Caroline Jones is a writer and broadcaster with a 50-year association with the ABC.
She was the first woman reporter on This Day Tonight (1968-72), and the first woman to anchor Four Corners (1972-81), concurrently with broadcasting on ABC Sydney morning radio.
In 1973, Jones was appointed a foundation member of the Australian Council for the Arts by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. The council was chaired by Dr Nugget Coombs.
For eight years on ABC Radio National (1987-1994), Jones presented The Search for Meaning programs, in which hundreds of Australian men and women told of their lives. Books and tapes of the conversations were widely distributed around Australia.
Jones’s fifth book, An Authentic Life, Finding Meaning and Spirituality in Everyday Life, became one of the best-sellers of 1998.
In l985-86, she was a trainer for the communication/leadership program for schools, the Peer Support Program, founded by Elizabeth Campbell.
In 1988, Jones was made an Officer of the Order of Australia AO.
In 1988-89, she enjoyed working with Aboriginal broadcasters at CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. She is a member of the Women’s Reconciliation Network. Jones was appointed an Ambassador for Reconciliation by the Aboriginal Council for Reconciliation in 1998.
In 1997, she was voted one of Australia’s National Living Treasures.
Jones was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2007.
She is the recipient of a number of awards for her work in broadcasting, reporting and writing, including a Logie for contribution to television journalism, Media Peace Prize citations, and an Excellence in Broadcasting Award from ‘Friends of the ABC’, in 2003.
In 2013, she was awarded a Walkley Award for her outstanding contribution to journalism.
Much of Jones’s work has been dedicated to listening to her fellow-Australians and drawing out their stories. She has travelled widely to facilitate community gatherings, with sharing of experience as their focus.
The Search for Meaning programs provided one of the inspirations for Australian Story on ABC TV. Jones contributed to and presented Australian Story from its inception (1996-2016).
In 2009 ABC Books published Through a Glass Darkly, A Journey of Love and Grief with My Father. The book was selected in the Books Alive Campaign 2009 – “One of the 5O books you can’t put down”. All Jones’s books have been used as resources in secondary and tertiary education.
In 2009, a portrait of Caroline Jones by Salvatore Zofrea was hung in the National Portrait Gallery – and a second portrait by David Campbell in 2013.
Jones is an Ambassador for the Mary MacKillop Foundation, to be known from June 2018 as Mary MacKillop Today which, among other activities, provides Tertiary Indigenous Scholarships across Australia.
In 2013, she was appointed National Patron of Women in Media, a mentoring and networking program initiated by the MEAA (Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance) and the Walkley Foundation for Excellence in Journalism.
In 2017, Jones was made an honorary Doctor of Letters (Hon D Litt) by the University of Sydney.
When she retired from ABC in December 2016, the ABC News Division established the Caroline Jones Indigenous Scholarship. This is the equivalent of a full cadetship with the ABC. Jones says she could not have wished for a better parting gift.
She was raised in the small NSW country town of Murrurundi. For leisure, she enjoys reading, films, quiet times, friends, gardening, music, Latin and ballroom dancing.
Caroline Jones will speak at the 2018 Women in Media Conference.