Journalists shine at mid-year Walkley’s

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The Walkley Foundation’s mid-year celebrations were held at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney’s CBD on 16 June. The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism celebrate Australian journalism, honouring the past year’s best engaging stories, investigative skills and voice diversity.

It was a big night for Mridula Amin from ABC News and Background Briefing, and ABC Radio National who took home the 2021 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year for her story, The Hidden Park of Last Resort, presented to her by John B Fairfax. The Walkley Judging Board said that it was an outstanding entry amongst a strong selection of nominees.

“Sensitive, compassionate and beautifully shot, Mridula Amin’s ‘Hidden Park of Last Resort’ is a wonderful human story well told. Gaining the trust of the residents and demonstrating a non-judgemental approach to her reporting, Amin’s investigation empowered the community to fight for their homes inside one of Sydney’s last long-term caravan parks.”

Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund is honoured to support the June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism, awarded to Kelly Burke of Guardian Australia, for “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 judges said, “Kelly Burke’s reports into the treatment of performers of colour on the Neighbours set revealed deeply troubling, systemic problems within one of Australia’s most lucrative and iconic cultural exports. While scrutiny of representation in media increases, Burke’s reports critically investigated how casting and plotlines can conceal deeply racist attitudes and behaviours.”

The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism, which the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund is delighted to support, was awarded to writer and critic Anwen Crawford of The Monthly for “New air in familiar rooms”, “Ready steady gone” and “Girls don’t cry: Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers”.

The judges said, “Anwen Crawford’s three critical essays are engaging and entertaining. They display a shrewd storytelling ability, depth of musical knowledge, and an original perspective while maintaining an insightful awareness of how their subjects relate to the broader cultural context.”

Each winner of the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund supported Arts Journalism prizes receives $5000 in prize money along with their accolades.

Finalists selected for the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism are based on journalistic distinction. They are selected by a panel of peers chosen by the Walkley Judging Board, who then decide the winners.

Copyright Agency congratulates all winners and nominees for this year’s awards. For the full list of winners, head to the Walkley Foundation’s website.

To learn more about the full range of Cultural Fund grants and closing dates for 2021, please refer to our website, and contact the Cultural Fund team to discuss potential proposals.

Applications for the second round of Cultural Fund Grants for Organisations will open in August.

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