Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAMA has been appointed chair of The Conversation Media Group, following the retirement of Harrison Young.
Since becoming chairman in April 2017, Harrison has improved The Conversation’s corporate governance, strengthened the board and helped bring together the international network of The Conversation’s eight editions. A prominent banker, prior to joining the TCMG board Young was a director of the Commonwealth Bank and chairman of the NBN Co limited, Morgan Stanley Australia and Better Place Australia.
Professor Schultz has spent her career seeking to improve public discourse and we are delighted she is bringing her knowledge, passion and media expertise to the role of chair. At yesterday’s annual meeting of The Conversation editors Schultz said: “The Conversation is even more important now than it was when it began nearly a decade ago. With media companies shrinking and misinformation increasingly distorting public discussion, the need for clear and dispassionate information from real experts is essential. The Conversation now operates around the world and is able to draw on a remarkable global network of academic experts to make sense of the most pressing and urgent issues of the day.”
Professor Schultz is publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review and Professor of Media and Culture in of the Griffith University Centre for Social and Cultural Research.
She is author of several books, including Reviving the Fourth Estate (Cambridge) and Steel City Blues (Penguin), and the librettos to the award-winning operas Black River and Going Into Shadows. She became a Member of the Order of Australia for services to journalism and the community in 2009 and an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities the following year.
Previously Professor Schultz has served on the board of directors of the ABC, Grattan Institute and Copyright Agency, and chaired the Australian Film TV and Radio School, Queensland Design Council and National Cultural Policy Reference Group. She is a member of advisory boards with a particular focus on education, journalism, arts and culture.
For the past year, Professor Schultz has served as chair of The Conversation’s Editorial Board. Professor Merlin Crossley of the University of New South Wales will take over the role of chair of the editorial board in the new year.
The Conversation works with academics to share their expertise with a wider audience. Over the past three years it has grown significantly and the audience to the Australian edition has doubled to more than 5 million unique users a month. When readers of media outlets that republish Conversation articles are included, the monthly audience is over 13 million. This means academic authors are able to reach a large and diverse readership, in Australia and globally.
Harrison Young will remain on the Board of TCMG until the end of the year. We thank him for his exceptional contribution as chairman and warmly welcome Julianne to her new role.