Our Award Programs
Since 1956, the annual Walkley Awards have been the pinnacle of achievement for any Australian journalist – let’s face it, every journalist wants a Walkley! The Walkleys were started by Ampol Petroleum founder Sir William Gaston Walkley in 1956 with just five categories, all recognising excellence in print journalism. Bill Walkley had envisaged awards that recognised emerging talent in the Australian media — and almost 60 years later, they’re still going strong. No matter their era, Walkley Award-winning stories have always chronicled Australia’s history, people and events.
Our core awards, the Walkleys
The awards have grown organically over the years, expanding to encompass broadcast and digital journalism, as well as innovation in the craft. A two-tier judging system, modelled on the Pulitzer Prize, was also introduced.
In recent years, we have expanded our awards program to also recognise outstanding young talent through the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards – and more recently, to recognise the best of our growing Australian pool of freelance journalists.
In 2016 the Walkley Foundation will also launch a new national award, the Women’s Leadership in Media Award, which will honour and celebrate women who are making themselves and other women visible and powerful in the media. It recognises outstanding journalistic contribution to the coverage of gender equality and full participation of women in society. The award acknowledges reporting that demonstrates significant innovation, enterprise or courage in raising awareness of issues. This award reflects the important role of the media in improving community perceptions of issues in gender equality. Quality reporting challenges misinformation and outdated stereotypes as well as increasing understanding of the benefits of full participation of women in all aspects of society.
Awards we administer
We administer the Our Watch Awards, for exceptional reporting on violence against women, in collaboration with Our Watch.