June 7: Finalists have been announced for this award.

The Walkley Foundation is launching a new national award to celebrate and encourage exceptional industrial relations reporting by the Australian media.

The Helen O’Flynn & Alan Knight Award for Best Industrial Reporting is an all-media award which will recognise outstanding journalism that captures the importance of a robust industrial relations ecosystem for Australian workers and businesses, as well as its complexities.

The award seeks to raise the prominence of industrial relations coverage and to encourage more of it. Entrants must be Australian citizens or permanent Australian residents.  To be eligible for entry, work must cover industrial relations and have been published, produced or broadcast in Australia.


Journalists working in all media are encouraged to apply and need not be designated Industrial Relations reporters. The winner will be chosen on the basis of journalistic excellence.

Entrants may submit one piece of journalism or a body of work  comprising up to three related pieces of journalism, published or broadcast in any medium from January 1, 2016 to May 19, 2017.


The criteria used for judging will include:

  • Originality (including newsworthiness)  and innovation
  • Research
  • Storytelling ability
  • Tangible public benefit
  • Accuracy and ethics
  • Excellent use of the medium/media

Judges will consider the resources available in the preparation of the work.


Entry is free for MEAA members and $150 for nonmembers.


Contact Lauren Dixon, 02 9333 0913 or Barbara Blackman, 02 9333 0921.

Alan Knight (1949-2017) began his journalism career in 1973 as a Brisbane correspondent for the ferret and the Nation Review; he went on to stints covering industrial relations for the AAP and, prominently, on ABC TV. During the 1983 Hawke campaign, he left journalism for politics, becoming deputy director of the media unit at Australian Labor Party national headquarters, but he returned afterward to ABC as a producer and executive producer for Radio Darwin, Double J, and Radio National. In 1992, he became the director of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at University of Technology Sydney. In 1998, he was awarded his doctorate in Journalism (study title “Reporting the Orient: Australian journalists in southeast Asia”). That year he also became the third professor of journalism in Australia, once appointed as the Foundation chair in Journalism at Central Queensland University (CQU). In 2006 and in 2010 respectively, he chaired journalism schools at Queensland University of Technology and UTS, and became a professor emeritus at CQU in 2008. He was Head of the Graduate School of Journalism at UTS until his retirement in 2015.

Helen O’Flynn (1920-1984) was one of Australia’s most respected industrial journalists working  primarily in the NSW Parliamentary Press Gallery and the Sydney Trades Hall for The Daily Telegraph and later The Sun. Throughout her career Helen O’Flynn was respected for her knowledge, fairness, judgment and tenacity.