The annual Walkley Awards recognise excellence in Australian journalism across all mediums including print, television, radio, photographic and online media.
The prestigious Gold Walkley is considered the pinnacle of journalistic achievement and the awards are akin only to the esteemed Pulitzer Prizes. The Walkleys were established in 1956, with five categories, by Ampol Petroleum founder Sir William Gaston Walkley.
"Australia's journalists know that winning a Walkley is a reason to celebrate. It is the recognition by one's peers that special initiative deserves a special reward. To the winner it means all those years of training and being barked at by demanding editors were not entirely in vain".- John Hurst, author of The Walkley Awards
The annual Walkley Awards recognise excellence in Australian journalism across all mediums including print, television, radio, photographic and digital media. The prestigious Gold Walkley is considered the pinnacle of Australian journalistic achievement and the awards are akin only to the esteemed Pulitzer Prizes.
The Walkleys were established in 1956, with five categories, by Ampol Petroleum founder Sir William Gaston Walkley. William Walkley appreciated the media's support for his oil exploration efforts. He envisaged awards that recognised emerging talent in the Australian media. Since then, winning stories have chronicled Australia's history, people and events.
Upon his death, the awards were bequeathed to the Australian Journalists' Association (now the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance). The Association and, since 1990, the Alliance has remained proud custodian of the awards. In 2000, the Alliance voted to formally establish the awards as the Walkley Foundation for Journalism.
The Walkley Foundation's aims and objectives are to organise, administer and promote the Walkley Awards as well as continuing to advance the interests of professional and ethical journalism in Australia.
Today, the Walkleys have grown to more than 30 award categories with an estimated 1300 entries pouring in each year as journalists around the country aspire for the pinnacle of Australian journalistic achievement.
Over the past 46 years some of the top names in Australian journalism have been honoured by the awards including: Kerry O'Brien, Mark Davis, Mike Steketee, Tony Koch, Marian Wilkinson, Helen Dalley, Liz Jackson, Chris Masters, Bill Leak, Ron Tandberg, Evan Whitton, Alan Hall, Adele Horin, Paul Bongiorno, Peter Nicholson, Jenny Coopes, Monica Attard, David Dare Parker and many more.
The Walkley Awards have continued to develop with the ever-changing media, adapting existing categories and recognising new areas of journalism.
To ensure that the awards maintained their pre-eminence as Australia's most prestigious journalist accolade, a major review in 1997 focused on all areas of the awards, including eligibility, categories and judging. Then again in 2001, the Walkley Foundation made significant changes to the photographic awards following the successful merger of the Walkley Awards with the Nikon Press Photographer of the Year Awards.
In 2009 the awards were reviewed again, amid the changing media landscape and growing importance of online media. Some categories were changed, some absorbed into other categories and some new categories were introduced. Find out more about the 2009 Walkley Award Review.
Judging of the awards is a two-tiered process - read more about the Walkley Award Judging Process.
The formal announcement of finalists takes place each October and awards are presented annually at the gala ceremony held in late November.
In its 57th year, the Walkleys will administer awards in 34 categories spanning print, television radio and digital journalism, including all media awards such as international reporting, business reporting, coverage of Indigenous affairs and social equity journalism; as well as the prestigious most outstanding contribution to journalism, the journalism leadership award and the coveted Gold Walkley.