Mridula Amin from the ABC was named the 2021 Walkleys Young Australian Journalist of the Year, as the Walkley Foundation honoured all the winners in the 2021 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism in Sydney.
The Mid-Year Celebration entries are peer-judged and winners are selected on the basis of journalistic excellence. All the entries were published or broadcast between April 27, 2020 and April 26, 2021.
The Walkleys Mid-Year Celebration honours include the Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards, June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting, June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year, June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media, Our Watch Award, Media Diversity Australia Award, Humanitarian Storytelling Award, June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism and The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism.
Winners were also announced for the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine, the WIN News Scholarship, the Walkley Young Indigenous Scholarship, the JNI Opportunity Fellowships and the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism.
Amin was named overall Young Australian Journalist of the Year for “The Hidden Park of Last Resort”. This story was also the winner of the Longform, feature or special category. The Walkleys Judging Board, represented by Lenore Taylor, Claire Harvey, Michael Bachelard and Tory Shepherd found Amin’s entry stood out among a strong field.
Mridula was presented her award by John B. Fairfax, whose family’s Jibb Foundation has supported the Young Journalist of the Year Awards since 2017.
Yesterday the Walkley Foundation announced that the John B Fairfax family has pledged to support awards and professional development opportunities for young Australian journalists over the next 10 years with a $1 million gift.
Walkley Foundation chief executive Louisa Graham said the financial contribution will not only sustain these awards for the next decade, but also allow the Walkley Foundation to expand the professional development opportunities associated with winning a Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award.
John B Fairfax said: “We are extremely proud to be supporting an award that promotes excellence in journalism and encourages young Australian talent. We are also delighted to provide meaningful support to the Walkley Foundation, which has consistently embodied the values of integrity and quality in the profession.”
The full list of Walkley Mid-Year winners
Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards
Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Supported by Jibb Foundation
Mridula Amin, ABC News and Background Briefing, ABC Radio National
Thanks to the support of the Jibb Foundation, Mridula receives a two-week trip to US newsrooms Buzzfeed, Columbia Journalism Review and Quartz (flights included). Each of the six category winners will be matched with a mentor to boost their career.
The winner of each of the six categories will receive a complimentary place in an AGSM @ UNSW Business School. The AGSM Client Engagement team will assist the winners to identify the course most relevant to their development. All courses earn credit towards the AGSM Certificate of Executive Management and Development which, in turn, carries course credit into the AGSM MBA and Graduate Certificates.
All media: Shortform journalism
Supported by ABC
Paul Sakkal, The Age, “Melbourne Hotel Quarantine”
All media: Longform feature or special
Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
Mridula Amin, ABC News and Background Briefing, ABC Radio National, “The hidden park of last resort”
All media: Coverage of community and regional affairs
Supported by Google News Initiative
Briana Fiore, South Western Times, Harvey-Waroona Reporter, Bunbury Herald and The West Australian, “Bunbury Hospital Investigation”
All media: Visual storytelling
Supported by Macleay College
Mridula Amin, ABC News and National Geographic, “The hidden park of last resort” “Resettled” and “Armin Wahidi
All media: Public service journalism
Supported by News Corp Australia
Annabel Hennessy, The West Australian and The Sunday Times, “11-year-old Indigenous girl takes her own life after her alleged rapist is given bail” “Annaliesse Ugle: How housing insecurity and a lack of support contributed to 11-year-old girl’s despair” and “State Government proposes changes to bail laws to look after child sex victims after death of Annaliesse Ugle”
All media: Student journalist of the year
Supported by Twitter
Georgios Platias, Central News UTS and Very Public Affairs Podcast, University of Technology Sydney, “Inside Out: Mohsen’s Story” and “Politics, Leadership, and Public Policy with Peter van Onselen”
June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting
Supported by Ai Group, Unions NSW, ACTU and MEAA
Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Liam Mannix, The Age, “A city divided: COVID-19 finds a weakness in Melbourne’s social fault lines,” “All in this together? How rich and poor are travelling in lockdown” and “Starved out of Australia: The workers without money or food”
June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year
Supported by Media Super
Andrew Quilty, The Intercept, The Monthly and Afghanistan After America, Podcast, “The CIA’s Afghan Death Squads” “The Worst Form of Defence” and “Afghanistan After America: A Podcast”
June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media
Supported by PwC
Nina Funnell, Kerry Warren, Gina McWilliams, Hannah Stenning and Georgia-Kate Schubert, news.com.au, The Herald Sun, The Mercury, The Courier-Mail and NT News, “Let Her Speak”
Our Watch Award
Administered by the Walkley Foundation
Samantha Maiden, news.com.au, “Young staffer Brittany Higgins says she was raped at Parliament House” “Parliament office ‘steam cleaned’ after alleged attack” and “Minister Michaelia Cash’s voicemail message to Brittany Higgins”
Media Diversity Australia Award
Supported by Media Diversity Australia, CoHealth and the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council and administered by the Walkley Foundation
Jason Om, Alex McDonald and Ake Prihantari, 7.30, ABC, “Price of Convenience” and “Hungry Panda food delivery company under fire from workers”
Humanitarian Storytelling Award
Supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross and administered by the Walkley Foundation
Andrew Quilty, The Monthly and The Intercept, “A War on Civilians in Afghanistan”
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 the Copyright Agency
Kelly Burke, Guardian Australia, “Neighbours actor allegedly removed from set after complaints of racism by Indigenous actor Shareena Clanton”, “Neighbours: more actors come forward with allegations of racist slurs and discrimination on set” and “If Neighbours racism allegations happened in US there would be ‘swift’ repercussions, Remy Hii says”
The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism, managed by the Walkley Foundation
Supported by the Copyright Agency
Anwen Crawford, The Monthly, “New air in familiar rooms”, “Ready steady gone” and “Girls don’t cry: Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers”
Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants
Supported by: Anita Jacoby, Nine Network and AFTRS Ella McCrindle, University of Sydney
WIN News Scholarship
Scout Wallen, The University of Queensland
The Young Indigenous Scholarship
Supported by: BHP, 10 and Junkee Media
JNI Opportunity Fellowships
Supported by: Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas Zathia Bazeer, Macleay College
Tricia Lee Rivera, Monash University
Rafqa Touma, University of Technology Sydney
Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism
Supported by: ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, Harold Mitchell Foundation, Newcrest Mining
Natalie Whiting, ABC