The annual Walkley Awards are the pinnacle of achievement for any Australian journalist. The Walkleys were started by Ampol Petroleum founder Sir William Gaston Walkley in 1956 with just five categories recognising excellence in print journalism. Today there are 30 categories across all platforms, judged with a two-tier process. No matter their era, Walkley Award-winning stories have always chronicled Australia’s history, people and events.
Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism
The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism exist to recognise and reward excellence, independence, innovation and originality in storytelling and distinctive reporting. The awards cover all media and have expanded to encompass the changing nature of the media industry and innovation in journalism. Entries include research and investigations, well-crafted and innovative presentations, news-breaking single stories, and engaging, entertaining and/or informative reporting. More than 1,300 entries are received each year across 30 categories.
Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Awards
The Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism recognise the work of photographers across a range of genres, from news and sport to portraiture and photographic essays. Some of their images are the work of a split second. Others take months of research and trust-building. Photographers interact with their subjects with perhaps more intimacy than storytellers in any other medium; they can move you with a single frame.
In 2019 the Walkley Foundation celebrates 20 years of support from Nikon, which has allowed us to grow a program that recognises and rewards Australia’s most skilled press photographers.
The 2019 winners were announced on November 28; Chris McGrath (Getty Images) was named 2019 Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year. Read the full list of winners for the 64th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism here.
Chris Hopkins, SBS Online Documentaries, “My Name is Yunus”
Mohamad Yunus helps members of the local Rohingya community carve a sacrificial cow as part of Eid al Adha. The meat will be shared amongst seven families.
Lukas Coch, AAP, “Linda Burney Airborne”
Liberal MP Warren Entsch lifts up Labor MP Linda Burney as they celebrate the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, December 7, 2017.
Jenny Evans, Getty Images and The Daily Telegraph, “Life Saver”
A woman screams and raises her arm as she is caught in a rip at Bronte Beach in Sydney during very rough surf conditions.
Andrew Quilty, New York Times, “‘It’s a Massacre’: Blast in Kabul Deepens Toll of a Long War”
Victims lie dead and severely wounded among fallen branches, crumpled cars and debris after the huge bomb was detonated only metres away, minutes earlier. Miraculously, some in this photograph survived.
Scott Barbour, Getty Images, “Sport 2017–2018”
Richmond Tigers captain Trent Cotchin looks up as his team celebrates with the 2017 AFL Premiership Cup, after beating Adelaide in the Grand Final at the MCG.
Brett Costello, The Daily Telegraph, “No Limits”
New South Wales Blues players celebrate after defeating Queensland in game two of the State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium, Sydney.
Craig Golding, AAP, “Body of Work”
Angelique Kerber of Germany smashes an ace down to Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova as lightning strikes during the Sydney International Tennis Tournament at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
David Gray, Reuters Wider Image, “Drought From Above”
Farmer Ash Whitney stands in the middle of a dried-up dam.
Jenny Evans, Getty Images, “Louth Races”
Young folk start off the day after the races with some hair of the dog at the Louth Racecourse campground.
Walkley Book Award
The Walkley Book Award celebrates the value and importance of long-form journalism, acknowledging the proud line-up of Australian writers who have taken subjects of enduring topicality and consequence from news bulletins, eye-witness reporting, investigations and historical records and provided readers with expanded factual detail, revelation and greater clarity of analysis in book form.
Helen Pitt's 'The House' wins the 2018 Walkley Book Award.
Walkley Documentary Award
The Walkley Documentary Award celebrates outstanding documentaries.
Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award
The Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards recognise and reward the hard work of our most outstanding young Australian journalists. In 2019, these the awards will recognise those aged 28 and under who demonstrate excellence in the fundamental tenets of the craft as well as the ability to present distinctive and original journalism that pushes the boundaries of the profession.
Winner of the 2018 Young Australian Journalist of the Year: Laura Oates for her work at SBS, “Young and black”, “Kids of Kalgoorlie”, and “Vanished: Canada’s missing women”. Laura also won the Public Service Journalism and Longform categories.
Freelance Journalist of the Year Award
The Freelance Journalist of the Year recognises the unique contribution that freelance journalists make across all media platforms to the future of the industry, and is open to residents of either Australia or New Zealand. The award is an initiative of the Walkley Foundation in partnership with Media Super and MEAA.
Women’s Leadership in Media Award
Women’s Leadership in Media honours women who are making a 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.
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”.
Arts Journalism Prizes
There are two categories for the Walkley Arts Journalism Prizes in 2019 – the Arts Journalism and the Walkley-Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism. Both are supported this year by the Copyright Agency.
All Media: Arts Journalism
This new award recognises a significant contribution in reporting, writing, news-breaking and analysis of arts issues. This may include profiles of artists, features and investigations, reporting on the structures and personalities involved in the creation of contemporary culture, and examination of the creative arena.
All Media: Walkley-Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism
The Walkley-Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism, previously the Pascall Prize, celebrates the unique contribution of critics to our cultural landscape, and the specialist, detailed knowledge they draw on to contextualise works of art.
Industrial Relations Reporting Award
The Helen O’Flynn & Alan Knight Award for Best Industrial Reporting is an all-media award recognising outstanding journalism which captures the importance of a robust industrial relations ecosystem for Australian workers and businesses, as well as its complexities.
The award seeks to elevate the importance of industrial relations coverage and to encourage it further. Established in 2017, it honours the two individuals within the award’s title – Helen O’Flynn (1920-1984), one of Australia’s most respected industrial journalists, and Alan Knight, an Emeritus professor and newspaper, radio and TV journalist for over 40 years.
Winners of the 2018 Industrial Reporting Award: Emma Field and Vanessa Marsh, “Pacific worker program death count”.
Our Watch Award
Our Watch’s national media awards scheme, which is administered by the Walkley Foundation, recognises and rewards exemplary reporting on violence against women, in particular reporting that highlights the causes of violence and what we as a society can do to prevent it. The Our Watch Awards are funded by the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts.
Media Diversity Australia Award
The Media Diversity Australia Award honours journalists who are making an outstanding contribution through their reporting or coverage of diverse people or issues in Australia. This includes culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) and people with disability (PWD). It celebrates reporting that demonstrates notable courage in raising awareness of CALD and/or PWD experiences and perspectives, as well as innovation in the telling of these stories. It recognises the significance of media coverage in providing nuanced reporting which serves to alter perceptions and attitudes, challenge stereotypes and fight misinformation.