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Universally Admired Veteran Journalist


Philippa McDonald is a 30-year veteran of ABC News and one of the most recognised, respected, and trusted faces in Australian journalism.

She is a greatly admired storyteller with a profound interest in the human experience, borne out of decades of covering stories from triumphs to tragedies. During her career she’s reported extensively on the Black Summer bushfires, earthquakes, political upheaval, disasters, corporate collapses, coups, terrorist attacks, serial killers and royal commissions. She has interviewed prime ministers, governors-general, Indigenous leaders, major politicians, business leaders, judges, criminals and famous names from arts and entertainment. Throughout her career she has mentored younger journalists.

Her journalism has taken her all over Australia and the world. Philippa’s interest in international affairs includes a fellowship at the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute of Journalism.

Philippa also previously chaired the Walkley Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Current Work:

Philippa is now focused on conducting journalism masterclasses for women journalists throughout the Pacific, consulting to a major philanthropic foundation, MCing and presenting webinars and podcasts on Elder Abuse and conducting presentation training for the legal, academic, and medical profession as well as the cultural sector.

Most recently, Philippa moderated a Roundtable of international journalists on Press Freedom at a conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Talking Points

Master of Ceremonies

Philippa is intuitive, and she gets to the heart of an issue with grace and good humour.

An exemplary communicator, highly respected and trusted after a career in television at the ABC, covering some of the biggest stories of our time. Philippa is the consummate professional, adept at tackling a diverse range of ideas and information. Inclusive, well-prepared, and engaging, Philippa inspires confidence among participants, ensuring an interactive and deeply memorable experience for audiences.

Comfortable across all types of events from intimate discussions of 20 people to large events of 2000, Philippa has MCed and facilitated at conferences in New York, New Delhi, Honolulu, Hong Kong and all over Australia. An influential communicator, not afraid to ask the tough questions and a reputation for delivering events which have an impact.
Philippa is intuitive, and she gets to the heart of a story with grace and good humour. I could not recommend her more highly. Melbourne Theatre Company

Philippa is an exemplary communicator who deeply understands delivering her message, maintaining audience engagement and supporting speakers to be their best.

Elder Abuse Action Australia

Feedback from our event participants has been exceptionally positive including ‘I found Philippa’s speech enthralling… and Philippa was amazing, a great choice for guest speaker.

Bartier Perry

I have seen Philippa MC and speak at many gatherings - from intimate discussions of 20 people to large events of 2000 - and her standard is always high, and time she invests in ensuring she is across the issues and stakeholders remains the same no matter the gathering or the content being covered.

KWOOP Coalition

As an influential journalist and facilitator, I had the utmost privilege to collaborate with Philippa McDonald for the Journalists and Writers Foundation`s (JWF) Journalism Roundtable “Protecting Journalists from Assaults, Arrests and Press Freedom” on the occasion of the SDGs Conference 2022: In the Margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) 77th Session in New York on September 22, 2022.

UN Representative - The Journalists and Writers Foundation

Philippa moderated a content rich discussion which included the chair of consultative process (National Research Infrastructure Roadmap), Ziggy Switkowski and several of Australia’s top scientists. As part of this 90-minute event, Philippa conducted one-on-one interviews with two revered venture capitalists, Sally-Ann Williams, and Phil Morle. The dynamic discussion canvassed the work of visionary deep tech innovators to validate, commercialise and scale high impact technologies globally across MedTech, HealthTech, AgTech, FoodTech, Clean Energy, AI, Manufacturing 4.0 and more.

The Friday Collective

Philippa has conducted highly informative interviews at live and online events (during the pandemic) featuring Q and As with Race Discrimination Commissioners, senior health officials including the NSW Chief Psychiatrist, University Vice Chancellors, Amnesty International, the Diversity Council, eminent lawyers, the CEO of KPMG to name a few. One of our high-profile panellists described Philippa "an extraordinary journalist, communicator and facilitator. Her perceptive and penetrating questions were right on the money and enabled the speakers to fully express their views.

Affinity Intercultural Foundation
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