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.
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.
No matter their era, Walkley Award-winning stories have always chronicled Australia’s history, people and events.
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.