Young Journalist of the Year Awards
Overall Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Print/text based reporting
In 2009, Julia Medew (@juliamedew) was named the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year for her outstanding series of medical stories in The Age, which also earned her the Print/Text Prize. She uncovered wrongdoing in the Victorian health system, including irregularities in organ transplants, accounting fraud and medical negligence, which contributed to the death of a young mother.
Judges applauded Julia’s incisiveness and the impact and public benefit of her work. The Board agreed that Julia’s writing, the objective analysis behind it and the empathy clearly expressed were compelling and a confirmation that print journalism remains a powerful force in news breaking.
Julia started out as a copy person with Fairfax at 17 and became a researcher for The Sunday Age in 2002 – a job that gave her the opportunity to start writing news stories about Victoria’s worsening drought and water storage problems. After completing her degree, Julia returned to The Age in 2004 to begin a traineeship. Between 2005 and 2007, Julia was The Age‘s Magistrates Court Reporter. She covered several high-profile murder committals and the case of an HIV-positive man who deliberately infected other men with the virus.
The case led her to a scandal that rocked the Victorian Government and resulted in the sacking of the state’s Chief Health Officer. Between the recommendation and the arrest of the offender, the man continued to expose others to the virus. The investigation won Julia the Melbourne Press Club Quill Award for Young Journalist of the Year in 2007. She is currently Health Editor at The Age.
“Winning the award boosted my profile in Australia and meant I got to meet the editor of the Wall Street Journal in New York and senior editors at CNN. It also increased my confidence as a journalist, eliminating much of the self-doubt most of us feel along the way.” – Julia Medew, 2009 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year