Cathy Foley

Dr. Cathy Foley is the President of Science and Technology Australia and Chief of CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Foley is well known for her interests in physics, science education, women in science, science in the media and nuclear disarmament. She has been recently involved in developing the passion for science within CSIRO and renewing what it is to be a scientist.

Duncan Ivison

Professor Duncan Ivison is a Professor of Political Philosophy and Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The University of Sydney. Previously worked at the University of Toronto; University of York (UK) and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU. Completed his BA at McGill University in Montreal, MSc and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Julianne Schultz

Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the founding editor of Griffith REVIEW. Schultz is a professor at Griffith’s Centre for Cultural Research, Chair of the Australian Film Television and Radio School and a non-executive director of the boards of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Grattan Institute.

Karen Day

Prominent alumna and international biologist Professor Karen Day. Dean of Science at the University of Melbourne.

Martyn Hook

Prof. Dr Martyn Hook is Professor of Architecture at RMIT University, Dean at RMIT's School of Media & Communication, and Director of multi award winning iredale pedersen hook architects, a studio practice based in Melbourne and Perth dedicated to appropriate design of effective sustainable buildings with a responsible environmental and social agenda.

Pauline Nestor

Pauline Nestor is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Monash University. Before this appointment Professor Nestor was Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Arts, as well as serving as Academic Adviser to the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Mark Lonsdale

Former Chief of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. Dr Lonsdale’s areas of expertise include biological invasions, environmental risk analysis, biological control of weeds, and the ecological implications of genetically modified organisms.

Glen Wightwick

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research) at UTS, Professor Wightwick is responsible for research policy development and general oversight of the University's research activities, postgraduate education, industry liaison, intellectual property and commercialisation.


Commercial and finance — Australia   Back to Top

Lisa Watts

Chief Operating Officer

Lisa leads the commercial operations of The Conversation and is responsible for funding and business development. Previously she was CEO of ArtsHub, the leading news and jobs site for the creative arts industry. Her career includes CEO of a search marketing firm, and GM of the MyCareer online employment business for Fairfax Digital. If you would like to support or partner with us to grow The Conversation, Lisa would be delighted to hear from you.

Damian Thompson

Global Coordinator

Damian came to The Conversation from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries, where he worked on programs to deliver services to the agriculture sector. He previously worked as a policy adviser to the Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Small Business Department and joins The Conversation as the Business Development Manager.

Maria Troumboukis

Finance Manager

Maria joins The Conversation with extensive government experience, having previously worked as the Finance Manager at Arts Victoria within the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet where she was responsible for reporting and managing large multi-million dollar operating and capital budgets. A qualified CPA, she also worked in the South Australian State Government in Services SA and the Auditor-General’s Department.

Georgina Hall

Finance and Administration Officer

Georgina studied Arts at the University of Melbourne. She started volunteering in 2010 and now works in finance and administration for The Conversation.


Technology — Global   Back to Top

James Healy

Technical Director

James studied software engineering at Swinburne University. Since then he has worked on researching network protocols and developing websites for several Australian companies and community groups.

Mark Cipolla


After finishing a degree in Multimedia Design at Monash University, Mark has worked with a number of design and development teams, including and SitePoint.

Matthias Siegel


Matthias studied computer and media science in Germany before moving to Australia in 2008, sponsored by Tasmania. He has worked for web development companies in Hobart and Melbourne before joining The Conversation.

Nick Browne


Nick studied computer science at RMIT University. He has worked in Australia, India, Hong Kong and America before joining The Conversation.

Travis Winters


Travis didn't let an Arts Degree at Monash University get in the way of editing the student paper. Twenty years later, he now has a beautiful wife, two kids and a career in software development.