IWD 2023 Women in Media Panel

15 Feb 2023

This year we are joined by not one, not two, but three successful women with decades in combined media experience across print, radio, broadcasting and digital mediums. We are bringing these media mavens of the industry together to discuss career, life, family and how it all fits into the International Women’s Day theme for 2023 of Embrace Equity. Meet Michelle Gunn, Lou Barrett and Natalie Harvey with Gemma Acton who will interview our panel.

Michelle Gunn, Editor in Chief of The Australian

Michelle Gunn is the newly appointed editor-in-chief of The Australian, the first woman chosen for the role since the masthead was created. A journalist for more than three decades, Michelle was previously editor of both The Australian and The Weekend Australian. Under her leadership, the masthead was named PANPA Weekend Newspaper of the year four times as well as 2018 overall News Brand of the Year. Michelle's career at The Australian has also included stints as Deputy Editor, National Chief of Staff, Sydney Bureau Chief and Social Affairs Editor.

Lou Barrett, Managing Director, News Corp National Sales

Louise Barrett is Managing Director of News Corp Australia’s National Sales. She is responsible for driving national sales inclusive of key existing client relationships across all of News Corp’s print and digital assets and is focused on building and strengthening News Corp’s commitment to its advertising clients.

Lou has over 35 years experience in the media industry and was the former Executive General Manager of Network Ten. She joined Network Ten in March 2013 as its Chief Sales Officer and was promoted to the EGM role in September 2015. She has previously held senior sales and management roles at Nine Entertainment Co, ACP Magazines, Southern Cross Broadcasting and Macquarie Radio Network.

Lou is passionate about delivering ROI for clients whilst ensuring a seamless experience that drives recurring revenue.


Natalie Harvey, National Sales Director Channel 7

Nat Harvey started her career at Seven in the role of Office Assistant to the CEO. Her love for media has grown immensely, and is borderline an addiction. While Nat is “still” at Seven, she spent 13 odd years working in Media Agency land across loads of clients including Australian Government, Pfizer, Boots, and Meat and Livestock Australia of which she was on the team that took home a Bronze Lion for Australia Day Lamb.
Nat moved to Brisbane with her family, and ended up the GM at UM Brisbane working with clients such as McDonald’s and Tourism and Events Queensland. The excitement of telly was calling though, so Nat moved to SWM in Brisbane. In her time there, she created the first combined SWM sales team where Pacific and Seven was bought together.
Despite enjoying the warmth and humidity of Brisbane, Nat got the opportunity to move back to Sydney in October 2017 to take up the role of Sydney Sales Director and then into Network Sales Director. Outside of work, Nat is a mum to a 13 year old boy, and loves a round of golf!


Gemma Acton, Network Finance Editor at 7 News

Gemma Acton has worked across finance and broadcast media for more than two decades, covering market-moving stories and meeting the people behind the headlines across the world.
Gemma is currently the Network Finance Editor at 7 News - the most-watched news service in Australia - where she presents the latest financial and business news to audiences across the entire country. She is also a regular guest host across several of the network’s broadcast news programmes.
Returning to Australia in late 2017 was a lovely homecoming after she spent 18 years abroad living, working and studying in cities including London, New York, Dubai, Milan & Paris. In addition to broadcasting, during this time, she worked in investment banking and wealth management at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and PIMCO.
Gemma also gained an MBA/MA from the Lauder Institute and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a BA from University College London and the highly prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst qualification.


The Successful Women in Media panel session is part of the Hands International Women’s Day Event in Sydney on Wednesday, 8 March, 2023. To learn more about the International Women’s Day Event or to make your booking now, please visit our International Women’s Day Event Page.