Walkley Foundation announces mid-year winners, led by Young Journalist of the Year Oliver Gordon

The mid-year Walkley winners have been announced, led by the ABC’s Oliver Gordon, who was named Young Australian Journalist of the Year for his Background Briefing story ‘The Black & White Hotel: Inside Australia’s Segregated Hotel Rooms’, which investigated racial profiling at an Alice Springs hotel.

Gordon also won in the long-form category for the story, and will now travel to the USA for two weeks’ work experience at Buzzfeed, The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Twitter, and Quartz.

The judging board, represented by Lenore Taylor, Claire Harvey, Stella Lauri, and Heidi Murphy, said Gordon’s entry was a standout.

“Oliver Gordon’s entry comprised an excellent piece of investigative journalism, told well,” said the judging panel.

“He had the tenacity to pursue the story, and looked at the systemic issues behind it, with reporting that was balanced and fair throughout. Bringing the community members along with him, he won their trust, and had enormous impact.”

The Our Watch Award went to the ABC’s Sarah Dingle and The Background Briefing team, while the ABC’s You Can’t Ask That won the inaugural Media Diversity Australia Award for its episode: ‘Deaf, African Australians and Intersex’.

The full list of winners is below:

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards

Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Supported by the Jibb Foundation
Oliver Gordon, Background Briefing, Radio National, ABC Radio, “The Black & White Hotel: Inside Australia’s Segregated Hotel Rooms”

Thanks to the support of the Jibb Foundation, Oliver will fly to the USA to undertake two weeks’ worth of work experience with BuzzFeed News, The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Twitter and Quartz. All category winners will also receive mentoring from senior journalists, and their winning stories will be featured on Apple News.

All media: Shortform Journalism
Supported by ABC
Isabella Higgins, ABC News 7pm bulletin, ABC TV and ABC Online, “Life in the grips of a suicide crisis” “Strength in the suicide community” and “The fight of our lives”

All media: Longform Feature or Special
Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age
Oliver Gordon, Background Briefing, Radio National, ABC Radio, “The Black & White Hotel: Inside Australia’s Segregated Hotel Rooms”

All media: Coverage of Community & Regional Affairs
Supported by Google News Initiative
Henry Zwartz, ABC News Regional, “‘This is Tasmania’s Ballarat’: Abuse survivors speak out”

All media: Visual Storytelling
Supported by Sky NEWS
Annika Blau and Zoe Osborne, ABC News, “Women in Asia: Growing up as a living goddess; My Huong thought she’d finally found her mother after the war; Inside Nepal’s forbidden kingdom.”

All media: Public Service Journalism
Supported by News Corp Australia
Laura Murphy-Oates, SBS, “Reporting on Indigenous affairs”

All media: Student Journalist of the Year
Supported by Macleay College
Matilda Boseley, Monash University, The Age and Mojo News, “‘I had no way of getting home’: Calls for changes to liquor laws”, “Grey Area: Let’s Talk About Rape” and “ZOE – Vegans Invade a Melbourne Slaughterhouse”

Helen O’Flynn & Alan Knight Award for Best Industrial Reporting

Supported by ACTU, Ai Group, Australian Super, Unions NSW and UTS
With philanthropic support provided in memory of Emeritus Professor Alan Knight by Dr Kathy Egea.
Ben Scheiders and Royce Millar, The Age, “SourDough: Australia’s High-End Restaurant Scandal”

Freelance Journalist of the Year

Supported by Media Super
Yaara Bou Melhem, Witness, Al Jazeera English and Foreign Correspondent, ABC, “Maria Ressa: War on Truth” and “The Oasis”

Women’s Leadership in Media

Supported by PwC
Melissa Davey, Guardian Australia, “The investigation into Dr Gayed”

Our Watch Award for Excellence in Reporting on Violence Against Women and Children

Supported by The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts
Sarah Dingle and the Background Briefing Team, Radio National, ABC, “Australia On Trial: Carers who kill, Slavery in the suburbs, Murder on Trial“

Media Diversity Australia Award

Supported by Media Diversity Australia, CoHealth and The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council
Aaron Smith, Kirk Docker, Loni Cooper, Pauline Ernesto and Josh Schmidt, ABC and ABC iview, “You Can’t Ask That – Deaf, African Australians and Intersex”

Arts Journalism Prizes

Through the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, winners of both of these two awards will each receive $5000 in prize money.

All media: Arts Journalism Prize
Supported by: Facebook
Jane Howard, ABC, “How Australian theatre rebalanced its gender disparity”

All media: Walkley-Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism
Supported by: Geraldine Pascall Foundation
Jeff Sparrow, Sydney Review of Books, “A Place of Punishment: No Friend But the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani”

Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine

Supported by: Anita Jacoby, Nine Network and AFTRS
Caroline Tung, Monash University

Media Super Scholarship with Seven

Supported by: Media Super and Seven
Amy Clements, The University of Melbourne

The William Buckland Foundation Fellowship with The Age

Supported by: The William Buckland Foundation and The Age
Rachel Houlihan, The Standard

Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism

Supported by: Harold Mitchell Foundation, Newcrest Mining, Stephen Howes & Clare Holberton, Bob & Helen Lyon, Pacific Island Living Magazine, TNC Pacific Consulting
Ben Bohane


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