The Walkley Foundation honoured its 2020 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism winners through a virtual lens last Wednesday.

The Mid-Year Celebration 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. The Mid-Year Celebration honours include the Young Australian Journalist of the Year AwardsJune Andrews Award for Industrial Relations ReportingJune Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the YearJune Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in MediaOur Watch AwardMedia Diversity Australia AwardJune Andrews Award for Arts Journalism and The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism.

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.”

Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards

Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Supported by Jibb Foundation

Annabel HennessyThe 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 BuzzFeedThe New York TimesColumbia Journalism Review and Quartz.

All media: Shortform journalism
Supported by ABC

Luke Henriques-GomesGuardian 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 GrochThe 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 HennessyThe 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 GroupUnions NSWACTUUTS and MEAA
With philanthropic support in memory of Emeritus Professor Alan Knight

Ben Schneiders and Nick McKenzieThe Age, “John Setka, domestic violence and the unions

June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year

Supported by Media Super

Karishma Vyas101 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 LesterMadeleine 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 AustraliaCoHealth 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


View our 2020 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism program here.