Women’s Leadership in Media

Women’s Leadership in Media honours women who are making an outstanding journalistic contribution to gender equality and the visibility of women in society – both in Australia and on a global scale. It celebrates reporting that demonstrates notable innovation, enterprise or courage in raising awareness of women’s experiences and perspectives, and reflects the significance of media coverage in altering perceptions, challenging stereotypes and fighting misinformation.

Entries for the 2020 Women’s Leadership in Media Award will open on Monday March 9.

All entries must have been published, broadcast or televised from April 27, 2019 to April 26, 2020

2019 Women’s Leradership in Media Winner

The 2019 winner of Women’s Leadership in Media was Melissa Davey from Guardian Australia for “The investigation into Dr Gayed”. See all the winners of the Walkley Mid-Year Celebration here.

The 2019 finalists were:

  • Melissa Davey, Guardian Australia, “The investigation into Dr Gayed”
  • Lorna Knowles, Jo Puccini and Alison McClymont, 7.30, ABC TV, AM, ABC Radio and ABC News Online, “#MeToo in The Australian Greens”
  • Sherele Moody, Rendezview, News Corp Australia, Facebook: The RED HEART Campaign and Google Maps: The Australian Femicide & Child Death Map “Who. Where. When. How: Paying Tribute to Murdered Women & Children”

Melissa Davey wins Women’s Leadership in Media 2019

Judging criteria

Judges will evaluate submissions according to the following criteria:

  • Newsworthiness
  • Research, writing and productions
  • Incisiveness
  • Innovation, enterprise or courage
  • Impact and public benefit
  • Adherence to ethical standards
  • Time constraints and resources available

Judges will also consider the pressure and demand of reporting deadlines, and the location of the journalist. They also take into consideration isolation or exposure to outside forces, as well as the real or potential dangers in presenting a story.

Conditions of entry

Submissions are open to women working in both mainstream or alternative media, as individual pieces or collaborative projects. Entries may be single pieces, or may consist of up to three pieces of work to represent a body of work. All forms of media are accepted.

Entries must have been published, broadcast or televised in Australia from April 27, 2019 to April 26, 2020. Eligibility for the Women’s Leadership is based on independent acts of journalism, free from any commercial or corporate interests.

All entrants must certify that the entry is their original work. Apart from standard sub-editorial/production treatment, submissions must adhere to the MEAA Code of Ethics in their preparation; undertake to abide by this Code of Ethics; and have complied with all copyright requirements.

Entry fee

Entry is free for members of MEAA. The cost of entering the award for non-members is $50 including GST.  Inquiries about MEAA membership please contact members@meaa.org for further details or call 1300 656 513.

Full Terms & Conditions
Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions, please contact either:

Lauren Dixon
lauren.dixon@walkleys.com or (02) 9158 3820

Barbara Blackman 
barbara.blackman@walkleys.com or (02) 9158 3821

Past winners

Congratulations to the 2018 Women’s Leadership in Media Award winner Jane Caro. Her winning body of work comprised stories appearing in The Saturday Paper, ABC News online and University of Queensland Press:

See the full announcement of the mid-year award winners here.

2018 Judges: Anne Davies ( Guardian Australia), Kate DeBrito (news.com.au) and Virginia Haussegger (50/50 by 2030 Foundation)

View all the 2018 finalists here.


Winner of the 2018 Women’s Leadership in Media Award: Jane Caro. Her winning body of work included “Women’s Entrappings of High Office”, “Women over 50 are living out two fates that show feminism is an incomplete project” and “Unbreakable: Women share stories of resilience and hope”.