Russell Skelton, Director
Russell is the director of both RMIT FactLab and RMIT ABC Fact Check. A Walkley award winning author and former business and deputy editor at The Age, he has also worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Hong Kong and Tokyo. In a career spanning 40 years, Russell has held senior editorial positions at the ABC, News Limited and Fairfax. He has won numerous awards for his journalism including the Grant Hattam Quill and the George Munster awards for investigative journalism. A graduate of Monash University, he was a Fulbright scholar and International Professional Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
The director is responsible for the research hub's strategic direction and editorial policies. This includes oversight of research projects, approved fundraising, and editorial partnerships involving misinformation, disinformation, and project collaborations. Senior members of the RMIT FactLab team report to the director.
Sushi Das, Associate Director
Sushi is an award-winning journalist and author who started as a fact checker with RMIT ABC Fact Check in 2017 and now leads FactLab’s third-party fact checking unit. She has also worked in collaboration with the International Fact Checking Network to deliver fact check training to journalists in the Pacific region. Previously, Sushi worked as a journalist for 22 years with the The Age newspaper, where she held a series of senior reporting and editing positions, including state political reporter, news editor, columnist, feature writer and opinion editor. She is the winner of two Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards and a PhD candidate at RMIT University researching fact checking.
Renee Davidson, Researcher
Renee completed a Graduate Diploma of Journalism at RMIT University in 2021. She previously worked as a researcher at the University of Melbourne (2014-15) and Deakin University (2016-21). Since 2018, Renee has coordinated leadership programs for women leaders from Indonesia for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Eiddwen Jeffery, Researcher
Eiddwen is a Professional Communications Journalism graduate from RMIT University with more than four years' experience in community radio. Eiddwen previously worked on the Mosaic Project, a fact-checking and election monitoring project for the 2022 federal election run by RMIT FactLab and the Judith Neilson Institute.
Frank Algra-Maschio, Researcher
Frank Algra-Maschio joined RMIT FactLab as a researcher in February 2022 and is also a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. His thesis explores the pledging and fulfilment of election promises of four Australian federal governments from 2010 to 2022. Previously Frank worked on the Adelaide Zero Project, a nation-leading community program that used quality data to count down to the goal of ending homelessness. He also interned as a researcher at the Asia Foundation and ANU’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research.
Lulu Graham, Researcher
Lulu joined RMIT FactLab as a researcher in May 2023 during her final year of a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT. Previously, she worked in a research and data mining capacity for a software company.
Kathryn Whitfield, Sub-editor
Kathryn joined RMIT FactLab after 30 years in Europe. Kathryn was a journalist with The Observer and Guardian newspapers In London for 25 years, holding the senior editing role as production editor of The Observer, the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper. She previously had editing roles across Fleet Street, including at The Times, The Financial Times and The Independent. She also worked as a freelance writer and was published in Australia, America, Canada and the UK. Kathryn began her career in Australia where she was most notably the crime reporter for the Canberra Times.
David Trounce, Sub-editor
David has more than 40 years of experience in journalism across a range of print and digital media publications. He has been a news reporter for The NT News in Darwin, a northern Australia correspondent for the Associated Press and a Melbourne-based writer for The Australian and other News Ltd dailies. He moved into editing on the news and business desks at The Age, going on to hold senior editing positions in news and business at The Melbourne Herald and then the Herald Sun. Alongside his fact-checking work, he currently edits online for a national education institution, a national equestrian magazine and a hospitality industry website.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.