2010 Quill award winners

Monash University Gold Quill

Jill Baker | Herald Sun

Herald Sun Deputy Editor Jill Baker’s personal account of her year battling breast cancer following the death of her husband won the 2010 Monash University Gold Quill.

The Gold Quill represents the award for the highest calibre of journalistic courage and endeavour – journalism that is so profound that it remains with the viewer, reader or listener well beyond publication or broadcast date.

This year the judges had a difficult decision because of the exceptional quality and diversity of the 25 category winners. But one stood out above all others, epitomising the qualities that befit the winner of the Gold Quill.

The 2010 Gold Quill Award goes to Jill Baker of the Herald Sun for her extraordinary story entitled The Big C and Me. Jill chronicled her year-long battle with breast cancer in the hope it would help others. It was an honest, deeply moving narrative by someone who normally shuns the limelight.

Reaction to it was overwhelming. Readers were inspired by the brave way in which she was prepared to bare her soul and so publicly share her pain. It was a deeply compelling story that provided a unique insight for anyone touched by this insidious disease.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Geoff Wilkinson | Herald Sun

Geoff Wilkinson of the Herald Sun won the Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award for a 40-year career that has included outstanding crime reporting, analysis of Victoria’s justice system and for being a key player in establishing the Crimestoppers program in Victoria while he was Victoria Police’s first media director.

Young Journalist of the Year Award

Henrietta Cook | Fairfax Community Network


Henrietta Cook, of Fairfax Community Network, has received the Young Journalist of the Year Award for her story on the two Ivanhoe Girls Grammar students banned from attending their school formal as partners. 

Judges’ Citation 

Henrietta entered a single story, that began with a simple question at a workshop for teachers and ended with front-page news in Australia and coverage around the world.

Henrietta was at a teachers’ workshop for the Victorian government’s pre-election initiative to tackle homophobia in schools. When she asked if there were any cases where same-sex couples had been an issue at school formals, the co-ordinator mentioned Ivanhoe Girls Grammar but gave no more details. Henrietta used Facebook to track down the students. She won the confidence of the girls and their parents to write a story that ran on the front page of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. It created headlines around the world and the ensuing debate almost certainly changed attitudes in schools.

For asking the right question to the right person at the right time, for determination and tenacity and for her portrayal of a sensitive issue in a powerful but sympathetic way, the judges congratulate the 2010 Young Journalist of the Year, Henrietta Cook.

RACV Transport Quill

Reid Sexton | The Sunday Age

The Sunday Age’s Reid Sexton won the RACV Transport Quill for his front page story on how some of Melbourne’s newest trains had been impounded due to safety concerns, putting additional stress on an already overstretched network.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges commended Reid for a genuine news exclusive, that affected thousands of Melburnians every day. He revealed that the $500 million Siemens fleet of trains was unsafe, despite repeated claims this was not the case. Without this scoop, the dangers these trains posed and the reasons for cancellations may never have been uncovered.

Grant Hattam Quill Award for Investigative Journalism in any Medium

James Campbell | Sunday Herald Sun

James Campbell won the prestigious Grant Hattam Quill Award for Investigative Journalism for his stories detailing a conflict within the Office of Public Prosecutions, which centred on the breakdown in relations between the two senior prosecutors in Victoria.

Judges’ Citation 

The revelation that the Deputy DPP was at war with his boss – the senior legal officer in the state – sent shock waves through the legal community, the state government and the justice system. James broke the story and stayed with it for months. The incoming government has launched an inquiry into the affair.

Best Columnist/Blogger

John Silvester and Andrew Rule | The Age

Underbelly authors John Silvester and Andrew Rule have won the Best Columnist/Blogger Quill for their ‘Naked City’ column, which has been published inThe Age every Saturday since last year. Notable column entries in 2010 included a profile of former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Mick Miller, the story of a doctor whose world was shattered after she was hit by a car while cycling and a piece on the darker side of the Waterhouse family.

Judges’ Citation 

With historical perspective and fearless commentary, the Naked City series has produced some outstanding exposes. One resulted in charges being upgraded against a sexual predator who shattered a doctor’s life. Another piece scathingly set the record straight about the controversial Waterhouse racing identities.

Best Sports Story in any Medium

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker | The Age

Investigative reporters Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker have won the Quill Award for Best Sports Story in any Medium for their articles exposing some of the bidding practices used by the Football Federation of Australia in its ill-fated $45 million bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Judges’ Citation 

Nick and Richard’s investigation exposed ethical questions about Australia’s pursuit of the World Cup bid and revealed the questionable use of millions of dollars of public money. The reports attracted global interest and led to changes to FIFA bidding rules.

Best Business Story in any Medium

Richard Gluyas | The Australian

The Australian’s Richard Gluyas has won the Quill for Best Business Story in any Medium for a series of stories, published over the space of a few months, on the potential conflict between ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel’s public duties and his private business

Judges’ Citation

Richard’s story was a great “get”. The judges said he was tenacious and fearless in his investigation of prominent businessman, regulator and community figure Graeme Samuel, who inadvertently found himself facing a potential conflict between his private business activities and his role as regulator. Richard’s articles are likely to be an influence in future appointments.

Best TV Camerawork in News and Current Affairs

Will Pristel | Seven News

Will Pristel has won the Best TV Camerawork in News and Current Affairs Quill for two stories he filmed in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. His images captured the desperate situation of those affected by the disaster.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges commended Will for the high quality vision he gathered in a difficult and dangerous situation. His pictures powerfully told the story of the tragedy and chaos in Haiti following the devastating earthquake.

Best News Photograph

Michael Dodge | Herald Sun

Michael Dodge’s photo, capturing a verbal altercation between Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse and St Kilda player Stephen Milne, has won the 2010 Best News Photograph Quill.

Malthouse’s outburst became one the biggest news stories in the AFL last season, and Dodge’s photo captured the intensity of the moment for Herald Sun readers.

Judges’ Citation

The judges said Michael captured the intensity of hostilities between Stephen Milne and Mick Malthouse, as the Collingwood coach suffered a moment of madness.

Best Sports Photograph

Alex Coppel | Herald Sun

Alex Coppel has won the Best Sports Photograph Quill for his image of Geoff Huegill coming up for air during his 100m Butterfly win at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. It was the only time the swimmer came up for air during the event, and Coppel successfully captured the moment.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges congratulated Alex for producing a technically brilliant image of the relationship between swimmer and water, as Geoff Huegill leaves the rest in his wake.

Best Features Photograph

David Caird | Herald Sun

David Caird has won the 2010 Best Features Photograph Quill for his heartbreaking photograph of Mikayla Francis and her father Andrew.

Judges’ Citation 

“An unforgettable portrait of intense emotional impact”. That’s how the judges described the image David captured, of a tender moment between a loving father and his dying daughter.

Best Three Headlines in any Medium

Warwick Green | Herald Sun

Mike Hussey scoring 81 not out, Nathan Hauritz giving away his cricket gear and a profile of footballer Adam Schneider are not exactly stories in which a clever headline automatically springs to mind. However, Warwick Green came up with smart headlines for each of these stories to win the 2010 Quill Award for the Best Three Headlines in Any Medium.

Judges’ Citation 

With just nine words, the judges said Warwick captured the essence of three good sport stories and their main characters.

Winning Entry 

View the winning entry in fullscreen

Best Illustration in any Medium

Frank Maiorana | The Age

Frank Maiorana’s whimsical illustration of whether the humble book will soon become extinct has won the Best Illustration in any Medium Quill for 2010.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges praised Frank for capturing the essence of the story in a single and impressive image. They said the use of established iconography enabled clear communication, while the scale and form worked beautifully on the page, creating an eye-catching combination of type, layout and image.

Winning Entry 

View the winning entry in fullscreen

Best Graphics in any Medium

Travis Kennedy | Sunday Herald Sun

Travis Kennedy has won the Best Graphics in any Medium Quill for his 2010 AFL Finals Heroes poster series.

Judges’ Citation 

Travis was commended for approaching the annual football poster series with clarity, simplicity and a more contemporary approach to the design. The judges said the format allowed for a quality result, despite the incredible pressure to meet deadlines while the game was still in progress.

Best Cartoon

Ron Tandberg | The Age

Ron Tandberg has won the Best Cartoon Quill for his scathing cartoon commenting on Australia’s ongoing involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges said the impact of this cartoon was immediate. The complex issue of Australia’s role in supporting US action in Afghanistan is conveyed with a simple but graphic message.

Best Deadline Report in any Medium

Paul Austin and David Rood | The Age

At 7:14pm on Sunday 14 November, a media release announced that the Liberal Party would be directing its preferences away from the Greens and towards Labor, a decision that was later called one of the turning points of the Victorian election campaign.

Paul Austin and David Rood had about an hour to write the Page One lead and a comment piece on the announcement. They are this year’s winners of the Best Deadline Report in any Medium Quill.

Judges’ Citation 

In one of the biggest stories of the State election campaign, Paul and David met an extremely tight deadline to unravel and explain the significance of a confusing and late breaking announcement – the Liberal Party’s decision to direct preferences to Labor, not the Greens. In doing so, the judges said they had a clear lead on all their competitors.

Best Use of the Online Medium

Finn Bradshaw | heraldsun.com.au

Finn Bradshaw has won the Best Use of the Online Medium Quill for the Herald Sun’s Ashes mini-site.

The site, which unfortunately is no longer accessible, featured live scoreboards, livesteaming video and ball-by-ball commentary on the series.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges said the Herald Sun Ashes site used all aspects of the online medium to deliver comprehensive and innovative coverage of the Australia-England Test series in 2010. The team combined good journalism with live streaming video, instant analysis and user interaction.

Best Suburban Report in Print

Goya Dmytryshchak | Fairfax Community Network

Goya Dmytryshchak has won the Best Suburban Report in Print Quill for her stories on how methyl bromide, a chemical banned in many OECD countries, was being used in Altona, much to the concern of local residents. The story was later picked up by other news organisations.

Judges’ Citation 

In a highly competitive field, the judges described Goya as the deserving winner for her report on the industrial use of methyl bromide to fumigate logs. Her investigation brought a company to account and prompted action by the chief health officer and the EPA. The judges said her report demonstrated community journalism at its best, giving residents a voice on what was arguably a life and death issue.

Best Regional or Rural Affairs Report in any Medium

Andrew Mole | The Weekly Times

Andrew Mole has won the Best Regional or Rural Affairs Report in any Medium Quill for his stories on the myriad challenges facing Elders.

Judges’ Citation 

Andrew’s story charted the battle for survival of the 171 year old Australian agribusiness icon, Elders. Using his sources and some dogged investigative reporting, Andrew chronicled Elders’ struggles in the face of a savaged share price and disgruntled shareholders.

Winning Entry 
View the winning entry in fullscreen

Best TV News Report

Tim McMillan | Nine News

Channel Nine’s Tim McMillan has won the Best TV News Report Quill for his investigative stories examining the police investigation into the 2004 rape allegations against St Kilda footballer Stephen Milne.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges praised Tim for a powerful story that probed a sensitive police investigation into high profile sportsmen. Tim’s stories revealed the pressure allegedly applied to investigating officers by colleagues and senior command, in the course of their investigation of sexual assault allegations made against two St Kilda footballers.

Best Radio News Report

Heidi Murphy | 3AW

Heidi Murphy has won the Best Radio News Report Quill for her story exposing a private meeting that then Premier John Brumby’s office had wanted to keep under wraps.

Judges’ Citation 

Heidi doggedly pursued a tip-off about a secret meeting between the then Premier John Brumby and a widowed pensioner, whose husband suffered a fatal heart attack while waiting for an ambulance. By getting details of the meeting to air, the judges said Heidi put the spin doctors onto the backfoot and forced the government to face the politically sensitive issue of ambulance resourcing in an election year.

Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Under 10 minutes

Jill Singer and Lisa Whitehead 7:30 Report, ABC TV

Jill Singer and Lisa Whitehead have won the Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Under 10 minutes Quill for their story on domestic violence victim Deanne Bridgland.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges praised Jill and Lisa for skilfully distilling a complex legal and human story into a compelling piece of television. Through extensive research and gaining the trust of the story’s subject, they shone a light on the difficult issue of domestic violence. The story led to changes in how the criminal justice system deals with victims of family violence.

Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Over 10 minutes

Belinda Hawkins and Elena Christie | Australian Story, ABC TV

Belinda Hawkins and Elena Christie have won the Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Over 10 minutes Quill for their documentary on ABC broadcaster Red Symons’ 18-year-old son, Samuel.
Judges’ Citation

Not only was “The Story of Samuel” one of the most talked about television stories of 2010, the judges said it was also one of the most inspirational. It took us inside the heart breaking private journey of Red Symon’s family, and led to an apology from the Royal Childrens Hospital and changes to clinical practice.

Best Radio Current Affairs Report

Neil Mitchell | 3AW

Neil Mitchell has won the Quill for Best Radio Current Affairs Report for his interviews with an interpreter and a senior Victoria Police officer, about a death in custody.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges said Neil’s work shone a light on the tragic case of a death in custody which may otherwise have gone unreported. They commended him for skilfully interviewing the interpreter who witnessed the appalling treatment of a vulnerable man in police custody in Dandenong, and following it up with an interview that brought senior police to account.

Best News Report in Print

Philip Dorling | The Age

Philip Dorling has won the Best News Report in Print Quill for his stories on the implications for Australia of the leaked US embassy cables. To obtain the cables, Philip travelled to the UK and met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, becoming the only Australian journalist to gain access to the information.

Judges Citation

The judges were impressed with the high standard of entries this year but deemed Philip’s work the standout winner. They commended his great journalistic initiative, skill and persistence, in dealing with a mountain of complex documents and disclosing the Australian angles in one of the biggest international stories of the year.

Best Feature in Print

Jill Baker | Herald Sun

Herald Sun Deputy Editor Jill Baker’s personal account of her year battling breast cancer following the death of her husband has won the Best Feature in Print Quill.

Judges’ Citation 

The judges called Jill’s deeply personal story a gift to anyone battling the Big C or the loss of a loved one. Her unrelenting account of her year fighting breast cancer following her husband’s death was painfully raw in its honesty, yet often amusing. She exposed her wounded soul to the world, inspiring and giving strength to thousands of readers. The judges said it was a staggeringly good read.

Best Coverage of an Issue or Event

Philip Dorling, Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie | The Age

Philip Dorling, Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie have won the Best Coverage of an Issue or Event Quill. They collected the award for a series of front page stories in The Age last December, detailing the revelations contained in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables released through Wikileaks.

The trio’s stories included articles on how former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was seen as an abrasive “control freak” by U.S. officials, that Labor Senator Mark Arbib acted as a secret source to the United States and that the Federal Government was secretly pessimistic about Australia’s role in Afghanistan.

Judges’ Citation 

The Wikileaks revelations are a series of scoops with dramatic impact. The secret diplomatic cables gave the unvarnished truth about the way Australia is seen by its key allies, and vice versa. The judges praised The Age for mining a rich seam to present this series of revelations with great impact.

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