QUEENSLAND MEDIA CLUB
The Queensland Media Club is the successor body to the Queensland Press Forum, started in 2003 and by which name it was known until 2005. It is a joint venture of the Queensland Parliamentary Media Gallery and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). It is reliant on various levels of sponsorship from both commercial and non-commercial entities.
The club’s principal activity is hosting an annual season of lunches (usually seven a year), with invited speakers selected from among business leaders, decision-makers and politicians. Since 2003, the lunches have attracted an average of 300 guests, with some having audiences of up to 900. The overwhelming majority of speakers at the lunches were politicians, including all three prime ministers holding office during the club’s existence—John Howard in 2003, and Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in 2010—and many Cabinet ministers. The club also hosted the leaders’ debates during Queensland state elections in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012.
Money raised through these events provides prizes for two Queensland journalism students—one metropolitan-based and one regional/rural recipient. These ‘most outstanding’ prizes are administered through the MEAA’s annual Queensland Clarion Awards for journalistic excellence. The MEAA devotes funds raised through the club to professional development and welfare programs for members.