Melbourne Press Club National Awards: Journalist of the Year revealed

Melbourne Press Club

Plus winner and finalists revealed for Sports Journalist of the Year

As part of the Quill Awards ceremony in Melbourne, the Melbourne Press Club has also revealed the winners of its two major national awards.

The 2022 Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of The Year Award

WINNER: Hedley Thomas, National Chief Correspondent, The Australian

Hedley Thomas’ investigation into the 2013 murder of Shandee Blackburn shook Queensland’s criminal justice system to the core. Through his podcast Shandee’s Story, Thomas revealed the Queensland government’s DNA testing laboratory had failed to properly test hundreds of crime scene samples, including Blackburn’s. His reporting forced the government to set up a commission of inquiry, which has resulted in a major overhaul of the lab, and the re-opening of cold cases. 2022 also saw the culmination of Hedley’s years-long investigation into the 1982 murder of Lynette Dawson, with her former husband Chris convicted of Lyn’s murder. All of this has been reporting in the fine Graham Perkin tradition.

Hedley Thomas (Photo: Sophie Elsworth/The Australian)

Works in Hedley’s entry included:
Shandee’s Story‘, The Australian, March – December 2022
The Teacher’s Trial‘, The Australian, May – December 2022
‘The Search for Justice’, Sky News Australia, June 2022

Other finalists:

Adele Ferguson, investigative journalist, for impactful work exposing the cosmetic surgery industry and abuse of the Medicare system.
Works in Adele’s entry included:
Expert estimates $8 billion a year lost to Medicare fraud and waste‘, 7.30, 18 October 2022
Should the Medicare system be overhauled?‘, 7.30, 14 December 2022
A Bad Look‘, 60 Minutes, 9 June 2022
A Worse Look‘, 60 Minutes
The glitz and the gore: Behind the scenes of a celebrity cosmetic surgeon’s ‘abattoir’ practice‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 June 2022

Chris Reason, Chief Reporter, Seven Network, for coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Chris’ entry included:
‘Frontline Ukraine’, 7NEWS, from 24 February 2022

Melbourne Press Club: The 2022 Harry Gordon Sports Journalist of The Year Award

WINNER: Konrad Marshall, Senior Writer, Good Weekend magazine

Konrad Marshall

The judges were impressed by the wealth of high-quality entries this year. The winner, Konrad Marshall, submitted a diverse portfolio that showcased his story-telling skills across several platforms. He travelled widely to gain exclusive interviews and revelations about Australia’s sporting elite – Ben Simmons and Peter Bol, AFL umpires, indigenous rodeo riders – and engaged with former AFL star and now transgender advocate Danielle Laidley to construct her life story for her book. Konrad’s suite of original, well-structured stories combined front-line reporting with keen third-eye analysis, memorable lines, subtle humour and a sensitivity to his subjects and locales.

Konrad Marshall

Works in Konrad’s entry included:
Hitting his stride’, Good Weekend magazine, 12 February 2022
R.E.S.P.E.C.T.‘, Good Weekend magazine, 14 May 2022
‘Don’t Look Away‘, Harper Collins, 1 September 2022
The bulls teach you a lesson’, Good Weekend magazine, 17 September 2022
‘Being Ben Simmons’, Good Weekend magazine, 5 November 2022

Other finalists:

Greg Baum, The Age Chief sports reporter, for a career of versatile and interesting storytelling and commentary.
Works in Greg’s entry included:
Novak a secret vax fan? You’re Djoking‘, The Age, 11 January 2022
A force of nature, Warne always left us wanting more‘, The Age, 6 March 2022
Hey, Greg, here’s how you can tell the difference between a mistake and brutal, cold-blooded murder‘, The Age, 13 May 2022
I’d rather play against him’: Meet the De Konings, all 12 of them‘, The Age, 15 July 2022
Federer: the best of the best takes his rest‘, The Age, 16 September 2022

Sam Landsberger, News Corp Australia sports journalist, for a mix of national agenda-setting news exclusives and deeply-research feature writing that helped pave the way for important change in Australian society.
Works in Sam’s entry included:
Female umpire abuse shame’, Herald Sun, 2 May 2022
‘Heartbreaking tales of the abuse of female footy umpires’, Herald Sun, 7 May 2022
‘McLean’s race hell’, Herald Sun, 1 June 2022’Test of faith for Bombers / Dons’ Holy Fail’, Herald Sun, 4-5 October 2022

Mark Robinson, Chief football writer, Herald Sun, for contribution to AFL coverage that is powerful, readable and insightful.
Works in Mark’s entry included:
‘Cyril Needs Help’, Herald Sun, 9 April 2022
‘To Hell and Back’, Herald Sun, 27 August 2022
‘Calm Before the Storm’, Herald Sun, 24 September 2022
‘Joel Patron Saint of Cats’, Herald Sun, 26 September 2022
‘Like the Russian Mafia’, Herald Sun, 28 September 2022

See also:
28th Quill Awards for Excellence in Victorian Journalism 2022: All the winners
Winners of Gold Quill, Scoop of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Podcasting, Radio and more

For general info about the Quill Awards and the Melbourne Press Club

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