Graeme Wood (businessman)

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Graeme Wood AM
Born Graeme Thomas Wood
1947 (age 69–70)
Rockhampton, Queensland
Alma mater University of Queensland (B.Ec, M.IS)
Occupation Entrepreneur

Graeme Thomas Wood AM (born 1947; Rockhampton, Queensland)[1] is an Australian digital entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist.

He is the founder of online travel site Wotif.com[2] and has made investments in media, including backing The Guardian Australia and founding The Global Mail.

Career[edit]

In January 2013, Wood was named as a prominent backer of the digital arm of British newspaper The Guardian in Australia.[3] He said it would add quality and diversity to Australian media as well as fostering a closer interaction with the rest of the world.

Wood founded The Global Mail, a not-for-profit multimedia site for journalism in the public interest.[4] In July 2013 The Global Mail became the first institutional member of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), as part of Wood’s three-year, US$1.5 million grant to bolster cross-border investigative reporting.[5]

Other businesses Wood has founded include Wotnews, which closed in 2012[6] after spawning We Are Hunted, a music recommendation website sold to Twitter in 2013.[7]

In 2011, Wood acquired the Triabunna Woodchip Mill in Tasmania.[8] He submitted plans for the rejuvenation of the site, renamed Spring Bay Mill, in September 2016.[9]

Activism[edit]

The Graeme Wood Foundation supports environmental sustainability, the Arts, Tertiary Education and improved Justice for Australia's indigenous community. Wood founded Artology in 2011, an organization focused on youth development and social change through the arts.[10] Wood also founded Wild Mob in 2008, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to protect Australia’s most threatened species and ecosystems by giving young people the opportunity to participate in conservation work and environmental education while experiencing some of Australia's most iconic wilderness destinations.[11]

Wood was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2012 Australia Day Honours.[12] He has been awarded Suncorp Queenslander of the Year,[13] and received an Honorary Doctorate of Economics from the University of Queensland. He has been a significant donor to the University of Queensland, the University of Tasmania and Melbourne University.[14]

Political involvement[edit]

Wood gave the largest political donation in Australian history in 2010, A$1.6 million, to The Greens.[15]

In October 2016 leaked emails from the account of John Podesta included a claim by a public relations company, Fenton Communications, that Wood had pledged US$500,000 towards an advertising campaign to counter the climate change denial stance of media owned by Rupert Murdoch. Wood has since stated "It sounded like a good idea at the time but in the end I didn’t proceed with any funding.”[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Graeme's now even richer". The Morning Bulletin. 3 June 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "How Graeme Wood made his fortune". Money Magazine. 26 April 2006. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Sweeney, Mark (26 May 2013). "Guardian Australia launches with promise of 'fresh and independent view'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ McAthy, Rachel (10 June 2013). "Why The Global Mail has focused in on data and investigations". journalism.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Press Release - ICIJ and The Global Mail enter partnership, from The Global Mail, July 2013.
  6. ^ Schmidl, Engel (21 June 2012). "Wotnews to shut down on June 23 as development team heads to New York". Smart Company. Archived from the original on 15 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Gardner, Jessica (27 April 2013). "How three Australians took Twitter into music". The Australian Financial Review. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Darby, Andrew (14 July 2011). "Greenies buy woodchip mill". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Deal holds fate of Triabunna woodchip mill", The Examiner, 30 November 2012, archived from the original on 29 November 2012 
  10. ^ "Artology | Unlocking the creative potential of young people...". artology.org.au. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  11. ^ "Wild Mob". Wild Mob. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  12. ^ Australia Day honours to UQ community members, University Of Queensland, 26 January 2012 
  13. ^ "Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Award Recipients", suncorp.com.au, June 2008, archived from the original on 4 March 2016 
  14. ^ Glaister, Shirley (October 2011), "Inspirational alumni honoured", Contact Magazine, University of Queensland, archived from the original on 4 January 2013 
  15. ^ Manning, Paddy (8 January 2011). "Web millionaire bankrolled Greens". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 15 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Slezak, Michael (25 October 2016). "Hacked emails reveal plan to counter Rupert Murdoch's climate denial". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-10-25.