The Women’s Leadership in Media Award

2018 Women's Leadership winner

Congratulations to the 2018 Women’s Leadership in Media Award winner Jane Caro. Her winning body of work comprised stories appearing in The Saturday Paper, ABC News online and University of Queensland Press:

“Women’s Entrappings of High Office”

“Women over 50 are living out two fates that show feminism is an incomplete project”

“Unbreakable: Women share stories of resilience and hope”  

See the full announcement of the mid-year award winners here.

2018 Judges: Anne Davies ( Guardian Australia), Kate DeBrito ( and Virginia Haussegger (50/50 by 2030 Foundation)

Judges Comments:

Jane Caro, The Saturday Paper, ABC News online  and University of Queensland Press, “Women’s Entrappings of High Office” “Women over 50 are living out two fates that show feminism is an incomplete project” “Unbreakable: Women share stories of resilience and hope”.

Jane Caro’s entry demonstrates her powerful commitment to advancing mainstream debate around gender equality and the myriad ways in which women are disempowered and devalued. Her focus on aging and the apparent illegitimacy of women in high office resonated with a wide audience, and challenged perceptions and bias around the representation of women. Jane’s 2017 book Unbreakable,, published before the #MeToo movement shook the globe, is a prescient collection in which a range of courageous women to unpack their own stories of sexism, sexualisation, shame, fear, assault and the misuse of power. Over the course of many years, Jane’s fearless selection of subject matter, along with the depth of her research and consistently determined voice, have marked her as an invaluable warrior for women’s rights and media leadership.

Jeannette Francis, The Feed, SBS Viceland, “In the age of #metoo”

These editorial segments by Jeannette ‘Jan Fran’ Francis show there is more than one way to tell a story.  Jan Fran’s short video segments, “The Frant”, were often conceived, written and produced in just eight hours and reached hundreds of thousands of younger viewers online. They  are unique in their ability to drive home important social and political topics to an audience of young people in an engaging way. Jan Fran is a leader among a new generation of young female journalists wanting to connect with their audience. Her innovative, witty and incisive videos have become addictive viewing for a millennial audience.

Lorna Knowles, Kate McClymont, Alison Branley, Joanne Puccini and Tracey Spicer, Fairfax Media and  ABC News Online, 7.30, ABC TV, “Don Burke”

This investigation, which exposed the alleged abusive behaviour over many years of Nine’s top star Don Burke, set the agenda for discussion of harassment and abuse of women in the workplace and other spheres of Australian life. A truly collaborative effort, it was made possible by the courageous actions of Tracey Spicer, who sought anonymous tip-offs from the media industry via social media;  the investigative skills of Fairfax’s Kate McClymont; and the ABC team. This is a groundbreaking piece that has had an enormous impact on how Australia discusses sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations in the US.

View all the 2018 finalists here.

About the award

PwC Colour (2)

This all-media national award honours women who are making a outstanding journalistic contribution to gender equality and the visibility of women in society – both in Australia and on a global scale. It celebrates reporting that demonstrates notable innovation, enterprise or courage in raising awareness of women’s experiences and perspectives, and reflects the significance of media coverage in altering perceptions, challenging stereotypes and fighting misinformation.

Entry fee

Thanks to the support of PwC entry for this award is free.

Judging criteria

Judges will evaluate submissions according to the following criteria:

  • Newsworthiness
  • Research, writing and productions
  • Incisiveness
  • Innovation, enterprise or courage
  • Impact and public benefit
  • Adherence to ethical standards
  • Time constraints and resources available

Judges will also consider the pressure and demand of reporting deadlines, and the location of the journalist. They also take into consideration isolation or exposure to outside forces, as well as the real or potential dangers in presenting a story.

Conditions of entry

Submissions are open to women working in both mainstream or alternative media, as individual pieces or collaborative projects. Entries may be single pieces, or may consist of up to three pieces of work to represent a body of work. All forms of media are accepted.

Entries must have been published, broadcast or televised in Australia from April 27, 2017 to April 26, 2018. Eligibility for the Walkley Women’s Leadership Award is based on independent acts of journalism, free from any commercial or corporate interests.

All entrants must certify that the entry is their original work. Apart from standard sub-editorial/production treatment, submissions must adhere to the MEAA Code of Ethics in their preparation; undertake to abide by this Code of Ethics; and have complied with all copyright requirements.

Full Terms & Conditions
Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions, please contact either:

Previous winners

Congratulations to the 2017 Women’s Leadership in Media Award winner Catherine Fox for her work in ABC Online, The Australian and New South Publishing:

See the full announcement of the mid-year award winners here.

Finalists were previously announced here.

2016 Winner: Jess Hill

Announcement: Jess Hill named 2016 Women’s Leadership in Media Award Winner.

Finalists in alphabetical order were:

  • Amanda Collinge, Q&A, ABC TV, “Women on Q&A”, “String Theory, Sea Turtles, Al and Pi”, “Q&A Domestic Violence Special”
  • Jessica Halloran, RendezView, News Corp Australia , “Hey fellas, care to join us in the 21st century?”, “An open letter to the AFL from the mother called a ‘stripper;”, “There’s too many white guys talking about footy on TV”
  • Jess Hill, The Monthly and Radio National, ABC Radio, “Home Truths: The costs and causes of domestic violence”, “A Cycle of Violence”, “Suffer the children: Trouble in the Family Court”