Jeff McMullen

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Jeffrey John "Jeff" McMullen AM, is an Australian journalist.[1][2] He was a foreign correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for almost two decades (1966–1984), a reporter for the investigative television program Four Corners and later joined the Australian version of 60 Minutes (1984–2000).[2] In 2007 he hosted a 33-part discussion series on ABC1 titled Difference of Opinion.[1]


McMullen graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Arts. Through his work, McMullen has campaigned for improvement in health, education, and access to human rights for indigenous peoples.[3]

He is the Honorary CEO of Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth,[2][4] developing early learning programs and the Literacy Backpack project in 22 remote Australian Aboriginal communities over the past decade.[5]

As a Director of AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience),[4] McMullen has helped grow this highly successful education movement connecting university undergraduates as mentors for Aboriginal high-school students in urban areas.[6] McMullen is also a Director of Engineering Aid Australia, a philanthropic organisation whose primary initiative is the Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS) operating in New South Wales and also in Western Australia at Curtin University, which aims to build opportunities for Aboriginal high school students to pursue tertiary studies and subsequently careers in engineering.[7][8]

As a Trustee of the Jimmy Little Foundation,[9] McMullen also works with Aboriginal doctors and medical services to improve dialysis, and in introducing the nutrition program, "Uncle Jimmy’s Thumbs Up", aimed at reducing, and preventing chronic illness in indigenous communities.[10][11]

He has chaired the council meetings of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and joined their advocacy in Federal Parliament. At the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit Jeff McMullen was among the 100 people focussed on ‘Closing the Gaps’ in Indigenous life expectancy and improving the well being of all Aboriginal communities.[citation needed]

He is Patron of the University of Canberra's Healthpact Centre developing health promotion and social equality programs, especially for Aboriginal children.[12]

In 2001, he released his biography A Life of Extremes – Journeys and Encounters.[13] It examines ideas gleaned from some of the world’s bravest individuals contributing to a brighter future for the human family.[14]

He directed the $10,000 award into the Literacy Backpacks in the Jawoyn communities to enhance this early learning project.[4]

At Tully in North Queensland, McMullen has worked with Aboriginal elder Dr Ernie Grant and Sonya Jeffrey in growing the cultural education project at Echo Creek south of Cairns.[15]

At Beswick Falls, Northern Territory, McMullen is Patron of the annual Walking with Spirits festival, which celebrates the ancient culture of Aboriginal people in this region.[10]

In 2014, McMullen appeared as himself in the second episode of Black Comedy, an Australian sketch show, in a mockumentary about an indigenous boy tragically born without any sporting ability. [16]


In 2006 McMullen was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for service to journalism and efforts to raise awareness of economic, social and human rights issues in Australia and overseas, as well as service to charity.[17]

Variety, the Children's Charity declared McMullen Humanitarian of the Year for 2006.[2] McMullen's articles, speeches and advocacy are available on his website

He has been awarded three honorary degrees, a Doctorate of Journalism from Central Queensland University a Doctorate of Letters from Newcastle University and a Doctor of Letters from Macquarie University.[18]


  1. ^ a b Schmidt, Lucinda (7 February 2007). "Profile: Jeff McMullen". The Age. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia". The Queens Birthday 2006 Honours List. The Australian Honours Secretariat. Retrieved 2010-04-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ "About Jeff". Jeff McMullen. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  4. ^ a b c "Board of Directors". Ian Thorpe's Fountain for youth. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  5. ^ "What is Fountain of Youth?". Ian Thorpe's Fountain of Youth. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  6. ^ "AIME Staff". AIME Mentoring. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  7. ^ "About Us". EngineeringAid Australia. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  8. ^ "Summer Schools". EngineeringAid Australia. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". The Jimmy Little Foundation. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  10. ^ a b "Jeff's Advocacy Work". Jeff McMullen. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  11. ^ "JLF Programs". The Jimmy Little Foundation. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  12. ^ "Patrons". HealthPact Research Centre for Health Promotion and Wellbeing. Retrieved 2014-11-13. 
  13. ^ Word On Books
  14. ^ "Life of Extremes - Journeys and Encounters". Jeff McMullen. Retrieved 2014-11-13. 
  15. ^ "Brief Biography of Ernest Brian Grant". James Cook University Australia. Retrieved 2014-11-13. 
  16. ^ "What's on TV Wednesday: Black Comedy, an ascent into darkness". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-12. 
  17. ^ "Gazette Special". Commonwealth of Australia. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  18. ^ Journalist Jeff McMullen honoured by Macquarie University