Australian Sports Commission chair John Wyle has paid tribute to renowned sports journalist Rebecca Wilson, who posthumously received the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award in Melbourne on Thursday night.
Wylie said Rebecca was a pioneer for female sports journalists and broadcasters, during a career spanning more than three decades.
“There are many quality female journalists covering Australian sport but it is because of trailblazers like Rebecca Wilson that sports journalism in this country is a profession offering great opportunity for women and is judged on merit, not gender,” Wylie said.
“What stood Rebecca apart was her immense courage. She said what she believed, challenged power, questioned party lines, stood on toes, and generally had a go, without fear of consequence.
“This award is a celebration of the valuable contribution Rebecca made to the Australian sports media.”
Rebecca Wilson began as a cadet at Brisbane’s Courier-Mail in 1980, and over the next 36 years established herself as one of the most powerful and influential voices in Australian sports media working across all traditional mediums – print, television and radio.
She worked with Channel Ten, Channel Seven, Foxtel, the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. She was a regular on Sky Sports and 2GB with Alan Jones. She was a breakfast radio broadcaster with Vega.
Rebecca, who passed away in October last year, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award during a gala dinner attended by almost 200 guests and media from across the country.
The ceremony was attended by Rebecca’s husband John Hartigan, sons Tom and Will Sacre and Rebecca’s mother, Maryloo Wilson.
Network Ten was a big winner at the 2016 Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Media Awards, collecting awards for both the KFC Big Bash League and the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.
The network’s coverage of the 2015-16 KFC Big Bash League season took the top honour in the prestigious Best Coverage Of A Sporting Event By A Media Organisation category.
Network Ten was also honoured in the hotly contested Best Coverage Of Women In Sport category for the 2015-16 season of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.
Network Ten chief executive officer Paul Anderson said: “We are very honoured to receive two 2016 ASC Media Awards and very proud of all our winners and nominees.
“The partnership of Cricket Australia and Network Ten has taken T20 cricket to a new level, with record attendances and huge television audiences across the Australian summer.
“Our KFC Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League on-air and production teams are world-class and both awards are a great recognition of their fantastic work,” he said.
Winners of the 2016 ASC Media Awards
Lifetime achievement award for contribution to sports journalism: Rebecca Wilson
Best reporting of an issue in sport: Gotcha: The Parramatta Eels Salary Cap Scandal; Nick Tabakoff, Daily Telegraph
Best coverage of sport by an individual – broadcast: Bruce McAvaney, Seven Network
Best coverage of sport by an individual – print media: Will Swanton, The Australian
Best coverage of sport by an individual – digital media: Investigations, features and analysis; Jack Kerr, freelancer
Best coverage of a sporting event by a media organization: 2015-16 Big Bash League, Network Ten
Best coverage of sport for people with disability: Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Seven Network
Best coverage of women in sport: 2015-16 Women’s Big Bash League, Network Ten
Best profiling of an athlete, team or coach – broadcast media: “True Grit” – David Pocock; Winsome Denyer, Tim Wilson and Marc Smith, Australian Story, ABC
Best profiling of an athlete, team or coach – print media: ‘Jarryd Hayne’; Will Swanton, The Australian
Best sports journalism from rural, regional or suburban media: Dreams and Knightmares; Robert Dillon, Newcastle Herald
Best sports photography: Say Cheese; Cameron Spencer, Getty Images
Best depiction of the value of sport to Australians in a community setting: From Little Things; Tim Sheridan, Matt Weiss, Fox Footy
Best contribution to sport by an organisation through digital media: Olympics on 7, Seven Network
Best analysis of the business of sport: The 0.1 percenters; Jeff Centenera, Inside Sport