Portrait of Joanna Lester

Joanna Lester

Joanna Lester is a journalist, filmmaker and communications specialist who focuses on sport and its social impact. She has lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the UK, and works across the Pacific.

In 2020, Joanna won the Walkley Foundation June Andrews Women’s Leadership in Media Award for her documentary, Power Meri (Powerful Women). Told through the voices of PNG’s pioneering female rugby league players, it follows the journey of PNG’s first national women’s rugby league team to the world cup and explores how women playing the country’s male-dominated, national sport is changing lives and attitudes. The film is screening internationally and being used as a tool to promote women’s sport, explore how sport empowers women, and encourage discussion about the treatment and status of women.

Joanna has also worked as a journalist for the BBC, Associated Press, ABC, SBS and Fairfax. She has covered 10 Olympic, Commonwealth and Pacific Games, as well as other global and regional sporting events.