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Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year, Media Diversity and more: Winners announced for 2019 Walkley Mid-Year celebration

June 26, 2019

SYDNEY — The Walkley Foundation tonight announced winners for this year’s suite of awards, prizes, scholarships and opportunities that comprise the 2019 Walkley Mid-Year Celebration.

Peer-judged and selected on the basis of journalistic excellence, the Mid-Year Celebration includes a suite of awards, prizes and opportunities. These include the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards, Industrial Reporting, Freelancer of the Year, Women’s Leadership in Media, the Our Watch Award, the inaugural Media Diversity Australia Award and Arts Journalism prizes; as well as the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine, the Media Super scholarship with Seven, the William Buckland Foundation Fellowship with The Age and the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism. The announcement took place at the Establishment Hotel in Sydney.

Oliver Gordon was named the 2019 Young Australian Journalist of the Year for his ABC Background Briefing story “The Black & White Hotel”, an investigation into racial profiling at an Alice Springs Hotel which won the Longform Journalism category and was also a finalist for the Public Service Journalism category. Gordon wins a two-week trip to US newsrooms. The Walkley Judging Board, represented by Lenore Taylor, Claire Harvey, Stella Lauri and Heidi Murphy, found Gordon’s entry stood out amongst a strong field.

“Oliver Gordon’s entry comprised an excellent piece of investigative journalism, told well,” said the judging panel. “He had the tenacity to pursue the story, and looked at the systemic issues behind it, with reporting that was balanced and fair throughout. Bringing the community members along with him, he won their trust, and had enormous impact.”

The full list of winners is below.

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Supported by the Jibb Foundation

Thanks to the support of the Jibb Foundation, Oliver will fly to the USA to undertake two weeks’ worth of work experience with BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Twitter and Quartz. All category winners will also receive mentoring from senior journalists, and their winning stories will be featured on Apple News.

All media: Shortform Journalism
Supported by ABC

All media: Longform Feature or Special
Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age

All media: Coverage of Community & Regional Affairs
Supported by Google News Initiative

All media: Visual Storytelling
Supported by Sky NEWS

All media: Public Service Journalism
Supported by News Corp Australia

All media: ​Student Journalist of the Year
Supported by Macleay College

Helen O’Flynn & Alan Knight Award for Best Industrial Reporting

Supported by ACTU, Ai Group, Australian Super, Unions NSW and UTS
With philanthropic support provided in memory of Emeritus Professor Alan Knight

Freelance Journalist of the Year

Supported by Media Super

Women’s Leadership in Media

Supported by PwC

Our Watch Award for Excellence in Reporting on Violence Against Women and Children

Supported by The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts

Media Diversity Australia Award

Supported by Media Diversity Australia, CoHealth and The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council

  • Aaron Smith, Kirk Docker, Loni Cooper, Pauline Ernesto and Josh Schmidt, ABC and ABC iview, “You Can’t Ask That – Deaf, African Australians and Intersex

Arts Journalism Prizes

Through the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, winners of both of these two awards will each receive $5000 in prize money.

All media: Arts Journalism Prize
upported by: Facebook

All media: Walkley-Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism
Supported by: Geraldine Pascall Foundation

Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine

Supported by: Anita Jacoby, Nine Network and AFTRS

  • Caroline Tung, Monash University

Media Super Scholarship with Seven

Supported by: Media Super and Seven

  • Amy Clements, The University of Melbourne

The William Buckland Foundation Fellowship with The Age

Supported by: The William Buckland Foundation and The Age

  • Rachael Houlihan, The Standard

Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism

Supported by: Harold Mitchell Foundation, Newcrest Mining, Stephen Howes & Clare Holberton, Bob & Helen Lyon, Pacific Island Living Magazine, TNC Pacific Consulting

  • Ben Bohane


Media queries: Clare Fletcher, |  +61 432 616 810
Awards questions: Lauren Dixon, | +61 413 212 890

Sponsor logos for 2019 Mid Year Awards

Thankyou to the judges:

  • Sarah Abo, 60 Minutes, Nine
  • Sue Ahearn
  • Natalie Ahmat, NITV
  • Emma Alberici, ABC
  • Russell Anderson, NEMBC
  • Monica Attard, UTS
  • Michael Bachelard, The Age & The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Eryk Bagshaw, The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age
  • Kathy Bail, UNSW Press
  • Jess Blanch, RUSSH Magazine
  • Kylie Boltin, SBS
  • Meredith Booth, freelance journalist
  • Phoebe Bowden, Ten News First
  • Sally Bowrey, Seven News Sydney
  • Alice Brennan, ABC
  • Jenna Cairney, Townsville Bulletin
  • Laura Chalmers, The Sunday Mail
  • Kelly Clappis, WIN Victoria
  • Angela Cox, Seven
  • Alex Cullen, Sunday Night, Seven
  • Sean Dorney
  • Patrick Durkin, The Australian Financial Review
  • Celina Edmonds, ABC
  • Emma Field, ABC
  • Jana Frawley, The Daily Telegraph
  • Jemima Garrett, freelance journalist
  • Peggy Giakoumelos, SBS World News
  • Michelle Griffin, The Age
  • Claire Harvey, The Sunday Telegraph
  • Angus Holland, The Age
  • Dan Ilic, Downwind Media
  • Anita Jacoby
  • Dee Jefferson, ABC Arts
  • Rae Johnston, Junkee
  • Deborah Jones, arts critic
  • Deb Jopson, freelance journalist
  • Misha Ketchell, The Conversation
  • Tom Krause, freelance writer/TV producer
  • Stella Lauri, WIN Television
  • Monica Lepore, Seven
  • Hamish Macdonald, Ten Network
  • Lisa Martin, Guardian Australia
  • Alice Matthews, ABC
  • Craig McPherson, Seven
  • James Morrison, The Australian
  • Jason Morrison, Seven
  • Heidi Murphy, Neil Mitchell Morning Program
  • Alex Needs, Nine
  • Marina Neil, Newcastle Herald
  • Sacha Payne, ABC
  • Lizzie Pearl, Nine News Sydney
  • Jenna Price, The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Alex Rheeney, Samoa Observer
  • Gina Rushton, BuzzFeed Australia
  • Monique Schafter, 7:30 ABC TV
  • Carl Smith, ABC Science
  • Alexandra Spring, Guardian Australia
  • Mandy Squires, The Daily Telegraph
  • Lenore Taylor, Guardian Australia
  • Tracy Vo, Nine News Perth
  • Calla Wahlquist, Guardian Australia
  • Jim Waley
  • Cath Webber, Women in Media

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