7:30, ABC TV




Television/Audio-Visual: Daily Current Affairs

A five-month investigation revealed a paedophile ring involving priests and laypeople in Newcastle’s Anglican community, and exposed a cover-up of abuse claims.

Anne Connolly is a freelance journalist specialising in investigative journalism. Her most recent stories have been aired by ABC’s 7.30 and Background Briefing. She previously worked as a producer at Media Watch, where she won a Gold Walkley for “Cash for Comment”, and Four Corners where she won a Logie for the rugby league expose “Code of Silence”.

Suzanne Smith is an senior journalist currently working for ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent. In a career spanning more than 22 years, she has worked for both public and commercial media, in Australia and the US, in TV, radio and digital journalism. This is Smith’s fifth Walkley.

Lesley Robinson is a producer with the ABC’s 7.30 program and has worked in daily current affairs for more than 15 years. Before joining 7.30 she worked for Foreign Correspondent, Australia Television and ABC News. She started her career in journalism in regional television. In another life, she worked as a psychologist.

Judges’ comments:

This investigation showed enormous courage and perseverance by the reporting team. Silence says a lot, and this team exposed the cover-up of abuse claims within the church. Compelling on-camera interviews with alleged victims, whistleblowers and even senior members of the Anglican Church prompted an investigation which is still ongoing.