Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content


  • The Women's Pages: Australian Women and Journalism since 1850

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Duncan, Julie (1952 - 2005)

October 16, 1952
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
February 21, 2005
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Educator, Journalism trainer, Journalist and Print Journalist


Julie Duncan was a highly regarded journalist and journalism educator who developed some of Australia's earliest journalism courses.


Julie Duncan was born Julie Mary Badock in Launceston, Tasmania. Her career in journalism began at The Mercury in Hobart, where she won the Montague Grover Award for cadet journalists as well as the Alan Cane cadet award. She went on to work as a news reporter, features writer and public affairs journalist. In 1979, Julie married South Australian Attorney-General for the Labor Government, Peter Duncan, and moved to Adelaide, where she began lecturing in journalism at the South Australian College of Advanced Education (now the University of South Australia). Here she developed some of Australia's earliest journalism courses.

From 1986 to 1990, Julie Duncan was editorial training and development manager at The Advertiser in Adelaide. Under her management, the paper's cadet training scheme enjoyed an excellent reputation as one of Australia's best. Duncan promoted the hiring of The Advertiser's first indigenous cadet, whom she trained, and she worked closely with indigenous students and with Reconciliation Australia. She also championed the employment of the paper's first female photographer. In 1987, Duncan convened and chaired the first national journalism education and training conference. She designed a three year training course, The Front Page and Beyond, which has since formed the basis of much journalism training in Australia. Those who knew Duncan noted that her passion for good journalism was unwavering. She was an active member of the Australian Journalists Association/Media Alliance, and served on state, federal, professional and judiciary committees. She had an excellent rapport with her students and relished teaching them.

In 2003, Duncan received the Walkley Award for the most outstanding contribution to journalism. By then, having been diagnosed with cancer, she had returned to Tasmania to live with her parents. Her husband Peter was living in Lombok, Indonesia, following failed business dealings in Adelaide, but the pair were in daily contact. Julie Duncan died in February 2005, aged 52, survived by her husband Peter, her daughter Georgia, and her stepsons Macgregor and Jock. Memorial services were held in Hobart, Adelaide and Sydney - 300 people attended the Adelaide service alone. Today, the Julie Duncan Memorial Award for the best journalism student is offered as part of the South Australia Media Awards. The award is open to students of the University of South Australia's journalism program whose published or broadcast projects reflect outstanding initiative and/or newsworthiness and technical skill, and adhere to ethical and legal standards.


c. 1978 - 2003
Career in journalism active
Walkley Award (Senior Journalism Awards) - Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism - Journalism Trainer and Educator

Sources used to compile this entry:; [accessed 2007-11-02]; 'Devotion to Art of Journalism', The Advertiser, 26 February 2005, p. 99; Cara Jenkin, 'Journalism Mentor Loses Fight', The Advertiser, 22 February 2005, p. 3.

Related entries

Barbara Lemon and Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124