About The Advocate – News for Changemakers

The Advocate is the first online service dedicated entirely to promoting the activities of not-for-profits and charities – organisations that sometimes find their messages swamped by the deluge of competing media releases and stories.

The vision, which started in 2014, is for the charitable sector – and those with an interest in it – to have a dedicated portal to follow campaigns and news.

The Advocate is geared towards a niche audience who care about social justice issues like poverty, the foreign aid budget and health.

Ryan Fritz - Editor

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

Carol Saffer - Deputy Editor

Carol Saffer is an award-winning journalist enthusiastic about creating copy that engages audiences. She is curious by nature, possesses a growth mindset and thrives on new and unusual challenges. Carol has experience as a reporter for various regional Victorian newspapers and writing for Business Day in The Age. Her previous career was in the fashion industry, and she holds post-graduate degrees in business and journalism.

Lara Shearer

Lara Shearer

Lara graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.), with majors in journalism and human rights and went on to complete an Honours year in Journalism. Lara is a podcast producer for Triple R, was a contributing writer to Esperanto Magazine and has done freelance writing. With a passion for storytelling and moving people, she has an avid interest in documentary filmmaking and podcasting. Lara was drawn to The Advocate because she doesn't want a cog in the machine role, she wants to be part of something special and thus have a positive impact.

Simone Francis

While studying a Certificate IV in Communications and Media in 2007, Simone Francis initiated her journalism career with an internship at the International Federation of Journalists. Since then, she has reported to capacity build for many organisations throughout the world. Simone also started a social enterprise in 2007 called Nomadic Hands and travelled throughout Latin America and Asia, bringing awareness via blogs and documentaries about issues such as oil exploitation in the Amazon rainforest and child sexual exploitation. With a Masters in Development Practice, and with a successful entry into a law degree this year, Simone plans to utilise her academic knowledge in conjunction with her reporting skills to continue supporting social and environmental causes globally.

Benjamin Murdoch

Benjamin Murdoch is a student of international relations and journalism at Macquarie University. He is passionate about art, languages and writing, and is interested in global human rights and environmental issues. He has also done campaign work for a number of NGOs.

Amelia Costigan holding thesis

Amelia Costigan

melia is a freelance writer and researcher who writes about the intersections of politics, the media and popular culture. In her academic research, she has studied the complex relationship between social media and democracy. Amelia also works as an English and Literature tutor and has a passion for education policy.

Pat smiling

Pat Callanan

Pat is in the final year of his Masters of Journalism and hopes to one day make his way as a political journalist. He majored in Politics and International Relations in his Bachelor of Arts and is passionate about the mechanisms of government and their impacts on the community. In his spare time, Pat enjoys rewatching episodes of Lost and attempting (usually unsuccessfully) to build IKEA furniture.

Georgia Franc

Georgia is a media and communications student at the University of Melbourne and is pursuing a career in journalism. She also has a passion for foreign languages, writing and travel. She also currently works as an associate for an investment management company where she focuses on data research with input on various marketing processes.