Photojournalist Andrew Quilty wins Gold Walkley

THE moving photojournalism series of a bombed Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Afghanistan, The Man on the Operating Table by freelance photographer Andrew Quilty, has won him the 2016 Gold Walkley Award.

It was a memorable choice in a Walkley Awards event which also presented cartoonist Bruce Petty the Walkley for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, and acclaimed the professional life of news journalist the Rebecca Wilson, who passed away in October, with the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership

In business journalism, Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, in a combined effort by Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, won the Walkley for their research and reporting on the Commonwealth Bank’s Comminsure scandal, titled ‘Money For Nothing’.

A freelance photojournalist based in Kabul, Andrew Quilty has relentlessly pursued complex and important stories in a country that — after some 14 years of war — may have receded from the world’s front pages, but is no less dangerous or critical to understand, noted the Walkley judges.

Since moving to Afghanistan in 2013, Mr Quilty has won six Walkley Awards, including this year’s Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year and the News Photography category.

After an errant US airstrike destroyed the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital and killed 42 people in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in October 2015, Mr Quilty was the first journalist to reach the scene. He found bodies still in the rubble; with fighting still going on in the vicinity, for it had been too dangerous to remove them. 

He discovered one man lying on an operating table who was later identified as Baynazar Mohammad Nazar, a 43-year-old Afghan civilian. Mr Quilty’s image of The Man on the Operating Table is shocking and powerful, while his series of the same name introduces Baynazar the man, who rode a bicycle to work and shared a small house with his family.

Bruce Petty was awarded the Walkley for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, recognising a 55-year career of drawing political cartoons as well as a career in animation and film directing that has also won him an Oscar.

Rebecca Wilson’s posthumous award for Journalistic Leadership, accepted by her son, Tom Sacre, acclaimed her “constant drive to challenge conventions and to pave the way for younger female reporters”.

The Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year Award went to News Corp Australia’s Alex Coppel for a body of work that showcased his technical skill and storytelling ability.

Commenting on the Walkley judging process, advisory board chair Kate McClymont said, “The judging process is what gives the Walkley Awards its credibility. The judges are senior journalists — people who know the skill, quick wit, depth of research and analysis, resourcefulness and even physical courage that it takes to create the best journalism.”

The 61st Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were presented in 34 categories.

More than 600 journalists and media identities gathered in the Plaza Ballroom of Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre for the gala event hosted by Sky News’ David Speers. The Walkley Awards were held in Brisbane with the support of Tourism and Events Queensland.

The full list of winners is published at


2016 Walkley Award Winners


Print/Text News Report — Award partner Media Super:

Grant McArthurHerald Sun, ‘Bacchus Marsh Baby Deaths’.

Social Equity JournalismAward partner Seven Network:
Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick ToscanoThe AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, Fairfax Media, ‘Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal’.

Multimedia StorytellingAward partner News Corp Australia:
SBS Online Team, SBS Australia, ‘My Grandmother’s Lingo’.

Nikon-Walkley Photo of the YearAward partner Nikon
Andrew QuiltyForeign Policy, ‘The Man on the Operating Table’.

Headline Journalism:

Matthew QuagliottoThe Daily Telegraph, ‘Thirst Degree Murder’, ‘Law & Snorter’, ‘Tyred & Demotional’.

Coverage of Indigenous AffairsAward partner BHP Billiton:
Dan Box, Eric George and Stephen FitzpatrickThe Australian, ‘Bowraville’.

Coverage of Community and Regional AffairsAward partner Australia Post:
Newcastle Herald Staff ReportersNewcastle Herald, ‘The Foam and the Fury’.

Sports Journalism:

Adrian ProszenkoThe Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal’.

Sport PhotographyAward partner Nikon:
Cameron Spencer, Getty Images, ‘The Defining Moment’.

Radio/Audio News and Current Affairs Award partner ABC:
Sophie McNeill and Fouad Abu GoshPM and AM, ABC Radio, ‘Voices from Besieged Syria’.

Radio/Audio Documentary, Feature, Podcast or SpecialAward partner QUT:
Dan Box and Eric GeorgeThe Australian, ‘Bowraville Podcast’.

Print/Text Feature Writing Long (over 4000 words):

Jess HillThe Monthly, ‘Suffer the Children: Trouble in the Family Court’.

Scoop of the Year —  Award partner Nine Network:
Nick TabakoffThe Daily Telegraph, ‘The Parramatta Eels NRL scandal’.


Mark KnightHerald Sun, ‘Subway’, ‘Census night in the Senate’, ‘Reg Grundy RIP’.


David RoweThe Australian Financial Review and The Sun Herald, ‘New clothes’, ‘Malcolm X and Ali’, ‘White ribbon’.

Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue:

Sky News Team, Sky News, ‘2016 Election Coverage’.

Print/Text Feature Writing Short (under 4000 words) — Award partner Fairfax:
Ben DohertyGuardian Australia, ‘Crushed by the unblinking regime: the life and tragic death of Fazel Chegeni’.

Nikon-Walkley News Photography Award partner Nikon:
Andrew QuiltyForeign Policy, ‘The Man on The Operating Table’.

Business JournalismAward partner ING Direct:
Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, ‘Money For Nothing’.

Nikon-Walkley Feature/Photographic EssayAward partner Nikon:
David Maurice SmithGuardian Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe and Mail and Mother Jones Magazine, ‘Refugee Crisis in the Balkans’.

International JournalismAward partner University of Queensland:
Sophie McNeill, Aaron Hollett, Mark Corcoran and Matt WalkerForeign Correspondent, ABC TV, ‘Yemen: The War on Children’.

CameraworkAward partner Australian Super:
Andy Taylor60 Minutes, Nine Network, ‘Predator’.

TV/AV News Reporting:

Chris O’KeefeNine News, Nine Network, ‘Bankstown Hospital’.

TV/AV Daily Current Affairs Award partner SBS:
Anne Connolly, Suzanne Smith and Lesley Robinson7.30, ABC TV, ‘Anglican Church Paedophile Ring’.

TV/AV Weekly Current Affairs:

Linton Besser, Louie Eroglu, Jaya Balendra and Elise WorthingtonFour Corners, ABC TV, ‘State of Fear’.

Investigative JournalismAward partner Bayer:
Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, ‘Money For Nothing’.


Caro Meldrum-HannaFour Corners, ABC TV, ‘Jackson and Lawler’.

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique:

Greg JerichoGuardian Australia, ‘Politics, the planet and the personal’.

Walkley Documentary Award:

Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Ivan O’Mahoney, In Films and ABC TV, Hitting Home.

Walkley Book Award:

Stan GrantTalking to My Country, HarperCollins Publishers.

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the YearAward partner Nikon:
Alex CoppelHerald Sun.

Journalistic LeadershipAward partner Qantas;
Rebecca Wilson.

Outstanding Contribution to JournalismAward partner Sky News:
Bruce Petty.

Gold Walkley Award partner MEAA:
Andrew QuiltyForeign Policy, ‘The Man on the Operating Table’.


Walkley Award board judges are Kate McClymont, (chair), The Sydney Morning Herald; Angelos Frangopoulos, (deputy chair) Australian News Channel; Michael Amendolia, photographer; Dennis Atkins, The Courier-Mail; Michael Beach, The Sunday Times; Anne Davies; Marina Go; Claire Harvey, The Sunday Telegraph; Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National; Jonathan Richards, Google Creative Lab; John Stanley, 2UE; Cameron Stewart, The Australian; Sandra Sully, TEN Eyewitness News; Lisa Wilkinson, Nine Network.



ABC Australia Plus partners internationally

ABC INTERNATIONAL’s multi-platform international media service Australia Plus (A+) has announced new partnerships to boost Australia’s regional multi-media presence and extend ABC content to neighbouring countries.

The foundation partnerships are with Monash University, the Victorian State Government and Swisse Wellness, in what is ABC’s hybrid development of collaborative commercial relationships. 

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading international research and education institutions wanting to extend its educational services regionally. The Victorian State Government is promoting as one of Australia’s prime tourist and business destinations.

Swisse Wellness, probably Australia’s leading natural health brand, is eager to boost its profile and promote natural health in the Asia-Pacific region, having made a name sponsoring a variety of sports including Formuula 1 motor racing.

ABC International chief executive officer, Lynley Marshall, said Australia Plus would build its strong presence in the region and develop its growing audience base through meaningful partnerships with Australian businesses aligned to the same purpose. Other partners are expected to be announced over coming months.

Ms Marshall, said this commercial collaboration would deliver great benefit to foundation partners, as well as strengthen Australia’s relationship with audiences in neighbouring countries by “showcasing Australia to the Asia-Pacific region”.

“ABC International has built a network of media partners across the region, extending the reach of Australia Plus content and establishing a valuable platform for presenting Australian stories.” Ms Marshall said.

“Partnering with a respected institution like Monash University, organisations like the Victorian State Government and businesses such as Swisse, offer us enormous potential to showcase Australian life including education, tourism and business, to audiences in the region.”

Monash president and vice-chancellor, Margaret Gardner said the partnership agreement with ABC International “gives Monash unprecedented exposure and reach in key Asia-Pacific countries and assists us communicate the scale, scope and excellence of our research and education and our global impact”.

Victorian Government Trade Minister, Philip Dalidakis said, “This exclusive relationship with ABC International is a great opportunity for Victoria to showcase that we really do have ‘the best of everything’ – and grow our reputation as the innovation, trade, tourism, major events, food and fashion capital of Australia.”

Swisse chief executive Radek Sali said, “Our mission at Swisse is to make people around the world healthier and happier, and through this exciting partnership we will be able to take our message to a number of new regions and audiences.

“It also gives us the opportunity to learn more about our different consumers’ needs, so as we launch into new countries we tailor our approach to suit.”

Australia Plus Foundation Partners receive exclusive branding and advertising opportunities across all Australia Plus online platforms, digital and social media channels and Australia Plus TV; exposure through Windows on Australia media events with the ABC’s International media partners including Shanghai Media Group, Beijing TV, Singapore’s Mediacorp and Indonesia’s MNC and Detik.

Australia Plus, ABC International’s multi-platform international media service, was launched in 2014 and is currently available to 190 million people across Asia and the Pacific via online, social media and TV, including to Indonesia, China, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Broadcasts and online channels are in languages including Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia and Tok Pisin.

ABC International is a commercial operation and is permitted under the ABC Act to partner with commercial organisations, a model similar to the BBC Worldservice. ABC International retains full editorial control over all content under the ABC Australia Plus brand.




ACCC tables media code of conduct

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a Media Code of Conduct which aims to clarify the way media and the public can comment on the commission’s enforcement activities.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the ACCC would implement the code as recommended by the Harper Review. Rod Sims.

“The code strikes a balance between fairness to the individuals and businesses under investigation or involved in enforcement actions, and transparency in informing the media and the public about matters of interest,” Mr Sims said.

“It is also important that the ACCC seeks to raise awareness among both consumers and businesses about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act.”

“At the same time, we recognise it is important that businesses and individuals subject to ACCC investigations are afforded appropriate confidentiality and procedural fairness,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims said the Code spelled out the considerations the ACCC takes into account when commenting on investigations and court cases, and the limitations it observes in making public comments.

“Informing the public about our enforcement work in a balanced and objective manner is an important part of our role but there are situations where, with good reason, we refrain from comment,” he said.

Mr Sims said media communication was one of the most effective ways of educating consumers and businesses about their rights and obligations.

“By explaining our enforcement activities through the media, we hope to see a multiplier effect in terms of deterrence and compliance with the law. “It is also important that consumers have confidence in the market economy and see our laws working for them.”

The ACCC held a public consultation in developing the code. This included input from business and consumer groups, the legal community and journalists.




Robb Report’s to Australia

ICONIC luxury market experiential magazine and online catalogue, the Robb Report, is launching its inaugural Australian edition.

It is no surprise that the local version, a quarterly at this stage, aims to showcase the latest in luxury living in Australia and around the world. 

Robb Report Australia, which will go from quarterly to monthly publication in April 2017, is the 17th international edition of the popular US title, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The first upper-luxury print and online publication of its kind in Australia has curated a collection of finely crafted products and experiences that distinguish true luxury – from watches, jewellery and fashion, to boats, travel, wine, dining and property. 

Michael Stahl – a journalist of more than 30 years’ experience in automotive, design and luxury – is editor-in-chief of Robb Report Australia.

“The launch of our first issue is the culmination of months of work in gathering the most interesting, authentic and unique of products and experiences from Australia and internationally,” Mr Stahl said.

Robb Report Australia will celebrate the best of the best, and brings out the stories of the artisanal skills and the dedication to excellence that give these things the emotional value that is, I believe, one of the definitions of luxury. I’m sure that our readers will relish the unfolding of these stories as much as we do.”

The Australian launch issue also includes a comprehensive look back over Robb Report’s 40 amazing and influential years, celebrating the moments and milestones that have shaped the connoisseur’s world.

Brett Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of the New York-based Robb Report group, said, “Robb Report has rapidly evolved from the undisputed US-based authority on connoisseurship since its launch in 2004. The Australian partnership serves as a fitting tribute to the brand’s founding premise - that the ultimate luxury experience is a shared passion for greatness.”