Four Corners, ABC




Business Journalism

Shining a light on the fraudulent wage practices and staff exploitation happening every day inside one of the world’s biggest brands was a complicated undertaking involving leaked documents, whistleblowers and surveillance by the Four Corners and Fairfax Media team. Tracking the alleged illegal operations all the way to the top of the franchise revealed gaping holes in Australia’s visa and corporate arrangements.

Adele Ferguson is a multi-award winning investigative journalist and columnist for Fairfax Media. She is author of the best-selling unauthorised biography Gina Rinehart: The Richest Woman in the World. Prior to joining Fairfax, Ferguson was a senior columnist with The Australian and worked at BRW Magazine as deputy editor and chief business commentator. In 2014, Ferguson went on secondment to the ABC’s Four Corners as a journalist and compiled the program “Banking Bad”, which won many awards including the Gold Walkley and a Logie.

Sarah Danckert joined Fairfax Media’s business mastheads in April this year. Prior to joining Fairfax she worked in The Australian’s business section and was previously editor of Business Spectator.

Klaus Toft has produced a range of TV programs primarily for the ABC in a career spanning 25 years. Toft joined the Four Corners team this year and worked on programs including “The Mafia in Australia” and “Jackson and Lawler: Inside the Eye of the Storm”. Toft’s programs have won more than 60 awards including an AFI Award and two Writer’s Guild Awards for “Killers in Eden” and “The Navigators: Baudin vs Flinders”, a two-part series for which he also wrote a book.

Judges’ comments:

An incisive and explosive investigation exposing systemic wage fraud, a head office “cover-up” and a broken franchise model. The forensic research, compelling storytelling and shocking revelations are journalism at its best. A story that had everyone talking, this exposé of worker exploitation will have national benefits beyond 7-Eleven.