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The Conversation: the Carlton newsdesk that went global

Deepen your understanding of issues that matter with research-based news.


From a group of journalists sitting around a single Ikea desk in Carlton to an international publishing network, The Conversation has soared to success.

Everything featured on The Conversation is created by academics and journalists who turn knowledge from the world’s universities into trustworthy, easy-to-read articles that are free to read and share.

“The world needs experts to ensure facts and reason win over misinformation and the screaming matches of populist politics,” said Damian Thompson, Chief Operating Officer for The Conversation International.

“Our model helps experts from around the world find a voice in public debate, translating research into plain language.”

Launched in Melbourne in 2011, The Conversation has grown to comprise a global network of dedicated teams working in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Africa, France, Canada, Indonesia and Spain.

“The Conversation introduced a new way of doing journalism by bringing experts together with editors to work on stories based on evidence and written in plain English,” Damian said.

“We started with a team of editors sitting around one big desk in Carlton; today we’re a global newsroom.”

We celebrated The Conversation’s achievements by awarding the publisher our 2022 Melbourne Award for Knowledge and Innovation.

Looking ahead, The Conversation remains committed to its core values, and at the forefront of a changing media landscape.

A person with short hair, glasses and a blazer standing in front of a wall covered in text outlining The Conversations key values
Lisa Watts, CEO of The Conversation


“We want to see The Conversation to build a trusted brand for quality media in Australia and around the world,” Damian said.

“It’s not just about pageviews. It’s about engaging audiences in the places and ways where people find information.

“We want to make sure generative AI feeds on good information.”

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About the Melbourne Awards

The Melbourne Awards are our city’s highest accolade, celebrating the inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy to making this city a world leader.

our acknowledgement

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The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.