Biography – Graeme Orr
Graeme commenced as a freelance in his late teens and is now a widely acknowledged International Freelance Journalist – published in almost 1,300 publications in 41 countries and 13 languages over the past 50 years. He was awarded a 90-day scholarship to the Washington Post in 1969
He has been substantially a freelance journalist, including opening the Melbourne Writers Festival in 2007, lecturing in freelance journalism at Deakin University (1992-2002), speaking/facilitating at international writing conferences and, additionally turned to occasional teaching (preaching?) in 1991 onwards – providing seminars in Australia and overseas at major universities and Writing Centres. Graeme has led seminar/workshops at University of Western Australia (UWA), RMIT University (Victoria), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of Queensland (UQ) , Northern Territory University (NTU), and other similar universities in Australia.
He has presented at several writing related festivals/conferences, including
*San Diego State University Writers Conference, San Diego, Calif USA
*Writers in Paradise Conference, St Petersburg, Florida, USA (his favourite…)
*London International Journalism Seminars, East London, UK
*Hong Kong Writers, Hong Kong
*San Francisco Writers Conference, San Francisco, USA
*Faith and Culture Writers Conference, Portland, Oregon USA
*Kauai Writers Conference, Kapaa, Hawaii USA (another favourite..)
*Melbourne Writers Festival, Melbourne Australia
*Writers Digest Annual Conference, New York City, USA
*The Vancouver Writers Festival, Vancouver BC Canada
*Freelance Forum, Seattle Washington USA
*New Zealand Writers Conference, Auckland NZ
*Singapore Literary Escape Conference, Singapore
He remains a mentor to many past students now working full-time in journalism and/or as part-time freelance journalists.
Graeme has presented FREE seminars in 2015/16 to former full-time journalists sadly ‘squeezed out’ by News Ltd & Fairfax – to assist them consider transitioning to a ‘fresh’ alternative future.
JOURNALISTIC SKILLS CAN BE USED IN OTHER AREAS – BUT ALWAYS BEWARE POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Graeme also has significant experience in the business sphere – mostly as a consultant in benchmarking, standards development and implementation. He developed, wrote and marketed the Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) to all mediums and monitored public image issues for the CPA Society (then Australian Society of Accountants) 1982-84. Graeme was later the Public Relations Advisor to the National Institute of Accountants (NIA) 1994-96.
He also developed a Charter for member Credit Unions of the Credit Union Society in California (USA) 1985, similar in Australia 1987, co-authored the Professional Development Program (PDP) for the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) in 1987, followed by writing and launching the Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) – the national benchmark for the marketing profession with Australian Marketing Institute (1990-94) where he was also the (contracted) Chief Executive.
Additionally, he led the restructure of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, (1993), the Australian Arbitrators Association (1994) and was Secretary General of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (1994-5). He also developed separate sales management benchmarks for the Australian Sales & Marketing Institute in 2003-4.
Graeme has been an ‘overflow’ speechwriter for Parliament since 1987 having written speeches for ALL major political parties. He has also participated in (casual) radio broadcasting in China – mostly in English – with Radio Zhejiang in Hangzhou, sometimes narrating programs internally and broadcasting/promoting programs to an audience of 40 million. He also re-wrote English articles for China Business Focus magazine from 2003-07 on an honorary basis.
He also has a long association of involvement in community and charitable organisations; including President of United Nations Association of Australia (1986-91), National President of Save the Children Fund Australia (1989-90) and State Chairman of Australian Freedom From Hunger Campaign (1996-99), the latter being part of a major national merger between AFFH with Community Aid Abroad in 1990 (now Oxfam)
He was a Board member of UNICEF (1986-92), Board member of Victorian Human Rights Committee and the Victorian Association of Citizens Advice Bureaus at the request of Department of Community Services (Victoria). Graeme was also an honorary consultant to the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet 1987-93. Additionally, Graeme was a board member with the Metropolitan Ambulance Board (1989-91) and also member of the Board of Family Planning Victoria (1998-2004)
Graeme was an actor in movies and television in USA, UK and Australia in 1970’s/1980’s – appearing in seven movies, a docu-drama portraying the late Senator Robert Kennedy (‘Requiem for a Kennedy’) and many USA TV series (‘Streets of San Francisco’, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘Taxi’, ‘Carol Burnett Show’ etc). He also had numerous roles in six Australian movies, and appeared in almost all major Australian TV series 1973-83. His acting – mostly small roles – influenced that he definitely not give up his day job!!
Graeme has been the recipient of numerous awards; including the Geneve Prize 1986 (from the city of Geneva, Switzerland) for work assisting children and refugees, a finalist in the bicentenary 1988 Australian of the Year – and awarded an Australian Achiever Award 1988 (presented by Prime Minister Bob Hawke at Kirribilli House, Sydney). He was named Melburnian of the Year 1989 by the City of Melbourne – for services to refugees and children.
Graeme really enjoyed playing cricket (last century…real cricket, pre-helmet era). He played for District teams Footscray (1967-69) and Richmond (1970-75), two seasons with Victorian Colts & Victoria Shield XI, plus a season with Gloucestershire County in UK.
See further: Who’s Who In Australia etc…