Carol Altmann – The Terrier
The Terrier has won a major grant to help turn up the volume on indigenous stories from our region, and to help this site survive and thrive.
The grant is one of only nine funded in the first round by Sydney billionaire philanthropist Judith Neilson’s Institute for Journalism and Ideas and it will allow me to hire and mentor a cadet Indigenous journalist.
As if there wasn’t enough adrenalin pumping through the veins of The Terrier this week, this news has just come through today and, I tell you, I had to have a small lie down when I saw the other recipients:
the ABC, The Australian, The Guardian, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Schwartz Media (The Monthly/The Saturday Paper), Ngaarda Media and… drumroll….The Terrier, in Warrnambool.
So what does this mean for The Terrier?
Well, it means I can fulfil my hope of being able to better tell the Indigenous stories of our region, including those of the colonial invasion and those that are unfolding as we speak, such as Budj Bim, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Area, and the mind-blowing research around Moyjil.
I want these stories to be told by an Indigenous voice, not only my voice, and in so doing I want to empower the next generation of journalists.
The south-west can do so much more to celebrate, respect and listen to the Indigenous voices in our region, and with the support of the Institute, I can help that to happen.
The second part of the 12-month grant will allow The Terrier to explore different funding models, which basically means finding ways to encourage readers to be as loyal as a Cairn, a Maltese or a foxy, by contributing what they can, when they can.
Through the $100 million Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, Ms Neilson* – who owns the White Rabbit gallery in Sydney – is breathing life back into the lungs of a struggling media landscape.
And she is making sure that this air is pumped not only into the big cities, but into regional towns, where journalism is at a crisis point.
We all know that before The Terrier, investigative journalism in Warrnambool had become almost non-existent and yet, as the Warrnambool City Council credit card scandal has shown, it is absolutely critical.
The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas gets this.
As its director Mark Ryan says, “the Institute believes that the best way to champion quality journalism is to help journalists do more of it“.
You got it Mark!
If The Terrier can develop a group of loyal supporters who, between them, help cover the costs of sniffing, digging and writing, then The Terrier will not only survive, but thrive.
We have made it this far, on the back of a Tip Jar, but there is still much more to do.
After the huge events of this week, and the outpouring of support that has followed, I reckon we can do it.
On we go.
*I did, by chance, see Ms Neilson in the distance while filming the above video at her Sydney headquarters. I showed restraint…okay, I admit it, I had to be restrained. I hope I do get to thank her personally one day, as what she is doing for journalism via her philanthropy is game-changing.
You can see the full list of grant winners and the fabulous projects here.