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The Walkley Foundation is delighted to announce the finalists for our 2021 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism.

Peer-judged and selected on the basis of journalistic excellence, the Mid-Year Celebration suite includes the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards, June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting, June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year, June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media, Our Watch Award, Media Diversity Australia Award, Humanitarian Storytelling Award, June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism and The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism.

Walkley Foundation chief executive Louisa Graham said the high standard of the finalists was a testament to their work in a challenging year, work that has never been more essential to Australians.

“A strong, fair and diverse media is vital in strengthening and sustaining our democracy, and these honours go to our key mission to encourage excellence and best-practice, ethical journalism,” Ms Graham said. 

“This year we’re delighted that winners of the Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards will not only be matched with mentors thanks to support from the Jibb Foundation, but will also be offered a place to study a UNSW AGSM short course. Along with our scholarships, fellowships and grants, these programs elevate our industry through professional development.”

Finalists are selected by panels of peers on the basis of overall merit and journalistic excellence. The Walkley Foundation encourages a diversity of entries from journalists around Australia. Judges are selected by the Walkley Judging Board. The Walkley Foundation has a mechanism for dealing with any conflict of interest, actual or perceived, that may arise during the judging process. The guidelines are based on the principle that all actual conflicts of interest are to be avoided and that even a perceived conflict may be damaging to all parties. 

Winners of all the awards will be announced at the Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism on June 16. At the Celebration, winners will also be announced for the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine, the WIN News Scholarship, the Walkley Young Indigenous Scholarship, the JNI Opportunity Fellowships and the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism.

In each award below, the finalists are listed in alphabetical order.

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year

Supported by Jibb Foundation
The winner of each of the six categories below will be eligible for the overall Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award. The ultimate winner will receive a two-week trip to US newsrooms (flights included) and a mentorship program to boost their career. In 2021 this prize will include placements at Buzzfeed, Columbia Journalism Review and Quartz Media.

The winner of each of the six categories will receive a complimentary place in an AGSM short course at UNSW Business School.

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards

These awards recognise the hard work of our most outstanding young Australian journalists. They reward the efforts of journalists aged 28 and under who demonstrate excellence in the fundamental tenets of the profession, as well as the ability to present distinctive and original journalism that pushes the boundaries of the craft.

Shortform journalism
Supported by ABC

Longform feature or special
Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Coverage of community and regional affairs
Supported by Google News Initiative

Visual storytelling
Supported by Macleay College

Public service journalism
Supported by News Corp Australia

Student journalist of the year
Supported by Twitter

June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting

Supported by Ai Group, Unions NSW, ACTU and MEAA

June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year

Supported by Media Super

June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media

Supported by PwC

Our Watch Award

Administered by The Walkley Foundation

  • Avani Dias, Angela McCormack, Ali Russell and Laura McAuliffe, Four Corners, Triple J Hack and ABC Online, “Tinder: A Predators’ Playground
  • Samantha Maiden,, “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”
  • Lisa Wilkinson, Angus Llewellyn and Georgia Done, The Project and The Sunday Project, Network 10, “Brittany Higgins interview”, “Brittany Higgins editorial” and “A Matter of Consent

Humanitarian Storytelling Award

Supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross and administered by The Walkley Foundation

Media Diversity Australia Award

Supported by Media Diversity Australia, CoHealth and The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council and administered by The Walkley Foundation

Arts Journalism 

The following two awards recognise excellence in journalism about the creative arts, from the perspectives of both practitioners and critics. Through the generous support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the winners of the June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism and The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism will each receive $5000 in prize money.

June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism

Supported by Copyright Agency

The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism

Supported by the Geraldine Pascall Foundation and the Copyright Agency, and administered by the Walkley Foundation

Thank you to our judges

Each year hundreds of journalists, editors and producers give their time to judge our awards. Thank you to all those who judged this year:

  • Gemma Acton, Seven
  • Monica Attard, UTS
  • Michael Bachelard, The Age
  • Van Badham, Guardian Australia
  • Jordan Baker, Sydney Morning Herald
  • Rob Beaumont, WIN News NSW
  • Yaara Bou Melhem, freelance
  • Adam Bovino, Nine
  • Amelia Brace, Seven
  • Michael Brissenden, ABC
  • Jenny Brockie
  • Rowan Callick, freelance
  • Lucy Carne, The Sunday Mail 
  • Maddison Connaughton, The Saturday Paper
  • David Chau, ABC
  • Dimity Clancey, ACA, Nine
  • Kelly Clappis, WIN News Victoria
  • Rhanna Collins, NITV
  • Jared Constable, WIN News
  • Danielle Cronin, The Brisbane Times
  • Debbie Cuthbertson, The Age
  • Ross Dagan, Ten
  • Matt Deighton, The Advertiser
  • Sean Dorney
  • Tim Dornin, AAP
  • Shannan Dodson 
  • Tim Douglas, Review, The Australian 
  • Marc Fennell, SBS and ABC
  • Kate Geraghty, Sydney Morning Herald
  • Holly Green, Ten
  • Claire Harvey, The Australian
  • Eliza Harvey, ABC News 24
  • Nicola Harvey, independent producer
  • Nour Haydar, ABC
  • Shelley Hepworth, Guardian Australia
  • Georgina Hill, Ten
  • Andrea Ho, Media Diversity Australia
  • Jane Howard, The Conversation
  • Vanessa Hughes, ABC Classic FM
  • Fauziah Ibrahim, ABC Weekend Breakfast
  • Sumeyya Ilanbey, The Age
  • Anita Jacoby AM
  • Gabrielle Jackson, Guardian Australia
  • Alex Johnston, WIN News 
  • Melanie Kembrey, The Age
  • Christie Kerr, The Project, Ten
  • Misha Ketchell, The Conversation
  • Stella Lauri, WIN News
  • Andrew Lund, Nine Melbourne
  • Liam Mannix, The Age
  • Alice Matthews, The Feed, SBS 
  • Corinne May, WIN News 
  • David Meagher, The Australian
  • David Munk, Guardian Australia
  • Hugh Nailon, Nine
  • Alex Needs, Nine
  • Anne Maria Nicholson, ABC
  • Holly Nott, AAP
  • Mary-Louise O’Callaghan
  • Melanie Pilling
  • Jenna Price, The Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald
  • Alison Rourke, Guardian Australia
  • Sam Ruttyn, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph
  • Alison Sandy, Seven 
  • Tory Shepherd, freelance
  • Lenore Taylor, Guardian Australia
  • Kirsty Thompson, Nine
  • Grace Tobin, ABC
  • Emily Verdouw, freelance 
  • Tracy Vo, Nine
  • Jim Waley
  • Chad Watson, ACM
  • Dorothy Wickham, Melanesia News Network
  • Gyan Yankovich, Junkee


Media queries: Clare Fletcher, |  +61 432 616 810

Awards queries: Kym Middleton,| +61 401 512 583


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