The fund trustees direct the International Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific to implement projects to be funded by the MSSF. The fund’s trustees are Marcus Strom, national MEAA Media section president; the two national MEAA Media vice-presidents, Karen Percy and Michael Janda; two MEAA Media federal councillors, Ben Butler and Alana Schetzer; and Brent Edwards representing New Zealand’s journalists’ union, the E tū, which also supports the fund.
Aside from contributions made by MEAA members as a result of enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations, the other main fundraising activities of the fund are the annual Press Freedom Australia dinners, auctions and raffles; and the gala presentation dinner for the annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism. In 2014 and again in 2015, Japan’s public broadcasting union Nipporo also made contributions to the fund.
In 2017, the MSSF supported the work of the International Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific’s human rights and safety program. Under the program, IFJ AP remained a prominent advocate in the region for press freedom, journalists’ rights and safety.
In March 2017, the IFJ AP launched the Byte Back Campaign: Fighting Online Harassment of Journalists calling for strong action to stop cyber-bullying and online harassment of women journalists. In May it launched the #JournosAgainstShutdowns campaign raising awareness for internet shutdowns as a press freedom issue.
The IFJ AP continued its campaign for Raimundos Oki and Lourenco Vincente Martins, who were charged with criminal defamation in Timor Leste. On June 2, in a win for press freedom, the charges against the pair were dismissed.
Under the IFJ Press Freedom in China project, the IFJ released its ninth annual China Press Freedom report that documents the state of press freedom in China, mapping media violations across the year, increased government control, surveillance and the challenging media environment.
MSSF continued to support the education of the children of slain journalists.
In Nepal, MSSF supports 23 children with two due to graduate from university at the end of the year.
In the Philippines, MSSF supports 68 students – 25 are the children of journalists killed in the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre.
At the end of the 2016-17 school year, five children will graduate from university with a range of qualifications including, computer science, financial management, engineering and teaching.
In Fiji, MSSF supports Jone Ketebaca, the son of Sitiveni Moce who died in 2015 after he succumbed to injuries sustained when he was attacked by soldiers in 2007.
The annual highlight of the Nepal Children’s Education Fund was a three-day summer camp. About 30 children are assisted through the program, which was established in 2010 to help the children of journalists who have been killed since the transition to democracy began in 2005. To date, this financial support has been $181,472 (including administration fees paid to the International Federation of Journalists).
In April and May 2015, Nepal was hit by a serious of devastating earthquakes that left 6,000 dead. The media in Nepal was forced to work in make-shift shelters. Through MSSF financial support given to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), a three-day, trauma and journalism workshop was held to better equip journalists to report during and after natural disasters. Read the full story on the IFJ Asia-Pacific website.
|All figures in Australian dollars||2017
|Balance at July 1||136,576||224,709|
|Funds raised during the year||97,976||48,505|
|Payments made during the year||(149,798)||(136,638)|
|Balance at June 30||84,754||136,576|
|Funds raised during the year||84,754||136,576|
|John Fairfax Employees||80,791|
|Interest on MSSF bank account||1181||3434|
|Surplus on Press Freedom Dinner – SYD||8966||22,750|
|Surplus on Press Freedom Dinner – MEL||0||11,828|