About the club
The South Australian Press Club is Adelaide’s premier lunch forum.
The club holds regular luncheons with newsworthy guest speakers. These functions are open to the public and offer a quality meal, a stimulating speaker and the opportunity to observe the media at work asking pertinent questions to extract further information from the speaker.
Speakers are drawn from a wide range of fields including politics, law, the arts, business, unions, entertainment, sport, science and the environment.
The club was formed in 1995 by Robert Mayne. The then Adelaide correspondent of “The Bulletin” and former executive on both “The Australian” and the “Sydney Morning Herald” believed there was a need in Adelaide for a media forum similar to the National Press Club in Canberra. Major media executives agreed and Don Riddell, former Editor-in-Chief of “The Advertiser” was approached to be President of the SA Press Club.
The SA Press Club is still going strong, attracting some of the biggest names in the business. Records of our past luncheons are contained on this website.
0414 261 621
SA Press Club
GPO Box 515
President, SA Press Club
Rory McClaren is ABC News South Australia’s State Political Reporter. He moved into the role in 2022 and co-anchored the national television broadcast of the state election that year. Before he shifted to the ABC in 2021, he spent more than six years as State Political Reporter with Nine News in Adelaide. In that time, he covered state and federal elections as well as doing stints in the Parliament House bureau in Canberra. In addition to his time with Nine, Rory has also worked for Network Ten in Adelaide and Melbourne and The Advertiser.
Immediate Past President, SA Press Club
Mike Smithson has been a journalist for 45 years and a former specialist political reporter and analyst for well over two decades. He started as a newspaper cadet before launching
into a television journalism career with Channel 7 Adelaide. He’s also been employed as senior police reporter with Channel 7 Melbourne, was bureau chief for a national current affairs program
and was the Seven Network’s European correspondent for two years. He’s been a regular fill radio presenter and provides weekly commentary on ABC radio and FiveAA. Mike is now 7’s weekend
news presenter and also presents morning and afternoon bulletins. His achievements include being awarded SA Journalist of the Year.
Vice President, SA Press Club
Stacey Lee is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience. She’s reported in various rounds including politics, crime, courts and sport. She joined FiveAA in January 2024 and worked for the ABC as a reporter and presenter from 2019 to 2023. Prior to that Stacey held producing, reporting and presenting roles at Sky News and Channel 7 in Sydney and Adelaide. She’s also reported from China, Korea, Canberra, Perth, Alice Springs and Hobart. Stacey has won various awards for her news coverage including Best Radio News Report, Best Business Report from the SA Press Club and the Max Fatchen Award for Best Young Journalist.
Honorary Secretary, SA Press Club
Susan is Executive Officer of SASES Volunteers’ Association and former editor of quarterly publication Frontline. She commenced her career in banking as the first female in a lending role in South Australia, then worked in senior public relations positions prior to moving to executive roles in the not-for-profit sector. Susan is honorary secretary of SA Press Club and was a member of UniSA’s School of Communication Advisory Committee and is currently on the SAFECOM Board and numerous emergency sector advisory groups and review committees.
Kelly Barnes (freelance) has been working in the media industry for 30 years, starting as a cadet with Messenger Newspapers and moving on to work for Quest newspapers in Brisbane and the Herald Sun in Melbourne. In 2001 Kelly was started working for The Australian where he was the full-time sports and general news photographer. In 2005 Kelly moved back to Adelaide as The Australian’s South Australian photographer covering all the state and major news stories. In 2019 Kelly started his freelance career working for the Washington Post, Getty Images, Associated Press, Australian Associated Press.
Brett Clappis is a senior journalist with more than two decades of experience. Brett began his career with Network Ten in 2005, in Queensland, where his coverage of Cyclone Larry earned him multiple awards. Since returning home to South Australia, Brett has filled many roles in Network Ten’s Adelaide newsroom, including various production and chief of staff positions. He has been recognised with awards for his work in South Australia. He is strong supporter of rural news, having started his career with several regional postings. Brett is a proud Ambassador for Variety SA – The Children’s Charity.
Andrew Hough is The Advertiser’s award-winning investigations editor, who has been on the SA Press Club board since 2020. As a senior journalist with more than two decades of experience, he has covered stories all over the world including on London’s “Fleet St”. He was one of The Advertiser’s three cadets in 2003 after graduating from Prince Alfred College and UniSA with degrees majoring in accounting, law and economics. He ventured to Britain in 2006, spending seven years reporting for a crime news agency, London’s Evening Standard, Reuters and The [UK] Daily Telegraph. Reporting across Britain and Europe, he covered the London riots, Wimbledon, death of Margaret Thatcher and royal family. He returned to Adelaide in 2013 with a wide-ranging brief. Highlights have included foreign assignments to the White House and a royal tour. He most recently led The Advertiser’s coverage of SA’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He is a regular guest on Sky News, ABC Radio, including its popular “Spin Cycle” segment, and FiveAA radio.
Dr Bonita Mason
University of South Australia
Dr Bonita Mason is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who has published in news publications, magazines and books. As an academic, she is director of the journalism program at the University of South Australia. She has also worked for governments, as a policy developer and analyst, and with national and regional Aboriginal land rights and other organisations in Australia. Her award-winning PHD and much of her subsequent research has focused on the media coverage of First Nations deaths in custody, and on journalism education for competent Indigenous affairs journalism. She is committed to industry/university collaboration.
Will McDonald (Nine) is a Presenter, Reporter and Producer with Adelaide’s Nine News. He joined Channel Nine in 2004. Will’s career in TV began in Port Lincoln as a Video Journalist for the regional news service.
Caroline Winter (freelance/ABC) is a passionate storyteller and an award-winning journalist, producer and presenter who prides herself on creating work that is impactful, meaningful and that brings about change. She has worked across radio and television for two decades and is now a journalism trainer, independent podcast producer and TV producer. When she’s not ‘making stuff’ Caroline loves nothing more than playing with her pooch Harvey, eating cheese, drinking some of South Australia’s excellent wine and having a laugh with friends.