Since November 30, 1971.

2011 Quill award winners

The Monash University Gold Quill

Nick McKenzie, Maris Beck & Tom McKendrick | The Age & The Age Online

The Age & The Age Online journalists Nick McKenzie, Maris Beck and Tom McKendrick were awarded Victoria’s top prize in journalism, the then $5000 Monash University Gold Quill, for their investigation into Melbourne’s sex industry.

The investigation by The Age exposed sex trafficking, Chinese organised crime, corruption and regulatory failure. The 10-month series led to new laws and changes to enforcement methods.

Young Journalist of the Year Award
Amelia Harris | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Amelia Harris has won the 2011 Young Journalist of the Year Award. Amelia’s stories included an exclusive on Victoria Police fudging crime statistics to paint a rosier picture of crime and a new way of looking at the cost of the road toll. She also played a lead role in the Herald Sun’s media coverage of the Occupy Melbourne protest and shed new light on the problem of repeat drink driving.

The highly commended entries for this category were Mitchell Toy of the Sunday Herald Sun and Adrian Lowe of The Age.

Best Coverage of an Issue or Event
Nick McKenzie, Maris Beck & Tom McKendrick | The Age & The Age Online

The Age journalists Nick McKenzie, Maris Beck and Tom McKendrick won the Quill Award for Best Coverage of an Issue or Event for their exposé of the illegal sex trade and some of the unsavoury characters within it, against a background of legislative confusion that allowed it to thrive.

The highly commended entries for this category were James Bennett of the ABC and the Herald Sun Sports Department.

Judges’ Citation
This was a powerful and courageous piece of investigative reporting of the highest order. An original exposé of an issue of real public interest that led to criminal prosecutions and legislative change. Its complementary online coverage was well laid-out and impressive.

Winning Entry

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Best Deadline Report in any Medium
Stephanie March | ABC TV News

ABC TV News’ Stephanie March won the Quill Award for Best Deadline Report in any Medium for her coverage of the High Court’s ruling on the controversial ‘Malaysia Solution.’

The highly commended entries for this category were Kate Hagan & Julia Medew of The Age and John Ferguson of The Australian.

Judges’ Citation
Her news breaking report from the High Court was an accurate and informative account of a highly complex challenge to a High Court ruling on the controversial ‘Malaysia Solution.’ Her report gave the ABC the lead on an unfolding story.

RACV Transport Quill
Stephen Drill & Amelia Harris | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Stephen Drill and Amelia Harris won the RACV Transport Quill for their story “Speed Cheats”, which revealed 50,000 instances of drivers dodging demerit points each year. The pay-to-speed loophole allowed motorists to pay an additional extra fine to avoid demerit points.

The highly commended entries for this category were Royce Millar & Clay Lucas of The Age and Jacqueline Felgate of Channel Seven.

Judges’ Citation
A genuine exclusive that had impact for all road users at a critical time on Victorian roads – Christmas.

Winning Entry

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Grant Hattam Quill Award for Investigative Journalism in any Medium
Richard Baker & Nick McKenzie | The Age

The Age’s Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie won the Grant Hattam Quill Award for Investigative Journalism for their stories covering the allegations of criminal activity by companies associated with the Reserve Bank.

The highly commended entries for this category were Cameron Stewart of The Australian and Louise Milligan of Channel Seven.

Judges’ Citation
This sustained investigation had extraordinary revelations about the extent of the use of bribery by two companies owned and part-owned by the Reserve Bank. The reporting has led to criminal charges and the possibility of a judicial inquiry once the court proceedings are completed.

Winning Entry

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Best Columnist/Blogger
Josh Gordon | The Age

The Age’s Josh Gordon won the Quill Award for Best Columnist/Blogger for his piece “Ryan losing his lustre”.

The highly commended entries for this category were Phil Hudson of the Herald Sun and John Silvester of The Age.

Judge’s Citation
In quick time Josh Gordon has stamped his authority on the coverage of state politics. His columns had maturity, insight and impact. They were clear, important, agenda setting pieces.

Entrant’s statement

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Best Use of the Digital or Online Medium
Anne Wright & Amelia Harris | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Anne Wright and Amelia Harris won the Quill Award for the Best Use of the Digital or Online Medium for their coverage of the Occupy Melbourne protests.

The highly commended entries for this category were Simon Rankin of The Age Online and Andy Drewitt of Leader Newspapers.

Judges’ Citation 

The two Herald Sun reporters, Anne Wright and Amelia Harris, seized the opportunity provided by online and social media to give a balanced and immediate coverage which gave the audience a rich experience of an unfolding and dramatic story.

Winning entry

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Best Sports Story in any Medium
Michael Warner Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Michael Warner won the Quill Award for Best Sports Story in any Medium for his story revealing that Greater Western Sydney had secretly signed boom recruit Tom Scully’s father Phil on an exorbitant contract.

The highly commended entry for this category was Samantha Lane of The Age.

Judges’ Citation
This was an original breaking story that had a huge impact on the sport. The letter he obtained from his sources added considerably to the story, which lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes dealings that often go on in Australia’s biggest sport.

Winning Entry

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Best Business Story in any Medium
Adele Ferguson | The Age

The Age’s Adele Ferguson won the Quill Award for the Best Business Story in any Medium for her story that revealed Fosters had refused to supply Coles and Woolworths when it learned of plans to sell its product below cost.

The highly commended entries for this category were Patrick Durkin of the Australian Financial Review and Mark Skulley of the Australian Financial Review.

Judges’ Citation
Ferguson’s exclusive Business Story was a strong, well-rounded piece that grabbed the mind of the general public. Ferguson exposed the strategy of the supermarket groups and raised unsettling issues about market dominance, exploitation of customers and the plight of independent liquor retailers.

Winning Entry

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Best News Photograph
Sharon Lee Chapman | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Sharon Lee Chapman won the Quill Award for Best News Photograph for her photo “Runaway Horse,” taken when Banna Strand broke away without its jockey during the Warrnambool jumps races. The horse jumped a fence into the unsuspecting crowd, injuring seven who were taken to hospital.

Judges’ Citation
Freelance photographer Sharon Lee Chapman captured the news photo of the year when Banna Strand dramatically broke away without a jockey and leapt a fence into onlookers at the Grand Annual Warrnambool jumps meeting. Sharon was the only photographer to capture this moment and only had an instant to react. It is well composed and a stand-out winner.

Best Sports Photograph
Michael Dodge | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Michael Dodge won the Quill Award for the Best Sports Photograph for his photo of Australian surfer Adam Robertson emerging from the foam, hands raised in celebration, at the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro. He clearly thought he had won his heat. His elation turned to despair when the judges awarded the heat against him.

Judges’ Citation
Split-second timing to capture the moment and selecting a clifftop position from which the image was shot are essential elements of this dramatic picture. Michael Dodge is at the top of a fantastic career in sports photography and was a clear winner in this category.

Best Features Photograph
Jason Edwards | Diamond Valley Leader

Diamond Valley Leader’s Jason Edwards won the Quill Award for Best Features Photograph for his photo, ‘Wildlife Guardian’, taken to match a story about a wildlife shelter in desperate need of funds to continue helping animals that were orphaned or injured in the Black Saturday bushfires.

The highly commended entries for this category were Jason South of The Age and Andrew Perryman of the Bendigo Weekly.

Judges’ Citation

This picture speaks for itself – showing wildlife shelter owner Stella Reid whispering a caring message of love for one of the dozens of injured and orphaned animals in her care. Stella, who also lost her home in the Black Saturday fires, shows her passion for helping wildlife and to raise much needed funds to continue her work.

Best Three Headlines in any Medium
Lawrie Masterson | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Lawrie Masterson won the Quill Award for the Best Three Headlines in Any Medium for his headlines “Whoops a Daisy,” “Blues: Go Fourth and qualify” and “A Brazilian years old”.

The highly commended entry for this category was Andrew Wallace of Leader Newspapers.

Judges’ Citation
Each of his three headlines were sharp, original, fitted the story and resonated with readers. They did not rely on predictable puns.

Winning Entry

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Best Illustration or Graphics in any Medium
Bill Farr | The Age

The Age’s Bill Farr won the Quill Award for Best Illustration or Graphic for his work, “Welcome to the asylum seekers.” The Image responds to both the government and opposition’s inability to resolve the asylum seeker issues other than through offshore processing.

The highly commended entries for this category were Christina Panozzo of The Weekly Times and Kirk O’Dwyer of the Herald Sun.

Judges’ Citation
“Welcome to the asylum seekers” is such a powerful piece of graphic communication that exemplifies the potency of image, design and message working in unison. The message – using iconic Australian visual language – speaks immediately to its audience on two levels: the bullet holes annihilate any sense of welcome and leaves a clear message regarding the current asylum debate.

Entrant’s Statement
The asylum seeker debate reached new heights of absurdity towards the end of last year, with both the government and the coalition arguing for a similar policy – offshore processing – but neither being prepared to compromise on an agreed outcome.

The illustration, “Welcome to the asylum seekers”, can be read in two ways. The bullet holes in the sign suggest anything but welcome, and the words that remain untouched – “Welcome to the asylum” – reflect the level and quality of the debate, both then and now.

Best Cartoon
Mark Knight | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Mark Knight won the Quill Award for Best Cartoon. His cartoon captured what was to become the biggest running political story of the last year.

The highly commended entries for this category were John Kudelka of News Limited and Peter Nicholson of The Australian.

Judges’ Citation 

Mark Knight’s Red Queen has become a symbol of Australian politics. “Those Beady Little Eyes”, published a year ago, has proved quite prophetic. Excellent draughtsmanship and outstanding caricatures of both Gillard and Rudd tell the story of their relationship. Knight, at the top of his game, is a deserving winner.

Best Suburban Report in Print
Rachel Flaherty | Cranbourne Leader

Cranbourne Leader’s Rachel Flaherty won the Quill Award for the Best Suburban Report in Print for her ultimately successful campaign to get the Federal government to overturn the decision to axe the carer’s allowance for children with Type 1 diabetes.

The highly commended entries for this category were Jason Edwards & Raelene Wilson of Leader Newspapers and Andy Drewitt of Leader Newspapers.

Judges Citation

Rachel’s story shows how suburban papers can deliver real results for local communities and in turn deliver results for the broader community at large. Contacted by the reader, the journalist took on the issue with gusto – personalising a bureaucratic decision which was directly affecting so many families’ lives. The persistence of the paper paid off. Use of social media to harness and develop the campaign and communicate with local participants and drive involvement in the campaign showed how new media and traditional media can combine with great effect.

Winning Entry

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Best Regional or Rural Affairs Report in any Medium
Cheryl Hall | 7:30 Report, ABC

7:30 Report’s Cheryl Hall won the Quill Award for Best Regional or Rural Affairs Report in any Medium for “Wind Farms,” a report on people living near wind farms in Central Victoria who have found their health adversely affected by them.

The highly commended entries for this category were James Bennett & Josie Taylor of the ABC and Fiona Myers of The Weekly Times.

Judges’ Citation 

The reporter used compelling and powerful interviews and delicately balanced reporting to present the story of conflict over wind farm developments and their effect on the health of people who live near them. This, along with excellent visuals, impressed the judges.

Best TV News Report
Laurel Irving | Seven News

Sevens News’ Laurel Irving won the Quill Award for Best TV News Report for her coverage of the Occupy Melbourne protest. Police moved in early in the morning to forcibly evict Occupy Melbourne protesters from the City Square. The resulting scenes shocked Melbourne and led to claims of police brutality.

The highly commended entries for this category were Chris White of Nine News and James Bennett of ABC News.

Judges’ Citation

Laurel’s coverage of the police action to clear the Occupy Melbourne protesters from the City Square demonstrated a mastery of the art of combining narrative and stunning images. She provided a clear timeline of the events that unfolded during the day and enhanced the report with a live update of the continuing protests.

Best Radio News Report
Heidi Murphy | 3AW

3AW’s Heidi Murphy won the Quill Award for Best Radio News Report for her report exposing a promise to put 120 armed guards in hospital emergency wards – at a cost of $21 million over four years. The Baillieu government was forced to admit it had dropped the promise in its first budget.

The highly commended entry for this category was Sebastian Costello of 3AW.

Judges’ Citation
Heidi broke a story which forced the government to admit it was walking away from an election promise. She caught the government by surprise – holding it to account.

Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Over 10 Minutes
Belinda Hawkins | Australian Story, ABC

ABC TV’s Belinda Hawkins won the Quill Award for Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Over 10 Minutes for her Australian Story “Conviction”. Belinda tells the story of Jack Palfreeman, the young NSW man convicted of murder in Bulgaria.

The highly commended entry for this category was Karen O’Sullivan of Seven News.

Judges’ Citation

Belinda’s tenacity and drive resulted in a remarkable story. We see a family’s struggle over four years to free their son from a prison on the other side of the world.

Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Under 10 Minutes
Josie Taylor, Daniel Morgan & Cheryl Hall | 7.30 Vic, ABC

7:30 Report’s Josie Taylor, Daniel Morgan and Cheryl Hall have won the Quill Award for Best TV Current Affairs/Feature Under 10 Minutes for their report, “The Most Vulnerable Victims,” on sexual abuse in several Catholic schools over three decades.

The highly commended entries for this category were Linda Kinkade of Seven News and Anna MacDonald of ABC TV.

Judges’ Citation
A gripping illustration of the community-wide impact of the sexual abuse in the Ballarat diocese of the Catholic Church. It reveals thirty suicides linked to the crimes of Brother Robert Best. The judges were particularly moved by Josie’s interview with one deaf victim, Paul Lyons.

Best Radio Current Affairs Report
Neil Mitchell | 3AW

3AW’s Neil Mitchell won the Quill Award for Best Radio Current Affairs Report for his report “The Ambulance Crisis.” Neil managed to convince a whistleblower to go public with an insider’s account of problems in the ambulance service. His grilling of the ministers led to heightened political focus on the issue.

The highly commended entry for this category was Jeff Waters of ABC Radio.

Judges’ citation

Neil Mitchell’s report lifted the lid on the serious problems in the ambulance service, forcing the government to confront the issue.

Best News Report in Print
Richard Baker & Nick McKenzie | The Age

The Age’s Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie won the Quill Award for Best News Report in Print for their report “Bugged: Sir Ken Jones targetted by the OPI.” The report revealed that the sacked Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner issue involved secret surveillance of him, of government staff, and possible breaches of power by the Chief Commissioner Simon Overland.

The highly commended entries for this category were Geoff Wilkinson of the Herald Sun and Ruth Lamperd of the Herald Sun.

Judges’ Citation 

Baker and McKenzie got the biggest news break on the biggest story of the year in Victoria – the poisonous turmoil at the top of the Victoria Police. Their revelation that Sir Ken Jones and a ministerial goverment staffer were bugged by the OPI turned the story on its head.

Winning Entry 

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Best Feature in Print
Patrick Carlyon & Paul Anderson | Herald Sun

Herald Sun’s Partick Carlyon and Paul Anderson won the Quill Award for Best Feature in Print for their feature exploring the psyche of Arthur Freeman, who threw his daughter off the West Gate bridge.

The highly commended entry for this category was Kate Legge of The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Judges’ Citation
The ‘Man Behind the Monster’ is a masterful and sensitively written feature that attempts to explain the inexplicable. Deeply researched, it explores the psyche of a seemingly ordinary father who horrified the community by throwing his daughter off the West Gate bridge. The piece moved the audience closer to understanding Freeman, though no-one ever will completely, as the article shows.

View the winning entry in fullscreen

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