Photojournalist Andrew Quilty wins Gold at 61st Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Freelance photographer Andrew Quilty has won the Gold Walkley Award for his extraordinary body of work, “The Man on the Operating Table”.

Related pages

Walkley Awards main page
Showcase of 2016 general and photo finalists
Our other awards for freelancers, women and young journalists (entries open March 13)

As a freelance photojournalist based in Kabul, Quilty has relentlessly pursued complex and important stories in a country that — after some 14 years of war — may have receded from the world’s front pages, but is no less dangerous or critical to understand. Since moving to Afghanistan in 2013, Quilty has won six Walkley Awards, including this year’s Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year and the News Photography category.

After an errant US airstrike destroyed the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital and killed 42 people in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in Oct. 2015, Quilty was the first journalist to reach the scene. He found bodies still in the rubble; with fighting still going on in the vicinity, it had been too dangerous to remove them. He discovered one man lying on an operating table who was later identified as Baynazar Mohammad Nazar, a 43-year-old Afghan civilian. Quilty’s image of “The Man on the Operating Table” is shocking and powerful, while his series of the same name introduces Baynazar the man, who rode a bicycle to work and shared a small house with his family.

Bruce Petty was awarded the Walkley for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, recognising a 55-year career of drawing political cartoons as well a career in animation and film directing that has also won him an Oscar.

The Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year Award went to News Corp Australia’s Alex Coppel for a body of work that showcased his technical skill and storytelling ability.

Rebecca Wilson was posthumously awarded the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership for her constant drive to challenge conventions and to pave the way for younger female reporters. The award was accepted by her son Tom Sacre.

Commenting on the Walkley judging process, Advisory Board Chair Kate McClymont said, “The judging process is what gives the Walkley Awards its credibility. The judges are senior journalists — people who know the skill, quick wit, depth of research and analysis, resourcefulness and even physical courage that it takes to create the best journalism.”

The 61st Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 34 categories.

More than 600 journalists and media identities gathered in the Plaza Ballroom of Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre for the gala event hosted by Sky News’ David Speers. The Walkley Awards were held in Brisbane with the support of Tourism and Events Queensland.

The full list of winners is published here and in the December print issue of The Walkley Magazine.

2016 Walkley Awards Category Winners:

Print/Text News Report

Award partner Media Super

Grant McArthur, Herald Sun, “Bacchus Marsh Baby Deaths”

Social Equity Journalism

Award partner Seven Network
Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick Toscano, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, Fairfax Media, “Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

Multimedia Storytelling

Award partner News Corp Australia
SBS Online Team, SBS Australia, “My Grandmother’s Lingo”

Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year

Award partner Nikon
Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on the Operating Table”

Headline Journalism

Matthew Quagliotto, The Daily Telegraph, “Thirst Degree Murder”, “Law & Snorter”, “Tyred & Demotional”

Coverage of Indigenous Affairs

Award partner BHP Billiton
Dan Box, Eric George and Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian, “Bowraville”

Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs

Award partner Australia Post
Newcastle Herald Team, Newcastle Herald, “The Foam and the Fury”

Sports Journalism

Adrian Proszenko, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal”

Sport Photography

Award partner Nikon
Cameron Spencer, Getty Images, “The Defining Moment”

Radio/Audio News and Current Affairs

Award partner ABC
Sophie McNeill and Fouad Abu Gosh, PM and AM, ABC Radio, “Voices from Besieged Syria”

Radio/Audio Documentary, Feature, Podcast or Special

Award partner QUT
Dan Box and Eric George, The Australian, “Bowraville Podcast”

Print/Text Feature Writing Long (Over 4000 Words)

Jess Hill, The Monthly, “Suffer the Children: Trouble in the Family Court”

Scoop of the Year

Award partner Nine Network
Nick Tabakoff, The Daily Telegraph, “The Parramatta Eels NRL scandal”

Cartoon

Mark Knight, Herald Sun, “Subway”, “Census night in the Senate”, “Reg Grundy RIP”

Artwork

David Rowe, The Australian Financial Review and The Sun Herald, “New clothes”, “Malcolm X and Ali”, “White ribbon”

Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue

Sky News Team, Sky News, “2016 Election Coverage”

Print/Text Feature Writing Short (Under 4000 Words)

Award partner Fairfax
Ben Doherty, Guardian Australia, “Crushed by the unblinking regime: the life and tragic death of Fazel Chegeni”

Nikon-Walkley News Photography

Award partner Nikon
Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on The Operating Table”

Business Journalism

Award partner ING Direct
Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, “Money For Nothing

Nikon-Walkley Feature/Photographic Essay

Award partner Nikon
David Maurice Smith, Guardian Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe and Mail and Mother Jones Magazine, “Refugee Crisis in the Balkans”

International Journalism

Award partner University of Queensland
Sophie McNeill, Aaron Hollett, Mark Corcoran and Matt Walker, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Yemen: The War on Children”

Camerawork

Award partner Australian Super
Andy Taylor, 60 Minutes, Nine Network, “Predator”

TV/AV News Reporting

Chris O’Keefe, Nine News, Nine Network, “Bankstown Hospital”

TV/AV Daily Current Affairs

Award partner SBS
Anne Connolly, Suzanne Smith and Lesley Robinson, 7.30, ABC TV, “Anglican Church Paedophile Ring”

TV/AV Weekly Current Affairs

Linton Besser, Louie Eroglu, Jaya Balendra and Elise Worthington, Four Corners, ABC TV, “State of Fear”

Investigative Journalism

Award partner Bayer
Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, “Money For Nothing”

Interview

Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Jackson and Lawler”

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique

Greg Jericho, Guardian Australia, “Politics, the planet and the personal”

Walkley Documentary Award

Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Ivan O’Mahoney, In Films and ABC TV, Hitting Home

Walkley Book Award

Stan Grant, Talking to My Country, HarperCollins Publishers

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

Award partner Nikon
Alex Coppel, Herald Sun

Journalistic Leadership

Award partner Qantas
Rebecca Wilson

Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

Award partner SKY NEWS
Bruce Petty

Gold Walkley

Award partner MEAA
Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on the Operating Table”

2016 Walkley Awards Board Judges

Kate McClymont, (chair), The Sydney Morning Herald
Angelos Frangopoulos, (deputy chair) Australian News Channel
Michael Amendolia, photographer
Dennis Atkins, The Courier-Mail
Michael Beach, The Sunday Times
Anne Davies
Marina Go
Claire Harvey, The Sunday Telegraph
Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National
Jonathan Richards, Google Creative Lab
John Stanley, 2UE
Cameron Stewart, The Australian
Sandra Sully, TEN Eyewitness News
Lisa Wilkinson, Nine Network

Media enquiries: Please contact Walkley Foundation multimedia manager Kate Golden on 0403 848 247 or kate.golden@walkleys.com.

Photos from the awards night and of winners will be provided upon request from 8am Saturday, Dec. 3.

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BDO is proud to be auditing the 61st Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism. BDO is one of the largest professional services firms in Australia offering full-spectrum audit, tax and advisory services.