Order of Australia Medal for Barry O’Brien and Paul Bongiorno

barry_o'brien_Media veteran Barry O’Brien has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day honours announced today.

O’Brien has been recognised for both his contribution to the media industry and his work on behalf of charity.

Joining him on the list is Network Ten’s veteran national affairs editor Paul Bongiorno for his services to broadcast media, having been a journalist for 40 years, with Ten for 35 of those, and a member of the Canberra Press Gallery for the past quarter century.

News Corp CEO Julian Clarke and Perth TV stalwart Dr Peter Harries were also honoured on the list for services to media.

O’Brien co-founded the media agency Total Advertising which he ran for 16 years before its transformation into the Omnicom-aligned PHD where he was CEO for a further four years.

He left PHD nearly two years ago. After a brief break, he made a dramatic return to the industry when he was brought in to lead sales for the Ten network after the sudden firing of Mike Morrison by former CEO James Warburton. After stabilising the sales team at Ten, O’Brien departed the network just over a year later.

O’Brien has also been active in charity work including with industry body Mayday, now rebranded as Un Ltd.

O’Brien told Mumbrella he was delighted to be recognised with the OAM. He said: “It’s an absolute honour and privilege. I was blown away to be put forward for it. I’ve been very blessed in terms of my career, and it’s important that we as an industry support charity work where we can.”

Of Bongiorno’s gong Ten CEO Hamish McLennan said: “Paul is an outstanding force in Australian political reporting and the media industry and I am delighted to see him recognised for his passion and commitment to the trade. 

“Paul has reported from the centre of Australian politics for four decades, where his expert analysis on the events, stories and characters that shape this country have seen him awarded four coveted Walkley Awards. His integrity, professionalism and storytelling ability sets an example to all in the industry and he is held in the highest regard by those he has worked with over the years.”


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