Finalists for 2021 Quill Awards announced

2021 Quill Award

• Also revealed were the finalists for student journalist of the year

Finalists for the 2021 Quill Awards for excellence in Victorian journalism have been announced.

The awards celebrate the work produced in the TV, radio and print fields, and across a range of beats including breaking news, sport, science, regional and Indigenous affairs.

Also revealed were the finalists for the student journalist of the year awards in the early career section.

Winners will be announced at the 2021 Quills Awards Dinner on Friday 18 March 2022, held at the Palladium at Crown in Melbourne.


Matt Davidson, The Age, ‘Science fiction or fact – will we meet aliens?
Richard Giliberto, The Age, ‘Under the Canopy’
Richard Giliberto, The Age, ‘Working the Network/Out of the Loop’
Tia Kasambalis, The Saturday Paper, ‘Twenty years on’

Breaking news

7NEWS Melbourne, 7NEWS, ‘Construction Protests’
Christine Ahern, Nine News, ‘CFMEU Protests’
Matt Johnston, Shannon Deery, Kieran  Rooney, Mitch Clarke, Herald Sun, ‘Victoria’s Covid-19 restrictions’
Caroline Wilson, Footy Classified, ‘Alastair Clarkson departs Hawthorn’

Business news/feature

Sarah Danckert, The Age, ‘Secrets at The Australian origins of the world’s biggest crypto casino
Konrad Marshall, Good Weekend magazine, ‘Playing hardball’
John Stensholt and Nick Evans, The Australian, ‘Twiggy’s Green Dream


Matt Davidson, The Age, ‘AUKUS Bombshell
John Ditchburn, Ballarat Courier, ‘There’s someone tailgating us dear!’
Jim Pavlidis, The Age, ‘Net Zero, Zero Net’

Coverage of an issue or an event

Shannon Deery, Matt Johnston, Kieran Rooney, Mitch Clarke, Herald Sun, ‘Restrictions revealed
Clay Lucas, The Age, ‘Broken homes: aged care and the horror of St Basil’s
Ben Schneiders and Royce Millar, The Age, ‘Class Divide: Sacked for being gay
Cassie Zervos, 7NEWS, ‘Missing Campers

Coverage of women in sport – sponsored by VicHealth

Christie Cooper, 7NEWS Melbourne, ‘Girls’ Footy’
Tom Cowie and Rachael  Dexter, The Sunday Age, ‘How one woman’s story shook the sport of powerlifting
Damien Ractliffe and Craig Butt, The Age, ‘Tackling steep rise in women’s contact sport injuries
Rhiannon Stevens, ABC Online, ‘The Strongest Woman In The World

Excellence in Indigenous affairs reporting – sponsored by Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations

Andy Burns and Shahni Wellington, ABC 7.30 and ABC News, ‘Footage of police arrests leaves Indigenous Australians feeling unsafe in their own community
Yoo-rrook: A time for truth team, The Age, ‘Yoo-rrook: A time for truth

Excellence in science, medical and health reporting – sponsored by University of Melbourne

Alexis Daish, A Current Affair, ‘The Shadow Pandemic’
Liam Mannix, The Age, ‘COVID-19: evidence-based reporting
Chris Vedelago, The Age, ‘Doubts over shaken baby science used to convict

Features photograph

David Caird, Herald Sun, ‘A Good Friday For Kids’
Eddie Jim, The Age, ‘After the Storm’
Justin McManus, The Age, ‘Time for Truth
Jake Nowakowski, Sunday Herald Sun, ‘Bug’s Life’

Feature writing

James Button, The Age, ‘Cancel culture
Melissa Fyfe, Good Weekend, ‘The Death of Ashleigh Petrie
Chip Le Grand, Timna Jacks & Paul Sakkal , The Age, ‘How Victoria is really governed
Marta Pascual Juanola, The Age, ‘“Wrong skin” – Tragedy: death, drugs and violence in a divided town

Grant Hattam Quill for investigative journalism

Ben Butler, Elise Worthington and Neil Chenoweth, Guardian Australia, ABC, and Australian Financial Review, ‘Pandora Papers
Sarah Curnow and Josie Taylor; ABC News, ‘Data breach
Adele Ferguson, Lauren Day and Klaus Toft, The Age, ‘Cosmetic Surgery Underbelly
Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer, The Age, ‘Neo Nazis exposed

Innovation in journalism

Matilda Boseley, Guardian Australia, ‘Guardian Australia TikToks
Michael Slezak, Mark Doman and Katia Shatoba, ABC News, ‘“Lawless” loggers’
Sharnelle Vella, ‘Who wants facts?
Bang Xiao, ABC News, ‘Hidden In Plain Sight

Keith Dunstan Quill for commentary

Waleed Aly, The Age, ‘It makes no sense to ask
‘Liam Mannix, The Age, ‘Examine
Martin McKenzie-Murray, The Monthly, Three works
Julie Szego, The Age, ‘The states’ race to freedom is over

News photograph

David Caird, Herald Sun, ‘Farewell Greatest Showman’
Christopher Hopkins, The Age, ‘Anti lockdown: 262 Days’
Justin McManus, The Age, ‘“If I had not been double vaccinated, I’d be Dead”
Darrian Traynor, Getty Images, ‘Locked down, locked up, locked in and locked out

News report in writing

Melissa Cunningham, The Age, ‘“I feel like a criminal”: Traveller says he told authorities about nebuliser’
Stephen Drill and Christopher Tinkler, Herald Sun, ‘Tim Paine sexting scandal
Tom Minear and Matt Johnston, Herald Sun, ‘Rail Park Fail
Jewel Topsfield and Royce Millar, The Age, ‘How Denise Morgan escaped Albert Park’s House of Horrors


Genevieve Alison, Ashley Argoon, Andrea Thiis-Evensen, Jon Burton, Herald Sun, ‘Class Act podcast’
Bethany Atkinson-Quinton and Madison Griffiths, Tender, ‘Tender: Roia Atmar
Mahmood Fazal, ABC Radio National, ‘The infiltrator who helped hatch a terror plot
John Silvester, Margaret  Gordon, Anu Hasbold, and Cormac Lally, The Age, ‘Naked City’

Radio current affairs

Norman Hermant, ABC AM, ‘Hidden Homeless
Charlotte King, ABC Background Briefing and AM, ‘The memo that erased a scandal
Neil Mitchell, 3AW, ‘The fall of Tim Smith’

Radio news

Nicole Asher, ABC Radio Melbourne Drive, ‘Violence on the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance’
Bridget Rollason, 774 ABC Radio Melbourne, ‘Victoria’s construction industry shutdown for two weeks’
Richard Willingham, ABC News, ‘Purpose built quarantine hub to be built in Mickleham’

Regional and rural journalism

Charmayne Allison and Catherine Grey, Shepparton News, ‘Beyond the Addiction’
Emma Field, Andy Burns and Charlotte King, ABC Gippsland, Countryhour and News, ‘Petfood investigation reveals dodgy racehorse burials
Harrison Tippet, The Geelong Advertiser, ‘Out in the Cold’
Dale Webster, The Regional, ‘“Big four” banks casting a dangerous shadow

Reporting on disability issues – sponsored by Victorian Government

Adam Carey, Sunday Age, ‘Autistic siblings removed from specialist school after good results
Luke Henriques-Gomes, Guardian Australia, ‘Reporting on the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Jessica Longbottom, ABC News, ‘The Australian-born children the government wants to deport because they have a disability
Jewel Topsfield, The Age, ‘”It doesn’t define me”: What is it like to live with dementia?

Reporting on multicultural affairs – sponsored by Victorian Government

Christopher Hopkins and Margaret Simons, The Guardian, ‘“We Thought we were Australian”
Sumeyya Ilanbey and Melissa Cunningham, The Age, ‘How coronavirus closed in on the City of Hume
Bang Xiao, Jarrod Fankhauser, Steven Viney, ABC News, ‘Hidden In Plain Sight

Road safety reporting – sponsored by TAC

Sherryn Groch, The Age, ‘The horrible thud: How can we stop roadkill?
Lana Murphy, Nine News, ‘Southbank Survivor’
Olivia Shying and Harrison Tippet, Geelong Advertiser, ‘Deadly December
Brianna Travers, Herald Sun, ‘Bye Mum, I’ll be fine’

Sports feature

Russell Jackson, ABC News, ‘Rod Owen’s Secret
Chip LeGrand, The Age, ‘Cruel game
Konrad Marshall, Good Weekend magazine, ‘All the right moves’
Damien Ractliffe, Craig Butt, Mark Stehle and Richard Lama, The Age, ‘Head on: Rising concussion rates in community footy exposed amid calls for action on youngsters

Sports news

Greg Baum, The Age, ‘Shane Tuck
Sam McClure and Peter Ryan, The Age, ‘Walker racism probe
Paul Sakkal and Scott Spits, The Age, ‘Tennis Australia fights vaccine mandate to allow Djokovic entry
Michael Warner, Herald Sun, ‘”Do better”: The secret Collingwood racism report’

Sports photograph

Alex Coppel, Herald Sun, ‘Jess Fox’
Jay Town,, ‘Eye on the ball’
Darrian Traynor, Getty Images, ‘Bigger than sport
Michael Willson,, ‘Air-O-Smith’

TV camera work (creative)

Glenn Edwards, Nine News, ‘Runway Revamp’
Ryan Mason, Nine News, ‘Plane Graveyard’
Steven Ramplin, A Current Affair, ‘Dingo Whisperer

TV camera work (shot of the year)

Oli Bourguignon, 7NEWS, ‘Wild Scenes: Union Protest’
Glenn Edwards, Nine News, ‘Melbourne Protests’
Jason Edwards, Herald Sun, ‘Anti-Lockdown Protests’
Hamish Russell, 10 News First, ‘Gippsland Flood Rescue’

TV/video feature

Alexis Daish, A Current Affair, ‘Doyle Talks’
Georgia Done, Lisa Wilkinson, Anthony Hawwa and Josh Wedd, The Project, ‘Enough is Enough’
Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft, Lauren Day, ABC Four Corners, ‘Cosmetic Cowboys
Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer, 60 Minutes / The Age, ‘Nazi’s Next Door’

TV/video news

Cameron Baud, 7NEWS, ‘Delta Removalists Uncovered’
Lana Murphy, Nine News Melbourne, ‘Contact Tracer Predator’
Michael Slezak and Laura Kewley, ABC 7.30, ‘”Lawless” loggers’
Cassie Zervos, 7NEWS, ‘Greg Lynn arrest’

Early career awards

The MPC student journalist of the year

Ruth Brooke, Monash University, ‘May the end be beautiful’
Amalya Hart, University of Melbourne, ‘Earth’s orbital space: who’s in charge?’
Warwick Jones, RMIT, ‘The battle over Australia’s tough new vape ban’
Petra Stock, University of Melbourne, ‘National Treasure’
Fia Walsh, University of Melbourne, ‘On the land, between phosphate rock and a hard place’

Young journalist of the year – sponsored by Wilnic Family Trust

Caitlin Cassidy, The Guardian, a body of work
Mitch Clarke, Herald Sun, a body of work
Olivia Jenkins, Herald Sun, a body of work
Shannon Schubert, ABC News, ‘Shining a light on regional issues and the failures at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre

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