New Matilda Is Fundraising To Employ An Aboriginal Cadet


New Matilda is currently trying to raise money through a series of mini-fundraisers to secure the future of the site for another year, and to take our reporting to the next level. Our goal before Christmas 2015 is to raise a total of $200,000 – not enough to cover all our costs, but enough to put a dent in it.

Our latest fundraiser – seen here on Pozible – is to employ an Aboriginal cadet journalist for one year. If we raise beyond our target of $30,000, then depending on the amount raised, we’ll either carry the money forward into a second year, or if we raise enough, we’ll consider taking on a second Aboriginal cadet journalist.

Jacob McQuire is the young Murri we’d like to offer a cadetship too.

Jacob (pictured bottom right) is the younger brother of Amy McQuire, one of the nation’s most respected Aboriginal journalists.

Here’s Amy’s recommendation of her little brother: “Jacob’s smarter than me, and he’s more political than me. You’ll have your hands full.”

Jacob is aged 17, and has grown up in Rockhampton, Queensland (which we’re not going to hold against him… except during State of Origin). From 2016, Jacob will move to the nation’s capital to study journalism at the University of Canberra.

Jacob McQuire, younger brother of Amy and soon-to-be media student in Canberra.
Jacob McQuire, younger brother of Amy and soon-to-be media student in Canberra.

New Matilda is aiming to raise $30,000 to cover most of the costs of Jacob’s wages and on-costs for the first year of a three-year cadetship with New Matilda. He’ll commence work in March 2016, and a condition of Jacob’s employment will be that he also continue his university studies.

Jacob’s training will be provided primarily by the editor of New Matilda, Chris Graham. Chris has won a Walkley Award and a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards for his Indigenous affairs reporting. Chris has worked in the media since 1988, and has specialised in Aboriginal affairs since founding the National Indigenous Times in 2002.

Jacob will obviously also work with other accomplished journalists and writers on the New Matilda team, including Contributing Editor Wendy Bacon, a formidable journalist with decades of experience.

Our interest in an Aboriginal journalist is obvious – if you want to understand the lives, the loves and the losses of Aboriginal people, there’s no better person to tell those stories than a blackfella.

We can’t employ Jacob without the help of New Matilda readers and supporters. Your contribution will help launch the career of a strong, young, black writer who can tell Aboriginal stories with authenticity.

All readers and supporters who contribute to this campaign will receive a special email thank you from Jacob, plus occasional updates throughout the year on how Jacob is progressing through his career. And for high-level supporters, we’ve got a few other special ‘thank yous’ as well (have a look over in the right hand panel).

The last word belongs to Jacob. Here’s what he wrote, when we asked him to tell us why he wanted to be a journalist.

“I want to go into journalism because I want to do something important and what’s more important than the truth?

“Truth is a hard thing to come by especially in politics, because the political sphere is governed by those with big money and those who can easily seduce the masses.

“We need more truth.

“If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have whistleblowers, we wouldn’t have good journalism and we certainly wouldn’t have the same tired ‘broken promises’ advertisements every election year.

“I want to tell the truth.”

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.