The Australian’s Indigenous coverage snares two Walkleys

An investigation into serial killings of Indigenous children in the small town of Bowraville has won The Australian two honours at the 2016 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.Bowraville

The Bowraville coverage won the Walkley for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs and its related podcast series won the Radio/Audio Documentary, Feature, Podcast or Special Walkey.

Crime reporter Dan Box, podcast producer Eric George and Indigenous affairs editor Stephen Fitzpatrick were recognised across the two awards.

The honours follow a controversial Bill Leak cartoon published by The Australian that was criticised for being racist and received more than 700 complaints to the Australian Press Council.

Mr Fitzpatrick said readers were smart enough to differentiate a cartoon from the paper’s strong history of covering Indigenous affairs.

“If you don’t cover Indigenous affairs as a central part of Australian life, you’re not really covering Australia,” he said.

Journalists from News Corp Australia’s other mastheads were also recognised at the 2016 Walkleys including:

  • The Daily Telegraph’s Nick Tabakoff, who won ‘Scoop of the Year’ for coverage of salary cap breaches by rugby league team the Parramatta Eels
  • Herald Sun’s Alex Coppel won Press Photographer of the Year and
  • Columnist Rebecca Wilson, who passed away earlier this year, won the Walkley for Journalistic Leadership

Fairfax Media’s Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick Toscano won the Social Equity Journalism Walkley for their investigation “Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”.

“Money for nothing”, a Fairfax and ABC Four Corners joint-investigation into malpractice by the insurance arm of Commonwealth Bank, took out the Business and Investigative Journalism Walkleys.

A full list of winners of the 2016 Walkleys is below.  

2016 Walkley Awards Category Winners

Print/Text News Report

Grant McArthur, Herald Sun, “Bacchus Marsh Baby Deaths”

Social Equity Journalism

Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick Toscano, The AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, Fairfax Media, “Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

Multimedia Storytelling

SBS Online Team, SBS Australia, “My Grandmother’s Lingo”

Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year

Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on the Operating Table”

Headline Journalism

Matthew Quagliotto, The Daily Telegraph, “Thirst Degree Murder”, “Law & Snorter”, “Tyred & Demotional”

Coverage of Indigenous Affairs

Dan Box, Eric George and Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian, “Bowraville”

Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs

Newcastle Herald Team, Newcastle Herald, “The Foam and the Fury”

Sports Journalism

Adrian Proszenko, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal”

Sport Photography

Cameron Spencer, Getty Images, “The Defining Moment”

Radio/Audio News and Current Affairs

Sophie McNeill and Fouad Abu Gosh, PM and AM, ABC Radio, “Voices from Besieged Syria”

Radio/Audio Documentary, Feature, Podcast or Special

Dan Box and Eric George, The Australian, “Bowraville Podcast”

Print/Text Feature Writing Long (Over 4000 Words)

Jess Hill, The Monthly, “Suffer the Children: Trouble in the Family Court”

Scoop of the Year

Nick Tabakoff, The Daily Telegraph, “The Parramatta Eels NRL scandal”


Mark Knight, Herald Sun, “Subway”, “Census night in the Senate”, “Reg Grundy RIP”


David Rowe, The 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)

Ben Doherty, Guardian Australia, “Crushed by the unblinking regime: the life and tragic death of Fazel Chegeni”

Nikon-Walkley News Photography

Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on The Operating Table”

Business Journalism

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, “Money For Nothing

Nikon-Walkley Feature/Photographic Essay

David Maurice Smith, Guardian Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe and Mail and Mother Jones Magazine, “Refugee Crisis in the Balkans”

International Journalism

Sophie McNeill, Aaron Hollett, Mark Corcoran and Matt Walker, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Yemen: The War on Children”


Andy Taylor, 60 Minutes, Nine Network, “Predator”

TV/AV News Reporting

Chris O’Keefe, Nine News, Nine Network, “Bankstown Hospital”

TV/AV Daily Current Affairs

Anne Connolly, Suzanne Smith and Lesley Robinson, 7.30, ABC TV, “Anglican Church Paedophile Ring”

TV/AV Weekly Current Affairs

Linton Besser, Louie Eroglu, Jaya Balendra and Elise Worthington, Four Corners, ABC TV, “State of Fear”

Investigative Journalism

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, “Money For Nothing”


Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Jackson and Lawler”

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique

Greg Jericho, Guardian 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 Grant, Talking to My Country, HarperCollins Publishers

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

Alex Coppel, Herald Sun

Journalistic Leadership

Rebecca Wilson

Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

Bruce Petty

Gold Walkley

Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on the Operating Table”

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