Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich have been announced as the winner of the 2022 Media Diversity Australia Award administered by the Walkley Foundation.
- Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich, Lockdown Productions and Audible, “The Greatest Menace: Inside the Gay Prison Experiment”
The win was announced at the Walkley Foundation’s 2022 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism in Sydney.
The judges said: “The Greatest Menace revisits rumours of a long-forgotten gay prison on the edges of an isolated town in alpine New South Wales. Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich investigate what happens when prejudice, police cover-ups, and government-sponsored human experimentation collide with notions of sexuality, gender identity, cultural heritage, and faith. An exceptional piece of work.”
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.
Media Diversity Australia CEO Mariam Veiszadeh said, “Whose stories are told or not told, and how they are framed within the media landscape plays a significant role in how historically unrepresented groups are perceived in the broader community. This year’s winner of the 2022 Media Diversity Australia Award administered by the Walkley Foundation, is an incredible example of a piece of work that does precisely that, as it holds a microscope to hidden prejudice and the dark and buried history of a long forgotten gay prison.”
The judges also acknowledged the high standard of the two other finalists:
- Belinda Hawkins, Kristine Taylor and Roger Carter, Australian Story, ABC, “No Place Like Home”
- Angela Skujins, CityMag, Solstice Media, “Colonisation’s worst nightmare”
The judging panel comprised:
- Rhanna Collins, NITV
- Jeremey Fernadez, presenter, ABC TV News
- Zena Chamas, freelance journalist
Peer-judged and selected on the basis of journalistic excellence, the Mid-Year Celebration suite administered by the Walkley Foundation includes the John B Fairfax Family 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.
Media Diversity Australia media queries: Mariam Veiszadeh, firstname.lastname@example.org | +61 422 837 154
Walkley Foundation media queries: James Gorman, email@example.com | +61 414 990 480
Walkley Foundation awards queries: Kym Middleton, firstname.lastname@example.org| +61 401 512 583