The Walkley Foundation reveals 2020 Mid-Year Celebration winners

• Annabel Hennessy from The West Australian was named the 2020 Young Australian Journalist of the Year

The Mid-Year Walkley entries are peer-judged and winners are selected on the basis of journalistic excellence. All the entries shine a light on great Australian journalism in their categories.

Walkley Foundation chief executive Louisa Graham said, “Our Mid-Year Celebration was established to recognise the work of young journalists and specialist writers not included in the Walkley Awards. They are not Walkley Awards, they have a different trophy, but they are determined through the same rigorous processes and according to the same standards of excellence and expert judging. To avoid duplication with the Walkley Awards at the end of year, we have taken this opportunity to honour one of our significant benefactors by rebranding these awards in her name.

June Andrews was the sister-in-law of our founder, Sir William Gaston Walkley, and now her legacy will be commemorated by honouring excellence in the craft. In this program, we also announce several awards we managed on behalf of other organisations, specifically Our Watch, Media Diversity Australia and the Geraldine Pascall Foundation.”

Annabel Hennessy from The West Australian was named the 2020 Young Australian Journalist of the Year for her powerful investigation Kill or Be Killed?: The First Chapter: The incarceration of Jody Gore”. This story was also the winner of the Public Service Journalism category. Hennessy wins a two-week trip to US newsrooms, thanks to the support of the Jibb Foundation.

The Walkley Judging Board, represented by Tory Shepherd, Stella Lauri and Heidi Murphy, found Hennessy’s entry stood out among a strong field.

“Annabel Hennessy’s work deserves this honour because it demonstrated true excellence at every turn. She discovered the thread of a story, teased it out, chased it relentlessly and brought it to public attention. Her storytelling was factual and compassionate, moving deftly between the human, legal and political elements of this story. And the impact of her journalism has been immense – a woman freed from prison, and laws re-written.”

The full list of winners is below.

Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Supported by Jibb Foundation
Annabel Hennessy, The West Australian, “Kill or Be Killed?: The First Chapter: The incarceration of Jody Gore
Thanks to the support of the Jibb Foundation, Hennessy will fly to the USA for a two-week trip to meet with BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review and Quartz.

All media: Shortform journalism
Supported by ABC
Luke Henriques-Gomes, Guardian Australia, “Robodebt leaks expose botched scheme’s failure

All media: Longform feature or special
Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
Ella Archibald-Binge, The Feed, SBS Viceland, “Australia’s stolen wages shame

All media: Coverage of community and regional affairs
Supported by Google News Initiative
Sherryn Groch, The Canberra Times, “‘Culture of fear’: Canberra private school engulfed by bullying allegations

All media: Visual storytelling
Supported by Sky News
Marty Smiley, Jack Tulleners and Pat Forrest, SBS TV On Demand and Online, “Christian Democratic Party

All media: Public service journalism
Supported by News Corp Australia
Annabel Hennessy, The West Australian, “Kill or Be Killed?: The First Chapter: The incarceration of Jody Gore

All media: Student journalist of the year
Supported by Macleay College
Andre Nassiri, University of New South Wales and, “The dark side of Africa’s ‘poster child’” and “Who wins when Rwanda plays the ‘genocide guilt card’

June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting
In memory of Helen O’Flynn and Alan Knight
Supported by Ai Group, Unions NSW, ACTU, UTS and MEAA
With philanthropic support in memory of Emeritus Professor Alan Knight
Ben Schneiders and Nick McKenzie, The Age, “John Setka, domestic violence and the unions

June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year
Supported by Media Super
Karishma Vyas, 101 East – Al Jazeera English and Foreign Correspondent, ABC “The War on Afghan Women,” “Afghanistan: The Healers” and “Behind Enemy Lines

June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media
Supported by PwC
Joanna Lester, Madeleine Hetherton and Rebecca Barry, Media Stockade, NITV and SBS On Demand, “Power Meri

Our Watch Award
Supported by Our Watch and managed by The Walkley Foundation
Nina Funnell,, The Mercury and NT News, “Let Her Speak

Media Diversity Australia Award
Supported by Media Diversity Australia, CoHealth and the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council
Mahmood Fazal and Rebecca Metcalf, Audible Originals, “No Gangsters in Paradise

Arts Journalism Prizes
Through the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the winner of each award will receive $5000 in prize money.

June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism
Supported by Facebook and the Copyright Agency
Steve Dow, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and Guardian Australia  “Stream Drama,” “Acts of Faith” and “A Buŋgul, a Procession, An Overnight Vigil

The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism
Managed by The Walkley Foundation
Supported by the Geraldine Pascall Foundation and the Copyright Agency
Mireille Juchau, and The Monthly, “How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism,” “Twilight Knowing: Jenny Offill’s Weather” and “Missing Witnesses: Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children’s Archive

Top Photo: Annabel Hennessy: Young Journalist of the Year

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