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.
Mid Year Celebration
- Young Australian Journalist of the Year
- The June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year
- The June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media
- Arts Journalism Awards
- The June Andrews Award for Industrial Reporting
- Our Watch Award
- Media Diversity Australia Award
- Humanitarian Storytelling Award
- The Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism
- Scholarships & Fellowships
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.
Walkley Awards for Photography
The 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.
Kate Geraghty, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Fighting COVID-19 Delta”. NIKON PHOTO OF THE YEAR PRIZE WINNER.
Alex Coppel, Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail. 2021 NIKON-WALKLEY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR.
Brook Mitchell, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Sydney Anti-Lockdown Protest” NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY WINNER
Dean Sewell, The Sun-Herald, “Of Mice and Men”. FEATURE/PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY WINNER.
Alex Coppel, Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser, “The Games that Had to Happen”. SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY WINNER.
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.
Walkley Documentary Award
The Walkley Documentary Award celebrates outstanding documentaries.
Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra, by Ivan O’Mahoney, Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin (In Films, ABC) won the 2021 Walkley Documentary Award.
See the announcement of the 2021 Walkley Documentary Award longlist here
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 2021, 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.
Mridula Amin from the ABC was named the 2021 Young Australian Journalist of the Year for her powerful multimedia work “The hidden park of last resort”. Mridula was also the winner of the Visual Storytelling and Longform feature or special 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.
Nina Funnell, Kerry Warren, Gina McWilliams, Hannah Stenning and Georgia-Kate Schubert (news.com.au, The Herald Sun, The Mercury, The Courier-Mail and NT News) received the 2021 June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media for the “Let Her Speak” series.
Arts Journalism Prizes
There are two categories for the Walkley Arts Journalism Prizes in 2021 – the Arts Journalism and the Walkley-Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism. Both come with a $5000 prize thanks to the support of the Copyright Agency.
All Media: Arts Journalism
This 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: Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism
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.
Anwen Crawford (The Monthly) was awarded the 2021 Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism and Kelly Burke (Guardian Australia) received the 2021 June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism.
Industrial Relations Reporting Award
The June Andrews 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. It was established in 2017 in honour of 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.
Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Liam Mannix (The Age) received the 2021 June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting for “A city divided: COVID-19 finds a weakness in Melbourne’s social fault lines,” “All in this together? How rich and poor are travelling in lockdown” and “Starved out of Australia: The workers without money or food”.
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.
Samantha Maiden (news.com.au) was awarded the 2021 Our Watch Award for “Young staffer Brittany Higgins says she was raped at Parliament House” “Parliament office ‘steam cleaned’ after alleged attack” and “Minister Michaelia Cash’s voicemail message to Brittany Higgins”.
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.
Humanitarian Storytelling Award
Millions of people around the world feel the humanitarian fallout from conflict every day. Wars are longer, increasingly fought in cities, between more armed groups with deadlier weapons than ever before. The human cost of conflict can be obscured when it takes place oceans away. The Humanitarian Storytelling Award, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), seeks to elevate the unheard stories of communities affected by armed conflict and other forms of violence. It celebrates storytelling that does no harm, respects dignity, is inclusive, compassionate and people-focused. It recognises the role that journalists play in defending dignity and highlighting that even wars have limits.